In this day and age, I cannot fathom why anyone would want to be President of the United States. For a paltry $400k a year, you become the leader of the free world! Sure, you’ll make big bucks after your presidency with your best-selling memoir and speech tour at $100k a pop. But at what cost? These days, you have to have a squeeky clean reputation, with every word and faux pas viewed and reviewed, with each position documented ad nauseam. And look at the premature gray hair! It’s impossible to live up to modern-day citizen expectations. You’d have to be a saint.
And don’t you dare “flip flop” – change your position about a specific issue along the road to the White House. I think it’s nuts to assume we should have the same outlook and opinions on things when we are 30 years old as when we are 50 years old. Stuff happens. The economy tanks. Banks get a bailout (gee, I wish someone would bail me out too!). The public has even MORE access to real-time information.
In my experience as a professional facilitator and consultant, wise leaders are willing to change their minds – based on new information, a change in the landscape, context or assumptions. I am not talking about a willy-nilly change of opinion, but well-thought out reasons why accompanied with an explanation that appeals to the logic and the emotion of that decision.
Perhaps saints are omniscient, but leaders of the free world, of companies, and small, discreet teams are not. They are human. They make the best decisions based on the information available at the time. Don’t feel like you have to stick with a decision when you know the circumstances have changed. The key is to share what those circumstances are.