As a recruiter, I choose candidates based on experience, not personality. Eligibility, not popularity. Skills, not ‘feelings’.
Conservative Party members should do the same and vote for Rishi Sunak. They are selecting the CEO of UK plc and have a duty to select the candidate with the necessary experience for the challenges of the role. The challenge the country is facing now is an economic one; the skills required are financial.
That’s why I believe Rishi is the only qualified candidate.
The 200,000 Tory party members are UK plc board members; 67 million Britons are shareholders. Like all boards of directors, party members must act in the interests of shareholders, not in fostering personal relationships or in the pursuit of photogenicity.
We already know that personality politics and the television format of the leadership debate that feeds it don’t work. The Prime Minister’s first debate in 2010 led to Cleggmania, which was almost as short-lived as Nick Clegg’s popularity.
Compare that to Angela Merkel, who, despite having the charisma (and mannerisms) of a headmaster, has lasted 16 years as Germany’s Chancellor, longer than any UK Prime Minister in the past two hundred years.
One of the strengths of our parliamentary system is that, unlike the United States, for example, the electorate cannot – or should not be able – to vote for a reality TV star. The parliamentary process should work to create a shortlist of qualified candidates for long-term positions as Prime Minister, from which the British people can then choose.
MPs shouldn’t act like they’re voting for the winner of Love Island. The comment-driven format and hearings of TV leaders’ debates encourages them to do exactly that, but they have to hold on.
The difference between this appointment and corporate positions is that the shareholders – the British people – cannot rebel against the board if they fail their responsibilities. I believe their responsibility is to judge candidates based on their CVs, not their smiles.
That responsibility should lead them to Rishi as the only viable choice. Inflation, the cost of living crisis and soaring energy costs are the most critical challenges Britain faces today. None of the other candidates have the experience needed to deal with them.
This does not mean that Rishi is perfect. Some of his pandemic spending could have – in hindsight – been excessive (did he really need to offer everyone dinner?) And some of the optics that were launched by his team (photo of a toned chancellor in sweatshirt hooded and sipping coffee from a £ 180 mug) play both in the politics of personality to which he should be the antidote, and in the perception of him as rich and out of this world.
It is the latter accusation that could be more damaging. Rishi should be proud that both he and his in-laws have humble backgrounds. He is self-made and owes his success to talent and hard work, not privileges and nepotism. His wife was given 1% of the business her father co-founded and grew, long before it became a multi-billion dollar global enterprise.
We can hardly call Sunak an elitist for having a successful and hardworking father-in-law (by all accounts), any more than we would attack him as fiscally irresponsible if his father-in-law were a failure. The son will not tolerate the iniquity of the father – or the success of the father-in-law.
Rishi is the managing director that UK plc needs. She may not have the same basic popularity as the Tories or the iconic potential of some of the alternatives, but stardom isn’t a condition for leadership. Many countries, such as Germany, know this, as do many of the most successful companies in the world.
Steve Jobs was iconic, and still is. His successor, Tim Cook, is not. You probably wouldn’t recognize him if he passed you on the street. But Cook took Apple’s stock price from $ 357 in 2011 to $ 702 – nearly double – just a year later.
UK stocks are also falling now and need a similar hike. Cook would probably admit that he doesn’t have Jobs’ charisma. But he has his experience of him.
Perhaps the best thing about recruiting (or appointing a party leader and Prime Minister) based on experience is that it automatically protects against discrimination.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and former Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi were all born in India.
The corporate world knows that an experienced and skilled leader is more powerful than someone who “looks the part”. It is time for politics to learn this lesson as well.
I believe Britain is ready for a non-white Prime Minister if she has the right skills and experience. And Rishi does it.
Apple’s history shows why Rishi Sunak should be the next PM
Source link Apple’s history shows why Rishi Sunak should be the next PM