One Thought Re: Leader Selection On Election Day
What quality should the President of the French Republic – and every manager – have?
These days, Peter Thiel is giving a series of lectures to students of the Department of Computer Science of Stanford University. Thanks to the blog of Blake Masters, one of the students (and to the magic of the Internet), we can read notes summarizing the main points of these lectures.
Peter Thiel was one of the co-founders of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook. A multidisciplinary genius, billionaire, libertarian and visionary, he is, at 44, one of the most respected figures of Silicon Valley.
The first words of his first lecture were to emphasize the gap in our knowledge of our world:
“We might describe our world as having retail sanity, but wholesale madness. Details are well understood; the big picture remains unclear. A fundamental challenge—in business as in life—is to integrate the micro and macro such that all things make sense.
Humanities majors may well learn a great deal about the world. But they don’t really learn career skills through their studies. Engineering majors, conversely, learn in great technical detail. But they might not learn why, how, or where they should apply their skills in the workforce. The best students, workers, and thinkers will integrate these questions into a cohesive narrative. This course aims to facilitate that process.”
I think that this ability to develop an overarching vision and supervise the details should define the future French President – he should have an attractive vision for the world and for France but he should also produce daily results – and, more broadly, every manager.
But, unlike your manager, you can choose our President.