Do you want to be President?

Mar 5th, 2012 | By | Category: Career advice

The political season has been grinding on for quite some time now, as the Republican Party selects a nominee to run in the Presidential Election. Over the course of past several months there have been several front-runners who rise to the front of pack. As the media and the nation focuses their attention on the leader the leaders seem to wilt under the bright light of close scrutiny. Their once important message seems to fall on deaf ears as they fade from leadership to obscurity, eventually quitting the race, as a new leader emerges. The process continues until a winner is finally chosen. There are several lessons to be learned from this process.

The President of the United States is one of the most powerful positions on earth, and one of the most stressful. Although the lifestyle is grand, the pay does not compare to what CEOs make in industry. Although there are very few Presidents who were not considered wealthy, most were wealthy prior being elected. So what drives presidential candidates to seek the White House?

Although I have read several books and articles on Presidents I have never been able to piece together a thread that links the all the presidents and also ran’s together. I cannot believe that through out history each presidential hopeful had a unique reason for wanting to be President. Most say they want to give back to the country, or the country needs their abilities and skills of leadership. Neither of these concepts seems to be borne out in practice. The system of checks and balances set up by the Constitution limits the power of the President. So unlike the dictators in some countries, the US President is not the all-powerful leader of the country.

So what makes this position so desirable? The one possible link may be ego. The President of the United States is guaranteed a place in history. They also enjoy all the trappings of the office, which become more and more like royalty. It may sound to good to the average citizen to have you own jet, free travel, round the clock security, etc, but most CEOs have the same perks. So I keep coming back to ego.

There is nothing wrong with ego. We all have one. However most of us don’t run for President, or even want to. There are few qualifications for President, the biggest hurtle seems to be proving you were born a United States Citizen, live in the US for 14 years and be 35 years old. There is no special training or college required. So the requirements to be President are less than most of us needed to get our current jobs. What deters most people are the hurtles and challenges the media, competitors, and society presents to would be Presidential candidates. Would you like to be President? Take a few minutes and think about it.

Although most of have our reasons for not running for President, we do have career goals we are pursuing. Take a lesson for the Presidential candidates, by observing what works and what doesn’t in a political race, you can get a good sense of the practices that may improve your chances of achieving your goals.

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