And they’re off and running!
Whew, the 2016 presidential campaign is shaping up to be quite a horse race, isn’t it? When I look at the crowded field of candidates, one thing that puzzles me is the large number of front-runners with no experience whatsoever in elected or appointed public office. None.
Yes, I understand that a significant percentage of registered voters are tired of the status quo. They want a fresh start; new ideas; a revolutionary approach to governing. Okay, I get that.
Original ideas are great. But does experience count for nothing at all?
What if this mindset was applied to other industries? Should a construction company hire a crane operator who has never before operated a crane?
How about in the business world – is it better to be a grizzled veteran, or a fresh-faced kid right out of school?
Speaking as a slightly grizzled veteran myself, I tend to believe that experience is important (naturally). When you’re faced with a new project at work, it helps to have some prior experience with similar tasks, increasing the likelihood that you’ll reach a successful conclusion more quickly.
But I have to admit that sometimes our experiences can lead us to make assumptions based on past occurrences. As a result, we discount ideas out of hand because they didn’t work last time, or simply because “this is the way we’ve always done it”.
The more experience I gain, the more I learn that I should challenge my own assumptions.
In order to develop a fresh perspective on each project, it’s important to start with a clean slate and an open mind… you never know where it will lead you. Just be careful it doesn’t lead you on a wild goose chase. That’s where the wisdom gained through experience comes in!