In case you missed it! President Elect Donald Trump met with Barack Obama yesterday, to kick off the transition of the presidency in the USA.
They talked for over an hour about the challenges of office for the most powerful nation on earth. Trump will be inaugurated as 45th President on 20th January 2017.
One of these men has run the country for 8 years, has been in politics, law and social movements for all of his adult life.
Barack Hussein Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School between 1992 and 2004. While serving three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, he ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for the United States House of Representatives in 2000. Source
The other is a billionaire property developer.
Donald John Trump is New York born and bred. He has Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1971 he was given control of his father’s property and construction firm and later renamed it The Trump Organization. He has owned Pageant Competitions and he hosted and co-produced “The Apprentice” a reality television series on NBC from 2004 to 2015. Yes, he was there first, before Alan Sugar. He went for the Reform Party presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began. In 2016, he was listed by Forbes as the 324th wealthiest person in the world, and 156th in the United States, with a net worth of $3.7 billion. Source
But did Obama and other presidents run the USA better than Trump will?
Amongst the celebrations and protests of Americans about the politics of his election, there is the big big question of his competency to run the country.
In the world of ISO Standards, the concept of competency is defined as being,
“on the basis of appropriate education, training or experience”
Competence can be obtained through,
“taking actions to acquire the necessary competence”
where these actions might,
“include the provision of training to, the mentoring of, or the re-assignment of currently employed persons; or the hiring or contracting of competent persons”
There is no doubt that one of these men had the political experience when entering the Oval Office. The other does not. One has experience of running successful large organisations, the other did not.
But what both have, to a greater or lesser degree, is the intellect to take action in surrounding themselves with the people who do have the skills to supplement or replace their own competency needs.
For example, Vice President Elect Mike Pence has been in politics for 15 years as member of Congress and latterly Governor of Indiana. In essence, Trump has hired in competence in Washington DC politics, an absolute need. Other such appointments will of course follow.
The success or failure of their overall tenures will be measured by others over time, but for Trump, his competence will be measured in part by the decisions which he makes now about his support team.
The message for business is pretty clear. If you don’t have the competence yourself, get it through education, training or experience; or surround yourself with those who do.