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jimcav
09-04-2008, 04:59 PM
why does that buzzword matter? I've met generals and admirals, a few CEOs. At least in the military, I know they make some hard choices, but when it comes to PLANNING, POLICIES, etc they are surrounded by working groups, analysts, etc that effectively shape the choice. Does someone think civilian gov't is somehow different? As someone on a short list for a possible assignment, I know of at least one instance where we are still acting out some PLANS in a certain giant poppy field that make no sense and yet have never been revised depite a reality that differs from what was pre-supposed when the plan was written.
I really get sad when i see show after show, headline after headline, and even thread after thread throw out the same pre-packaged soundbites and lines. No one is taking time to define the problems, develop a solution, and market it to the folks that need to/should understand.
oh well--i got to go finish a few things--then maybe i can get googling to find out more about the inner circles of the candidates--cause those folks will frame the issues that define the options for the "hard choices"

Tobias
09-04-2008, 05:17 PM
Of course it matters. There’s often a huge difference between talk (i.e. – intentions) and accomplishments.

Do you think that CEOs of large companies moved from janitor to CEO in one step? Of course not. In the real world people have to prove in small increments that they have the capacity to accomplish what they “intend” to do.

When interviewing candidates for jobs, I was taught the best predictor of future performance is past performance. And without a past on which to judge it’s sadly just talk.

TMB
09-04-2008, 05:32 PM
Of course it matters. There’s often a huge difference between talk (i.e. – intentions) and accomplishments.

Do you think that CEOs of large companies moved from janitor to CEO in one step? Of course not. In the real world people have to prove in small increments that they have the capacity to accomplish what they “intend” to do.

When interviewing candidates for jobs, I was taught the best predictor of future performance is past performance. And without a past on which to judge it’s sadly just talk.


In that case, the present choice is easy.

Ken Robb
09-04-2008, 05:53 PM
there are a couple of old movies about naifs going to Washington to reform everything. Pretty good viewing these days.

Enigma
09-04-2008, 05:56 PM
Of course it matters. There’s often a huge difference between talk (i.e. – intentions) and accomplishments.

Do you think that CEOs of large companies moved from janitor to CEO in one step? Of course not. In the real world people have to prove in small increments that they have the capacity to accomplish what they “intend” to do.



Wouldn't it be nice if today's corporate leaders had the foresight, integrity and accountability of janitors?

Samster
09-04-2008, 06:17 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if today's corporate leaders had the foresight, integrity and accountability of janitors?cheap and gratuitous shot. it depends on the janitor. first hand experience speaking here.

jhcakilmer
09-04-2008, 06:29 PM
I really am torn on the topic of experience. How important is it?

Bubba, had a considerable amount of experience, but not overwhelming, and IMO was an excellent president (which, yes, I sure could be debated until the cows come home....so please don't start). He also was well educated, with a plethora of national and international awards, and accolades. He seemed to have worked hard, and maximized his opportunities. He wasn't born in to a prestigious, wealthy family.

So for my personal contemplation, which added greater substance to his term as president?

1centaur
09-04-2008, 06:56 PM
Successful executive experience is one way to assuage worries about lack of judgment, ability to work with and lead people, and ability to make many hard decisions that affect others without undue hand-wringing or rash leaps to dubious outcomes. Bad executives tend to reveal themselves as such over time and the system washes them out.

Lack of executive experience is a big question mark.

Good executives make a HUGE difference (ask investors in Apple). The Presidency is not management by committee.

Onno
09-04-2008, 07:36 PM
Lots of good executives are good executives on the first try. It takes intelligence, understanding of the people around you, an awareness of the complexity of problems and how to solve them. Lots of experienced executives make bad decisions, don't know how to manage, etc., but get large bonuses and new jobs because of the aura of having been a CEO somewhere else. I agree with the first post. Most of the talk of executive experience is vapid.

Enigma
09-04-2008, 07:38 PM
cheap and gratuitous shot. it depends on the janitor. first hand experience speaking here.

I dunno. Thankfully some of today's corporate leaders are sent to jail. Hopefully Bernard Ebbers will die in prison. He stole my money.

I don't have a lot of faith in today's corporate leaders because of crooks like him and a culture in business that doesn't condemn shoddy ethics.

jhcakilmer
09-04-2008, 07:40 PM
The Presidency is not management by committee.


I would whole heartily disagree with this statement. GW was taking the public credit, but he wasn't the root cause, or executor inventor of ideals/policies.

He was basically a spokesperson......really wish he was a little more articulate!!

jhcakilmer
09-04-2008, 07:44 PM
I dunno. Thankfully some of today's corporate leaders are sent to jail. Hopefully Bernard Ebbers will die in prison. He stole my money.

I don't have a lot of faith in today's corporate leaders because of crooks like him and a culture in business that doesn't condemn shoddy ethics.

+1.....deregulation = more corporate criminals, or opportunities, depending on the way you look at it.

dauwhe
09-04-2008, 07:58 PM
Is it still the convention to put "OT" in thread titles when they are unrelated to cycling?

Dave

Tobias
09-04-2008, 08:02 PM
Successful executive experience is one way to assuage worries about lack of judgment, ability to work with and lead people, and ability to make many hard decisions that affect others without undue hand-wringing or rash leaps to dubious outcomes. Bad executives tend to reveal themselves as such over time and the system washes them out.

Lack of executive experience is a big question mark.

Good executives make a HUGE difference (ask investors in Apple). The Presidency is not management by committee.You have my vote if you decide to run.

Tobias
09-04-2008, 08:09 PM
In that case, the present choice is easy.I was responding in general, trying to avoid politics directly.

In general, I think it's easier to make decisions when one is ignorant (i.e. -- lacking information). Void of all data and knowledge, it's just a guess IMO.

The more I know the more I have to compromise, making it harder for me. In the political context you imply, the choice is very easy indeed.

1centaur
09-05-2008, 06:10 AM
I would whole heartily disagree with this statement. GW was taking the public credit, but he wasn't the root cause, or executor inventor of ideals/policies.

He was basically a spokesperson......really wish he was a little more articulate!!

I in no way believe being an executive means being the root cause or executor inventor of ideas/policies. (And I agree that as a spokesman he was a good sound check man.)

The President of the USA does not say, "let's vote" when the people around the table have said their piece. They look at him and he says, "here's what we're going to do." That's why judgment counts and why executive experience is a plus, particularly successful executive experience.

When the CIA gave GWB briefing books about the potential for WMD in Iraq, with reports from German and British intelligence about what government scientists said was going on, it came down to one man's judgment, colored by world view, of the credibility and import of those briefings. Everybody else got to say, "Yes Mr. President." If there was a clear and present danger to the US, war would have been the right decision regardless of the instant howls about the oil industry and Haliburton and avenging the plot on his father that issued from the left well before any facts were known. Lacking such danger, as we found out ex post, those howls gained credibility (becoming confused with judgment in the process) and have moved the country sharply left, possibly to our longer-term detriment, while the least articulate leader in my lifetime scratched his head and looked confused. History pivots irreversibly on such issues of executive judgment.

On the other side, if O'bama (to pick someone randomly for the sake of argument) looked at briefing books on WMD, said no to war because he wanted to spend money on his social priorities, and then it turned out the WMD were real and headed over here via surrogates a few months later, the country would go far right with all the implications that would follow.

One person, one judgment, decision after decision making each new White House resident grayer and older than we would have believed. It's called the executive branch for a reason.

Kevan
09-05-2008, 08:26 AM
the idea that a president has three basic tasks: speaker, administer, and whipping boy (or girl). That individual needs to be able to inspire and console. Establish a team in support of the platform, trust it, but verify it. The worst part...is to step forward and take your licks for the goofs you've done.

All of these cats haven't gotten to this level of the game without some talent, brains and experience. Well...except for maybe...

Fixed
09-05-2008, 08:35 AM
figurehead for corp america imho
cheers

Climb01742
09-05-2008, 09:06 AM
the converse of the experience argument is: does extensive experience assure effectiveness or success?

vision and execution equal success. different executives and candidates solve that equation differently. i don't believe there is one answer to how those two elements come together or are embodied.

Ray
09-05-2008, 09:25 AM
Presidential politics is always a crapshoot. The only real training for being president is being president. We've had great presidents with lots of executive experience and we've had great presidents with no executive experience. IIRC, Jefferson and Lincoln were mere legislators before getting elected, and history has treated them pretty kindly.

Being governor of a large state is arguably the closest thing to relevant experience in terms of management, but the pressures and the issues and the scale of the job are not even remotely close, so you can't really predict based on that either.

In this case, we've got two senators that have never run anything larger than the presidential campaigns they're running now. The VP choices are another senator and a governor who's never run anything as big as a national presidential campaign. We're gonna have a senator in the White House next year. Executive experience isn't much of a predictor anyway, and its totally irrelevant this year.

-Ray

Ken Robb
09-05-2008, 10:01 AM
I in no way believe being an executive means being the root cause or executor inventor of ideas/policies. (And I agree that as a spokesman he was a good sound check man.)

The President of the USA does not say, "let's vote" when the people around the table have said their piece. They look at him and he says, "here's what we're going to do." That's why judgment counts and why executive experience is a plus, particularly successful executive experience.

When the CIA gave GWB briefing books about the potential for WMD in Iraq, with reports from German and British intelligence about what government scientists said was going on, it came down to one man's judgment, colored by world view, of the credibility and import of those briefings. Everybody else got to say, "Yes Mr. President." If there was a clear and present danger to the US, war would have been the right decision regardless of the instant howls about the oil industry and Haliburton and avenging the plot on his father that issued from the left well before any facts were known. Lacking such danger, as we found out ex post, those howls gained credibility (becoming confused with judgment in the process) and have moved the country sharply left, possibly to our longer-term detriment, while the least articulate leader in my lifetime scratched his head and looked confused. History pivots irreversibly on such issues of executive judgment.

On the other side, if O'bama (to pick someone randomly for the sake of argument) looked at briefing books on WMD, said no to war because he wanted to spend money on his social priorities, and then it turned out the WMD were real and headed over here via surrogates a few months later, the country would go far right with all the implications that would follow.

One person, one judgment, decision after decision making each new White House resident grayer and older than we would have believed. It's called the executive branch for a reason.

You, Sir, get it. Neville Chamberlain thought he saved the world from WW ll meeting w/Hitler in 1937. He was considered a hero and master statesman--until Hitler gobbled up Czechoslovakia, invaded Poland, etc. Then Neville was an appeaser who helped CAUSE WW ll.

I was a kid when Truman was president. He was stuck in the Korean "Police Action", had to fire Douglas Mac Arthur as Commander in Chief, and was a very unpopular president. In retrospect most folks think was a fine straight-talking executive and we would probably elect him today if we could.

jimcav
09-05-2008, 10:02 AM
centaur summed up my experience (and fear for gov't) in the military:
[The President of the USA does not say, "let's vote" when the people around the table have said their piece. They look at him and he says, "here's what we're going to do." That's why judgment counts and why executive experience is a plus, particularly successful executive experience.

because it is really the advisors, the innner circle, and those at the table that frame the choices--in effect limiting them or even forcing them at worst. and who those people are is not well known or known in advance.

to take centaur's WMD example, there were folks at the table (and on TV) saying things about how short the war would be, etc. And what i got to see, is a replay of some of the exact problems that were taught in a class (1991) on low intensity conflict that detailed the problems in Afghanistan with tribal and warlord issues. So we fast forward to disbanding the existing societal structure, not protecting infrastructure, not protecting cultural and historic sites, let alone weapons depots, acting on "intel" from folks that are essentially tribal warlords--so maybe we bomb a rival faction's wedding instead of an actual terror cell.

I don't blame the last guy to make the decision as much as the folks that presented the options and minimized issues or exaggerated possibilites in so many areas.

I guess I'm just not seeing being a mayor or governor or CEO is as important to the position as the current media spotlight on it would imply.

I will hope it works out, 'cause on my one issue voter mindset, i'm really tired of executive decisions that lead to a young man dying trying to stealthily cross a river far away, a river raging and not crossable, but because the intel says right NOW that the bad guy might be on the other side somewhere...

well it's war, but it still stinks, and for that matter so does the fact that i passed a guy sleeping in a dingy old sleeping bag alongside his shopping cart on the coronado silver strand bike path--which if you have to sleep outside is a pretty nice place, but still...

i don't envy those that need to prioritize the nation's efforts and resource allocation, but i think the focus should be on what the candidate's feel really are the priorities and the plans to tackle them.

Ahneida Ride
09-05-2008, 10:38 AM
He was basically a spokesperson......really wish he was a little more articulate!!

Yup !

Dats artickualateded ..... ;)

Pete Serotta
09-05-2008, 10:48 AM
"Well said" or am I saying that because I agree... Climb better worry if I agree :)


In St Louis this weekend with my daughter and son in law. He is a professor at U on M so we are having some good talks over some red. To bad Keno, Paule, and Flydhest are not here... :argue: :argue:


the converse of the experience argument is: does extensive experience assure effectiveness or success?

vision and execution equal success. different executives and candidates solve that equation differently. i don't believe there is one answer to how those two elements come together or are embodied.

csm
09-05-2008, 10:59 AM
like it or not there is not a whole lot of executive experience on either side. quite frankly, Palin is the only one of the 4 that held a job NOT geared towards a politcal career. note I said political career and not public service. I'm sure this will start a life of it's own but...... I don't really believe that a Harvard grad with the credentials that Barrack has would be satisfied with a career helping the public (aclu, etc). I think he's been as shrewd and calculating as the Clintons were to enter politics.
I think running GM or Ford or Hershey Foods or even Trek is light years away from running a country. running a city or state is more akin to what is required.
at any rate, these are the candidates we have. and nobody here knows any better than the next person who will be the president-elect come Thanksgiving.
I am surprised that this thread has remained as civil as it has. we should all be congratulated and raise a drink of our choice to freedom, democracy and a woman vice-president who is pretty hot.

1centaur
09-05-2008, 03:04 PM
Just to even out the PC scales, Obama's pretty hot too, and McCain was really good looking a long time ago.

As an addendum to what I said before, part of being a good executive is surrounding yourself with the right people. Yes men and butt kissers are very dangerous in the White House, as are people with their own agendas (see: 24, the TV series). An ideal executive background would include a history of surrounding yourself with people brighter than yourself (check one for GWB :) ) and running meetings efficiently to get all views on the table without letting personality rule. One way of measuring that from the outside is a history of executive success and a lack of stories suggesting the opposite. GWB coming into the White House apparently had a track record of reaching across the aisle in Texas - the left did not make a big stink against that notion. His track record in Washington might be viewed as further confirmation of that - what some on this board view as a history of capitulation by Congress to Bush's plans may suggest that he worked through the kinks in bills ahead of time to get them in shape to get passed by both sides. If it had not been for Iraq, Bush's presidency would have seemed fairly unremarkable (i.e., the complaints from the left would have been the same complaints we always hear about Republicans), misplaced blame about the Katrina response and income disparities aside. In fact, it might not have seemed that different from Clinton's term, which if you will recall ended without establishing a legacy of note, something that bugged Big Bill (remember his attempt to establish a dialog on race?).

SP's executive experience is a small plus, but it's just that. Romney's would have been greater - as I observed him in Mass he consistently made sound decisions and explained them clearly to the people, but he figured out quickly that the Mass legislature really has the final say here (Deval Patrick's learned his lesson too - he'll be off to Washington soon enough if O'bama wins). We don't get major executive experience comfort this time around. I THINK O'bama would be smart enough to hire someone like Bob Rubin in Treasury rather than someone like Paul Krugman, but I don't know. I THINK he's incapable of dismissing a compelling intellectual argument, which gives me hope he can govern closer to the center than he has campaigned. I worry that McCain's ornery maverick thing might lead to a major bad decision and I have no idea what kind of people he will put around himself. Both of them will be running for a second term from day one, which if I were president I would be ashamed to do. That's why I am here and they are there.

Ray
09-05-2008, 03:44 PM
SP's executive experience is a small plus, but it's just that. Romney's would have been greater - as I observed him in Mass he consistently made sound decisions and explained them clearly to the people, but he figured out quickly that the Mass legislature really has the final say here (Deval Patrick's learned his lesson too - he'll be off to Washington soon enough if O'bama wins). We don't get major executive experience comfort this time around. I THINK O'bama would be smart enough to hire someone like Bob Rubin in Treasury rather than someone like Paul Krugman, but I don't know. I THINK he's incapable of dismissing a compelling intellectual argument, which gives me hope he can govern closer to the center than he has campaigned. I worry that McCain's ornery maverick thing might lead to a major bad decision and I have no idea what kind of people he will put around himself. Both of them will be running for a second term from day one, which if I were president I would be ashamed to do. That's why I am here and they are there.
I agree with this analysis, but also find the way they've run their campaigns to be very interesting and illustrative. Obama has surrounded himself with good people, but beyond that has set a tone that makes sure their dirty laundry and disagreements don't become public fodder. He's been no-drama Obama in the management of his campaign and from everything I've read, that's a very intentional management decision. It hasn't always worked but has generally worked quite well given the odds he's overcome and the success he's had to date. McCain, as you observed, is much more impetuous, much more of a risk taker, much more willing to wing-it. Given the ups and downs of his campaign, you have to figure he's willing to take a rough ride, but his instincts have been good enough to make it turn out well - the Palin pick may be the ultimate test of this. This has also worked for him throughout his career, but its a considerably riskier approach, with a lot of potential upside and downside. Which approach do you feel more comfortable with in the Oval Office? In dealing with foreign policy and explosive international situations? I know which I'm more comfortable with, but reasonable people can disagree on which would be more effective. My only point is that running a huge presidential campaign seems to be a pretty good indicator about management style and capability.

-Ray

RPS
09-05-2008, 05:04 PM
My only point is that running a huge presidential campaign seems to be a pretty good indicator about management style and capability.A major difference is that during a campaign they are working for themselves in that their primary goal is to get elected. Decision making should be relatively straight forward by comparison. Once in office, they are working for up to 300 million of us and we all have different needs, priorities, and expectations. And that doesn’t count external forces from other nations.

I expect the complexities are like night and day, but what do I know? I’ve never run for office.

Ray
09-05-2008, 05:22 PM
A major difference is that during a campaign they are working for themselves in that their primary goal is to get elected. Decision making should be relatively straight forward by comparison. Once in office, they are working for up to 300 million of us and we all have different needs, priorities, and expectations. And that doesn’t count external forces from other nations.

I expect the complexities are like night and day, but what do I know? I’ve never run for office.
That's true and a good point. I totally agree that the SCALE and complexity are unlike anything else in the world, which is why NOTHING really begins to prepare you for the job other than being in it for a while. But in one sense, to get elected they have to satisfy the same constituents they're going to have to deal with once elected. Or at least 51% of them. So I don't think the challenges are all that different in that particular aspect of it. I think where there is a BIG difference is that in running a campaign you don't have to deal with entrenched bureaucracies, which you do once in office. That takes a special kind of skill. I've worked in small bureaucracies that were impenetrable enough. And I've dealt with the feds, which is a totally impossible proposition. I don't know what its like dealing with them from above, but I can imagine its just a different version of being on the outside trying to make sense of it and trying to figure out how to work it. But I guess that's just part of the scale and complexity that can't really be prepared for.

-Ray