I’m wondering if we should raise the minimum age to serve as President of the United States from 35 to around 55 or 60.
Okay, I’m kidding. Or maybe not.
Bill Clinton today
After watching a couple of recent Commencement speeches by former President Clinton (including one at the online Walden University, linked above), I find myself wishing that the Bill Clinton of today was in the White House.
He’s still the charmer, but more importantly he’s wiser and more comfortable in his own skin than the younger, ambitious man who served as President from 1992 to 2000.
I’m sure if he became President today, I wouldn’t be in full agreement with his positions. But I’d have a lot more faith that his decisions and policy stances were grounded in experience, wisdom, and understanding — including mistakes he’s made and what he’s learned from them.
Our obsession with youth
Our societal obsession with youth and youthfulness has extended into the leaders we seek, and that’s rarely a good thing.
All too often we elevate talented, promising people to high-level leadership positions before they are ready, or at least before they possess the experience and emotional intelligence to fulfill their considerable promise. (I put our current President in that category.)
School of Life
The School of Life is a valuable teacher. That’s why when it comes to leadership positions, in most cases I’ll opt for a talented, energetic, albeit weathered veteran over a shiny ingenue or a hyper-confident rookie.
Going with an untested leader is a crapshoot, plain and simple. Sometimes it works out well, but I’m convinced that — other things being relatively equal — we’ll get better results with more seasoned people at the helm.