Friday, May 20, 2011

Is the US Ready to Have a Billionaire CEO as President?

In 1992, Ross Perot ran for President of the US.  He earned 19% of the votes after dropping out and coming back.  If he had won, would the US have experienced the economic crises of the past 20 years?  Or would he have used his business savvy to avert some of the financial challenges?  Many people doubt the value of a billionaire CEO as President. Except, maybe
it’s not such a bad idea. Let’s completely remove Donald Trump from our minds and consider these points:   

If a billionaire ran for President, it would not be for money, power or influence.  It would surely be someone who has achieved all three and would be less likely to owe favors to corporations.  In the case of Ross Perot, he presented himself as wanting what was best for the American people.  So we could possibly have a President who is not for sale and leave a legacy by doing a great job.   

Also, like a company, every successful country needs a value proposition.  A customer only wants to buy a product or service when they see a specific value in it for themselves. While the US is a country, it still has to provide value to stakeholders – citizens, businesses, foreign and native investors and potential citizens. Otherwise, why would someone want to live in the US as opposed to Canada or Australia? There was a time when freedom of speech, religion and press were unique to the US. That is no longer the case.  Is there a better way to attract the best talent and encourage foreign direct investment?  There has to be a vision that is bigger than the nation.  

At a time when America is not the most popular country in the world, it is important that the leader be able articulate an important product that we can deliver worldwide. The NASA space program is a prime example of this kind of value proposition or vision where the President was able to build something with enough momentum to bolster national pride, attract top talent and encourage foreign investment. A CEO turned President will be able to identify America’s value proposition, build the structures to support and finance it, and market it globally.

With an ex-CEO as President, he or she would be held accountable for creating a vision – value prop – for the nation. And we would expect him or her to take steps to fulfill that vision.  As a nation, we hold our CEOs to high standards. Example: HP – the CEO got involved with a saleswoman of a supplier and was fired immediately. CEOs are also of the mindset that there has to be effective organizational structures and talent to ensure the vision is executed.

As citizens and shareholders of this country, if we hold the President to the same value driven mindset as a corporate CEO, the US would be structured to benefit its shareholders with profitable gains in a way that it hasn’t since its founding or sending the first man to the moon.

What do you think? I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, connect through my blog

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