Can CEOs Solve the Brexit Blunder?
With the twists and turns of the political landscape, providing an opener for the dramas to come in Westminster in 2019, it came as no surprise that Ipsos Mori’s annual ranking of the most and least trusted professions placed politicians at the bottom of the list.
However, multimillionaire entrepreneur turned investor and author of ‘Unsexy Business‘, Jamie Waller, believes the country’s business leaders hold the key and have the necessary skills to negotiate a better deal for Britain.
It is gravely concerning that during a year this seminal for the UK politically and historically, the level of trust in the people responsible for making decisions that affect every aspect of our lives is so low.
Uncertainty surrounding Brexit and what it means for the country has led to back stabbing within both parties, which is not helping the public image of politics. So are there a group of people better for the job? I honestly believe that business leaders have a place in politics. Any business leader worth their salt will follow politics and current affairs closely as decisions being made at the seat of power impact their future success.
Whilst following politics and current affairs alone is not enough, having the acumen of how political rhetoric actually impacts the workforce could be an invaluable skill in a leader.
But what about Trump? At first glance he is the antithesis to there being a place for business leaders in politics. However, there are key lessons to be learnt from his position of power. Trump is proof that unfortunately, by the time business leaders consider a political career, they are often too long in the tooth to truly relate to the needs and wants of society.
The young (the very people political parties want to convince) don’t connect to old overweight rich blokes. They want to be inspired by people they can relate to.
In the UK we have the same issue as the US. Turn on any news channel and you get Lord Sugar or Charlie Mullins from Pimlico Plumbers shouting their political opinions from the rooftops, or even worse in Mullins’s case, what he would do as London Mayor. If Mullins is the best the business world can produce for London Mayor, we are in a worse position than the US. I am not being cruel towards Charlie (I interviewed him for my latest book) but any person who drives around in a double decker bus with signs saying “Bollocks to Brexit” is no better than the bright orange guy in the red cap that spells out “Make America Great Again”. Both are out of touch with reality and what the wide demographic of the public really want.
What can we do to make a difference? We need to break the ‘old boys club’ image politics has, so it feels like an accessible career option to the everyday person. Can you imagine using the skills of some of the best NHS consultants, teachers, and entrepreneurs if they changed careers and became politicians? In their peak career moments, making a decision that their knowledge and expertise would be better used helping to run the country. That would be truly amazing.
We still want to see career politicians – that dedication and commitment should not be lost. Support from everyday people however would add so much value.
Who knows, this might be the time for changes and maybe in a generation or so politicians will move up the list of trusted professions.