I read an article last week asking if a business leadership background is essential for performing the job of the President. (If I could remember where, I would give the citation, but by now there are probably a few thousand expert opinions on the subject.) And, of course, my first thought was, hiring by resume? How will that tell you what kind of Teamability the applicant will demonstrate when they’re hired?
It got me thinking. How does the top leader of our nation need to team? With who? In what circumstances? Like any job in the leadership of an organization, there are three key teaming relationships:
(a) The senior executive team. For the President, that includes the Cabinet, the heads of the branches of the military, and leadership of the Senate, House, and Supreme Court, at a minimum.
(b) The rest of the organization. That includes all of the rest of us, we ordinary citizens. We may not be on speed dial, but we do need to hear from our President on a regular basis, and at times of crisis.
(c) The people outside the organization. This includes just about everyone else on the planet, especially the leadership of countries outside ours.
That is a lot of teaming, and there is no vacation from it. Even when you do get a few hours or days away with your loved ones.
So what’s required? If you aren’t familiar with the metrics of Teamability, see https://www.thegabrielinstitute.com. We’re talking about Role, Coherence, and Teaming Characteristics.
Role: The next POTUS needs to be a Founder with a long term vision and the ability to inspire us to believe in it. A Founder will also respect other Founders – the heads of state of other countries. And if you think that isn’t important, remember that it’s much harder to go to war with someone you actually have a respectful relationship with. Bonus: A great Founder is likely to have a Communicator for a spouse, and isn’t that great for a FLOTUS. (What will they call the first woman president’s husband, I wonder. FHOTUS?)
Coherence: I can’t think of a more stressful job than being the leader of the free world. As Coherent as possible. Rigid may be ok for a hard driving business person, but demanding things be so will not make them that way.
Teaming Characteristics: I’ll just drop a few no-no’s here. For one, I want someone who is sensitive to how they are seen by others. Clueless is just not going to work, not at home and definitely not abroad. Anything that’s a red flag or serious caution is definitely a deal killer. And anything indicating any degree of unlikeableness is, in the end, going to present more challenges and the potential for risky foreign relations.
You may disagree with what I think is important and that’s fine. But please. Can we just agree that how our next President teams will be critical to our success as a nation?