As a fairly well-educated business person, I eagerly anticipated how America would be run by its first MBA President. Bush had a solid background of running successful business ventures, and he brought in even MORE impressive and successful former CEOs as some of his most trusted and depended-upon cabinet members. He also turned to the military and academia (though not scientific academia) to round out his cabinet. Women, minorities - it looked too good to be true! And very little croneyism, to boot. As it turned out, however, I'm not so sure that the CEO mentality is an effective one for the leadership of a democracy. CEOs call the shots and answer to no one (except the Board of Directors, who are frequently in awe of or at least stay out of the way of the CEO, as long as he/she delivers bottom-line growth and profitability - by any means necessary, I hasten to add). It was very apparent from the outset of Bush's team's diplomatic dealings that former CEOs Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were used to dealing with situations as they and they alone saw fit, considering themselves above the diplomatic (and democratic) fray, and striving to deliver results by using any bullying, threatening, secretive, less-than-truthful means necessary. The most striking parallel I see to the big company CEO mentality and that of both Cheney and Rumsfeld is the reliance on secrecy and bullying (of other nations, of subordinates, of the press) - no one needs to know anything and you will do as I tell you, no discussion or debate required, as long as the job gets done. But that's not the best policy in democratic leadership, because people DO care how goals are accomplished and how objectives are achieved (or not). And beyond simply caring, they prefer - no, demand - to have a say in the means employed. I stand corrected on my longing for a CEO President, because many of the core Machiavellian qualities that are often so important to success as a CEO are completely at odds with what is required of leadership in a democracy. What's the best preparation for maximizing the possibility of successful White House leadership? Perhaps Obama has stated it most accurately when he said that there IS no such thing as being ready to be President, or words to that effect. One must use all of their life's experiences and training and mental faculties and social strengths, play by the rules as written by our forefathers, try to make some friends and influence some people, and make the best of either bad or worse situations. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?