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McCain & Welch have 'guts.' Clinton is a Gerstner! Who is Obama?

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Earlier this week, Found|READ contributor Jeremy Garlington sent us a fun post of Prez Candidate-CEO Pairings. A leadership consultant based in Atlanta, Jeremy made some quick assessments of the good and not-so-good characteristics of the various politicos, and lined up each one of them with a CEO-sibling. For example:

Mitt Romney talks endlessly about “his experience in the private sector” and “changing Washington.” We would suggest pairing him with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who despite popularity and innovation talk, has led during an era when the company’s equity has remained virtually flat.

Garlington marries John McCain to Jack Welch, which we agree with, but not for the reasons he offers… “their views seem to strengthen and resonate with time.” McCain can only hope so.

These two are alike in one way: Welch promotes managing “from the Gut.” McCain clearly does it — not always to his benefit. (Romantic as it sounds, I’ve never bought the notion that Welch ran GE with so much gut-driven whimsy as he protests in his book.)

We whole heartedly concur with his assessment of John Edwards, a political opportunist (not necessarily a bad thing) whose business equivalent is a Wall Street momentum trader:

…the quintessential hedge fund trader turned Huck Finn who made all his profits during the last market turn and has simply been re-investing since then.

The question is whether Edwards’ market-timing is any good in this cycle.

At first Jeremy paired Hillary Clinton with Carly Fiorina. Way too obvious! Both are tough women who bristle under criticism and, for all the proof in their skills and accomplishments, still aren’t well-liked.

But after her turnaround in New Hampshire, Jeremy pegs Clinton closer to IBM’s Lou Gerstner, “the last notable guy who actually turned a large corporation around.”

Jeremy forgot him, but Bloomberg is Bloomberg, of course.

Which begs the question: Who is Obama’s alter-ego in business? Jeremy doesn’t take this one on either. But a few of my colleagues have — and they’re not in agreement.

Who is Obama?

* Tony: “He’s Jobs! He’s inspiring and he represents innovation.”
* Mike: “He’s a dotcom. Take your pick:, a social network. Whatever, he’s a [political] bubble.”

So, what do you think?

Check out Jeremy’s original post , Can We Have This Dance? on his blog, The Garlington Report.

Photo credits:
Sen. Clinton: Liberty Just in Case
Sen. McCain: The Washington Note
Mr. Welch: Business Innovation Insider
Ms. Fiorina: IT Jungle

2 Responses to “McCain & Welch have 'guts.' Clinton is a Gerstner! Who is Obama?”

  1. Best feedback so far: “On Obama, I’d let go of race as a key identifier. He’s more the super-presentable young optimist. A Young Presidents Organization (YPO) kind of guy. Marc Andreessen, the Netscape founder gets close.”

    And for the record, Bloomberg isn’t a candidate yet. At least he wasn’t at the time of the original pairing.

    New Yorkers may love him, and it’s hard not to based on what he’s done following his predecessor.

    Image-wise, though, it’s another story. Think Mr. Burns from the Simpsons for lack of a better “more serious business” CEO pairing.