Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Presidential Options

With the come of election day, I want to again offer a word of perspective. As a follower of Jesus Christ, my vote was not cast on a whim, but rather based on deeply held convictions. At the same time, I must make it clear that my wagon of hope was not and is not hitched to these two or any other presidential candidates. Only a fool would put so much stock in mere men.

I also have to say that I have found it difficult to be faced with these two men as the only real choices. I respect John McCain's service and Barack Obama's political skill, but from a leadership stand point I have a real issue with both. Senators, by the necessity of their role, are compromisers; they work to build consensus to get things done. This is drastically different from Executives, who are given the responsibility to make the right decision no matter the resistance. For this reason, I just want to put forward a few last minute write-ins for the 2008 election. (In no particular order.)

1. Howard Schultz-the CEO and Chairman of Starbucks led the Seattle coffee shop to international exposure. It was not until his hiatus from the CEO position that the company overextended itself, leading to sigificant drop in stock prices. With Schultz's return to the helm, he has made the humbling decision to close some stores in order get the company back on track.

2. Carly Fiorina- the former CEO and Chairman of Hewlett-Packard successfully led a dramatic rebuilding effort at HP, including a highly controversial merger with Compaq. While her dismissal from HP was less than gracious, she has taken the high road when discussing those involved. Though she was polarizing at HP, particularly among the establishment, she has a proven track record at getting things done.

3. Colleen Barrett-the former President of Southwest Airlines began with the company in 1971 as a secretary before moving up the executive level. While all the other airlines struggled to avoid filing for bankruptcy, Southwest grew from an in-state commuter airline to become the most profitable airline in the nation. Barrett's pragmatism and down-to-earth demeanor greatly influenced Southwest's unexpected success.
So, which of these would you like to vote for?