Historically speaking, there is no connection between achievement in the business world and success in the Oval Office. However, the inverse has all the earmarks of being valid. Past Presidents with business foundations have been proved to be ineffective.
As a matter of fact, voters have turned a few of them out of office for ineffective execution of their presidential duties. The greatest president since 1900 is considered to be Harry Truman – a failed businessman if truth be told.
In the words of Bruce Miroff, a professor at the Albany State University of new York, “Historically, those people who have been in business have not done very well.” He said, “The people who have been our best presidents have mainly been the much-despised career politicians like FDR.”
CEOs of large, successful business houses have to be extremely skillful in certain areas like a high level of intelligence, knowledgeable, man-management, ability to effectively communicate with people, competitive and other necessary skills to be where they are.
However, it does not necessarily mean that they will make good presidents however much successful they may be as Corporate Heads. There are some significant differences in the job of the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S and a successful CEO.
The President faces day to day challenges that the CEO cannot comprehend, especially one with no political background; a president has to face situations that may drive a CEO crazy. However, it’s not a hard and fast rule that all successful CEOs will make bad presidents.
Somebody with a business background is used to being the boss who is accustomed to having the final word and putting his foot down on decisions he feels right about.
On the other hand, a president may not always have the final say in spite of being the leader of the greatest nation in the world. His workforce doesn’t work for him alone. Career civil servants are more concerned with what the Congress expects of them rather than the president. The simple reason behind this is the fact that the real and ultimate decider is the Congress where money matters are concerned.
One has to understand that the U.S. Presidency is more about politics and not just about business acumen. The dynamics of running a business does not come close to running a country.
When you are the president your success is measured in terms of meeting the claims of your campaign manifesto, which in Trump’s case include factors like The Tax Plan, Cutting Down Immigration, Plan to curtail Chinese Trade, Reviving the American economy, Foreign Policy and Terrorism, The Energy Plan, Scrapping Obamacare.
Whereas, as the CEO of a conglomerate, one’s primary focus is running a profitable organization – The CEO’s success or failure is gauged by his ability to make money for the organization. Revenue generation is the name of the game in business.
The government is not an entity that can be run on the lines of a company irrespective of the success the company may have achieved. While Trump may be a billionaire he has a history of many failed ventures in various businesses.
When one takes stock of all the great presidents the country has seen, you will not find a lot of business leaders on the list. Most have been lawyers or career politicians—21 were both.
A further disparity amongst business and political administration is that achievement in the former is constructed more in light of sober-mindedness while success at politics requires a logic or perspective.
According to Milton Friedman’s rather correct assessment, an entrepreneur holding a political office may enthusiastically support free markets, but in his own selfish interest may seek and lobby for somewhat extraordinary government subsidies or lighter control for his own organization.
Now, it remains to be seen whether the President-elect, Mr. Donald Trump’s business ventures becomes a liability for his presidency, or he becomes the first president-elect to defy the following conclusion by the Siena College Research Institute and the American Political Science Association.
It is left to all those who voted for Donald Trump to hope that during his tenure as Commander-in-Chief, he will be able to improve upon the above statistics.
He has done the unexpected by winning the election; he may surprise us one more time by going down in history as a high-ranking businessman turned president who has no political background whatsoever.