Wanted: Experienced executive to directly manage continental scale organization with very significant global assets ranging from law enforcement to scientific research to organizational defense. Executive must demonstrate competence in all of the following areas: Faithfully abide by and execute the organization’s laws; hire and when needed fire department managers; manage and grow organization’s standing against competitors worldwide, some of which foster longstanding policies of intent to destroy our organization; calibrate economic policy to foster growth in industry not directly controlled by organization; defend organization from all enemies, foreign and domestic; calibrate needs of the economy with stewardship of the environment; manage international relationships, which range from client states to strong allies to neutrals to mortal enemies, and some who pretend to be one but may actually be another; manage domestic relationships with members of executive’s allied club while tending to relationship with executive’s club’s opposite; communicate to the organization’s owners, of which there are approximately 307 million, in a manner that fosters optimism, pride, and belief in the organization’s long-term health and stability. And other duties as assigned, and as they arise, which often happens at 3 am and other inconvenient times not of the executive’s choosing. Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Location: While the executive will reside at quarters furnished by the organization in our capital, the responsibilities of the job will travel with the successful applicant for as long as he or she remains in the job. Salary: $400,000 annually, with a generous benefits and retirement package.
So, who wants the job? Or more importantly, who is qualified for it?
Let’s review a few resumes from a slate of applicants currently seeking the job.
Applicant One: Logical and organized, founder and former executive of investment capital group that boasted a 70% success rate. Stepped into crisis at Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 and turned what appeared to be a sure disaster into a great success. Governed 14th most populous state, with decidedly mixed results: Raised taxes, which tends to harm the economy, and instituted a health care program that mandates individuals purchase insurance. Program was intended to lower health insurance costs, but has not achieved that goal as costs have continued to increase. Program also infringes on individual liberties, a violation of one of the applicant’s primary duties. Appointed questionable figures to positions of power. Strong communication skills, no matter which side of a question he happens to weigh in on strongly at the moment.
Based on the above, applicant is Qualified. But will bear monitoring if placed in the job, as he may take the organization in unexpected directions.
Applicant Two: Currently elected to Congress. Has two points on executive experience, but not of large organizations. Has run successful family medical practice. Has also published low circulation newsletter that he now claims he did not manage closely despite the fact that it was published under his name and he controlled all staffing. That claim may be related to the fact that said newsletter engaged in racist rhetoric and conspiracy theories. High voiced but passionate, and inspires a passionate following. Questionable understanding of organization’s recent history.
Based on the above, applicant is Not Qualified due to lack of experience managing large organizations, and suspect judgement in other areas.
Applicant Three: Former congressman and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Led his party to capture Congress for the first time in a generation, then led successful effort to balance budget and reform welfare. Has founded and managed several Washington-based think-tanks, some of which proffered policies he now disowns. Served as “historian” to troubled housing lender. Troubled personal life, appears in job interview to be mercurial in temperament.
Based on the above, applicant is Qualified, but will need to be watched carefully in the job. May not play well with others.
Applicant Four: Former two-term governor of medium sized state. Successful business leader. Former ambassador to China. Despite these qualifications, appears more focused on being “cool” and “hip” and insulting the voters than running a campaign focused on his accomplishments and plans. Fair communications skills, but questionable judgement on priorities.
Based on the above, applicant meets the minimum standards of executive experience and is therefore Qualified. But a little odd, and may be applying for the job just to fill up his free time.