Research, analysis, and thought leadership for enterprise communications.

Our Next President

by in Telecom

No matter which candidate we elect, we’re going to get an old geezer. Trump would be the oldest president ever elected, as would Bernie Sanders. Hillary misses that claim to fame by just a few months. She’s the youngest of the bunch and her youthfulness is only in our ancient memories.

Sadly, none of this trio can explain the difference between a thin client and a thick client. None really can describe how apps in the cloud work. I don’t think any of them can use a computer except for an email…and even then they need help.

How are these “leaders” (and I use this term as a title rather than to imply they are fit to lead) going to understand Net Neutrality? How are they going to understand the implications of encryption back doors and how privacy protects freedom of speech? Can a person who doesn’t know how to make a word be bold in HTML (or perhaps even in their own word processor) really lead our country into the future?

Apple has said that they manufacture in China because there just aren’t the skills here in America. This skill gap may exist in our country’s leadership.

I have met or been closely involved with some of China’s top leaders and a few US and state congressmen/women’s national my long career. What I have found most distinctive between the two is that the Chinese leaders are engineers with analytical skills while Us’s leaders are lawyers and political scientists. US leaders think about how to manipulate the situation while Chinese leaders analyze with numbers.

I’m uncertain that the president of AT&T could explain the basic concepts of how a router works. I can guarantee you that the president of China Telcom can. Heck, he can probably sit down and configure the thing.

The old Bell System had leaders who knew the business. They all had installed phones and been in the field. Any executive of any of the Bell Companies could tell you what color wire was tip (Green) and what color was Ring (Red).

I don’t think our government or corporate leaders would be able to explain the difference between VOIP and circuit switched, or between HTML and BASIC, or between PVC and ABS, or between post-consumer recycled paper and ordinary recycled paper.

Leadership has become game theory socio political manipulation here in the US.

For this reason I don’t give PowerPoint presentations. I still use printed handouts set in 12 point type. My handouts have some substance in them.


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Colin Berkshire is a highly technical HR executive in the Pulp and Paper Industry. Colin has an engineering and voice background, and is currently on assignment in Asia. NOTE: Colin does not respond to comments, and does not Tweet.