“Everybody has accepted by now that change is unavoidable. But that still implies that change is like death and taxes — it should be postponed as long as possible and no change would be vastly preferable. But in a period of upheaval, such as the one we are living in, change is the norm.”
– Peter Drucker, Management Challenges for the 21st Century (1999)
The ballots are tallied, and a new president has been elected. As expected, roughly half of America is pleased with the result, and the other half is disappointed. In fact, the popular vote tally (as of 6:00am MDT) is essentially evenly split, with less than 140,000 votes separating Trump and Clinton.
Regardless of our emotions this morning, one thing is clear: America has spoken loudly that “more of the same” is not what we are looking for. An extreme anti-establishment platform won the day, reflecting the mood of the American people. Change is in our future, if not as a direct result of this presidency, then certainly through the overwhelming will of the people.
As all of us in the business world know, change is never easy. With the election over and the campaign rhetoric (hopefully) fading into the background, the real work is about to begin. The objective is to build a stronger America, restore growth to our economy, protect us from threats to our safety, and meaningfully address the difficult challenges we face with Social Security, Medicare, education, healthcare and the environment not in a way meant to enflame emotions and generate votes, but through a firm, logical and prudent process keeping the end goal of a stronger America and a better world squarely in sight.
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan
Our president and congress will be called upon to deliver something they have been remiss in delivering in recent memory: Leadership. As we enter this new presidency, we will know we have a great leader when the administration shuns strong-arm tactics, executive orders, and isolationism and proves their ability to lead by surrounding themselves with a highly competent cabinet, and engages congress in a way that reflects not only the will of the people, but brings together the best minds in the country to reach the best conclusions for our future.
In the closing days of her campaign, Hillary Clinton called for unity following the election, referencing Abraham Lincoln’s quote from 1858, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Regardless of our personal emotions following this election, it is time to come together and work for a better America.
“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy