The Difficult Road
It is far better to have a president (or a CEO) who is willing to admit a mistake and change direction than to stubbornly continue on a failed course. It is, however, much easier for the CEO, who must answer only to a small board and to shareholders, and whose failures are plain to see in his company's stock prices.
A president's policies are not only far more public, but are usually more ideological in nature and often result from campaign promises. In addition, of course, it is far more difficult to judge whether these policies are in fact failures. They also retain large constituencies to a far greater extent than do losing corporate strategies. Moreover, the secondary and unintended consequences are almost certain to be profound. In Afghanistan, for example, they are likely to include encouraging an immense increase in terrorist recruitment, a major loss in U.S. prestige, and a loss of confidence in American resolve on the part of our friends. It is far more likely that the net losses will be greater than the short-term gains in the international realm than such a reversal would be in the corporate world.
Nevertheless, if a policy is not working and will not work, a president, like a CEO, must act decisively, explain his decision clearly and move on. Few have ever been willing to do so.
Posted by: Samson151 | September 22, 2009 11:20 AM
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