What makes someone “presidential”? It’s a fair and particularly timely question.
I’ll spare you the Webster definition. Aside from the fact that it’s a lazy way into any piece of writing, it’s just not particularly interesting.
I’m going to posit my own interpretation because while I do not want Carolyn running for the nation’s highest office (I really like her in the job she’s doing now), I do think in her presidency of precisioneffect, she exemplifies those traits that we expect to see in our leaders.
She has vision. She knows that today’s success is not the end point, but the foundation for a greater, more expansive way that the agency can aid clients in advancing medicine and the critical education and communications that further it.
She listens and learns. She’s exceptionally smart and a ferociously quick study, but she never assumes she has all the answers. She appreciates a well-crafted, data-supported argument. She also considers concerns of a softer, more emotional bent. When she changes her mind, her mind has changed and she moves forward with a new, broader POV.
She hires great people. Ok, she didn’t actually hire me. But in a brilliant move, she’s kept me on. And she knows the value in bringing together the broad range of thinkers, artists, builders, and mixed nuts that make precisioneffect a unique agency.
She’s fiscally responsible. She runs the numbers in the steam on her shower door. She thinks big, but also thinks down to the gnat’s hindquarters. What’s more, she’s consistently teaching all of us to invest in the business wisely.
She plays nice. Always. If we lose a pitch, Carolyn still cheers for the company to bring their product to market. She stays friends with those she’s fired; she makes a point of networking with other agency presidents.
It’s a simple 5-point checklist by which to judge current and future holders of office. I offer it up.
The fact is, Carolyn can’t run for president: she’s foreign born (British, I’ve seen her passport though not her birth certificate). And fortunately for us, there are no term limits at the agency.
Happy (precisioneffect) President’s Day!