It is a great shame that we have yet to identify any truly top notch applicants from the resumes offered and that includes the group as a whole.
What? Oh yes, we have numerous submissions, but to this date there is not one that really stands out from the herd. Our migraine-inducing task has been to sort out the disqualified; the pretenders, the inexperienced, the padded resumes, the liars, the blatant covering up of terribly poor decisions and the obvious incompetence that led to them, and perhaps most important, those lacking the personal charisma needed to change a moribund culture. Unfortunately applying normal measurements to this motley crew seldom results in forcing the most unwelcome from the race.
This position in our organization is best filled by an intelligent, mature, honest, ethical, responsible, experienced individual in good health with exceptional communications skills who interacts well with others on a personal basis while building a team prepared to engage and resolve the many issues created through a strong national and international presence. Pay and benefits are more than adequate but the true rewards gained from this position will be in the form of the satisfaction gained from a sterling performance that will be gratefully recognized by multitudes of people who are in dire need of someone who can earn their trust and provide them with the guidance and policies that will improve their lives.
Yeah, yeah …. I know. Get real, eh? An applicant meeting even those basic requirements is not easy to find these days.
Perhaps the search would be easier if we could convince the applicant herd to provide a thorough summation of their individual solutions to solving the most apparent problems confronting our organization rather than simply attacking other competitors? Force them into revealing their knowledge of the intricacies involved in applying targeted solutions as opposed to generalities and platitudes? Specifics rather than bombast? In another life I made a decision as a sales rep to avoid trashing my competition’s product. After all, if I did not have enough confidence and pride in what I had to offer to present it on its own merits would that not generate a suspicion that there was an element of dishonesty in my presentation?
There was of course another item that had to be explored and addressed: the wants and needs of my prospective customer.
Guess I have to ‘fess up. By now you must have guessed that I am referencing the Presidential candidates and the prize that they are seeking. But wouldn’t it be great if we could utilize the same techniques employed in hiring the best qualified for those truly tough jobs?
We do of course understand that the brightest, most competent and efficient people would never consider entering the mud wrestling pit of politics. Who wants to be dumped into a sack of snarling cats whose main goal is to claw their way to the top of the heap while using tactics repulsive to the average citizen? Given that baseline, how do we identify a good choice? What other yardstick can we employ to separate the wheat from the chaff?
What about leadership? And how, you may well ask, do you define that attribute? Even though that might be labeled a general characteristic here is where it becomes personal. What I may regard as a sterling quality in a specific candidate may be repugnant to my neighbor, or vice versa.
But I would think that many of us can recall someone in our lives that we admired and looked up to. A teacher, a coach, some sort of mentor, a role model within or outside our family circle. Or perhaps a friend or acquaintance who always seemed ready to step forward to meet the need, to inspire others to work toward a common goal. What strengths did that person exhibit to excite your interest and trust?
I was long ago convinced that respect cannot be demanded. It must be earned. Those in leadership positions should never ask anything from their subordinates that they themselves are not willing or able to do. A leader must be able to inspire, to demonstrate how a problem can be solved or an obstacle overcome. And above all, a leader must be able to generate trust.
Yes, every individual builds their own standards and hopefully in more ways than not some of those will coincide with what a majority of our fellow citizens also value and we can agree to act in unison for the common good.
As I recall, that is the basis for a Representative Republic, is it not?
I do not yet have a Presidential candidate that I have decided on, although there are some that I have absolutely ruled out. Perhaps once we get past the muddle that has characterized the early stages of campaigns a more clear picture of the qualifications of the remaining few aspirants can be observed. True debates managed by professional, competent moderators (not network personalities) would be a good place to start.
Let’s get back to our seats; the second act is soon to begin.