Have you ever wondered what traits of a respected and accomplished president of the United States should be? An array of affiliated education, wealth, and a long political career is not the only aspects to be considered.
A president’s role is the most complicated and the largest in determining the country’s future. Initially, the president’s role was limited and weaker as designed by the constitutional republic form of government. However, over the course of 250 years of American history, it has dramatically evolved in a way the founders would have never foreseen.
With such massive evolution of the role, is it simple to perform the job effectively? Read below the 10 things the President should do to maximize their chances of success.
10 Things the President should Do
So considering the enormous responsibilities associated with the chief executive role in the United States, the following are the 10 approaches by which a new president should take on the role to restore their nation’s trust.
1. Recognize your role as an impartial President of the States
Regardless of the fact that only around half the voters voted in your favor, you are everyone’s president once you enter the role. A president should abandon affiliations and partisan activities as it would be a good initiative to build trust and report with all parties.
Your nation expects transparency and impartiality from you as their leader; you must live up to their expectations without necessarily changing your views.
2. Look at the bigger picture and stay determined and focused
Prioritize your work, and do not lose focus on the end goal. Fulfilling the presidential office is a strategic task and requires reasonable decisions as it will impact the country in the coming years. Many initiatives may not prove to be fruitful on the spot, but with dogged focus and utmost determination, you will achieve what you have been working towards.
A new president should 3 to 5 key initiatives to narrow their scope for focus and ignore the rest [except for national emergencies, of course].
3. Maintain positive relationships with Key Stakeholders
As a president of the United States, your key stakeholders comprise the American people, Federal government employees, and Congress. You should maintain positive relations with each group, entertaining their interests, or else you will have to forgo success. Not to mention, the job will demand constant trade-offs among the three groups.
4. Refrain from going against the Constitution
As a President, you must take your oath to the Constitution solemnly. Remember that Barak Obama faced the biggest defeat by losing 44 cases by a unanimous vote in the Supreme Court. So if you are at 9-0 in the Supreme Court, know that you are going against the constitution. Each time you stand up for something unconstitutional, your influence with stakeholders will be negatively impacted.
5. Engage Constructively with stakeholders and listen to local concerns
As a leader, it is imperative that you directly engage your constituents to address concerns. There are abundant ways to do so. For instance, you can onboard all the senators and representatives and fly to a state capital.
Reserve Friday night for a formal dinner and raise funds for locals. Saturday could be an informal meetup over a barbecue with their families to listen to local concerns and learn how your presidency affects people’s lives.
6. Start with passing small bills than bigger ones that have low chances of approval
You need to create momentum by passing small bills that your stakeholders support so you can make your way through Congress, which is known for having the worst approval rating. Once you build up momentum, you can prepare for bigger bills.
7. Choose competence over loyalty when staffing
Don’t let the loyal cloud your judgment. When it comes to filling up positions in the White House, make sure you go for tactical doers. Don’t let this slip from your mind at any moment that you are going to manage one of the largest economies in the world. After the election, you will have a short time to fill out 5,000 vacancies, with at least 2000 approved by the Senate.
You must choose competence over loyalty. You can’t afford to have loyals only by your side who have a biased view on every matter. Because, at the end of the day, it’s about getting the jobs done effectively, despite disagreements in core beliefs.
8. Communicate often and stay transparent
Rather than appearing for staged events to address Washington Corp Press and a handful of representatives, communicate weekly on the key issues that could be broadcast over the internet. A half-an-hour (30-minute) presentation on your identified 3 to 5 top priorities would be enough.
Communicate frequently with full transparency to change the nation’s behaviors and make an impact. Lastly, don’t let the urgent take over the important issues.
9. Remember that four years is not enough to change the world
There is no time for delay. The sense of urgency should be there to act from day one. You can achieve early success by focusing on these two stakeholders: the American people and federal government employees. Build momentum with the nation to support your ideas, so they eventually pressure Congress to deliver. Ensure you have appointed the right people to lead the departments to accelerate your agenda quickly. Let the Congress progress at its pace and focus on the rest of the stakeholders.
10. Be an effective President and run for re-election
While incumbents can be challenging to defeat, especially with higher approval ratings, it is not impossible to do. If the American people see you as an effective leader, your chances are higher to re-elect.
Do’s and Don’ts a President must know
If luck is on your side and you have been chosen for one of the toughest jobs in the world, you must know these do’s and don’ts to maintain discipline.
A president can do the following:
- Veto bills and approve bills
- Make treaties with Senate’s approval
- Enforce laws and regulations that Congress passes
- Represent the nation in discussions with foreign countries
- Lead as Commander-in-chief during wars
- Command the forces while the nation is being attacked
- Lead political party
- Offer suggestions for new laws
- Entertain foreign guests
- Grant pardons
- Address the public directly
- Represent the best interests of the nation
- Nominate ambassadors
- Appoint Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet members’ and other high officials.
A President Cannot do the following
- Declare war
- Make laws
- Interpet laws
- Decide the spending of the federal budget
- Appoint high official positions without Senate approval
8 Casual Things that US Presidents are NOT allowed to do:
Since the President represents the country and is viewed as an influential entity, here are some everyday things that s US presidents are not allowed to do:
Have a casual phone call with friends:
“The Secret Service goes to great lengths to plan, coordinate and secure all of the president’s activities. For example, talking to a friend over the phone or video chat can only be done on a secured line,” says Homeland Security professor Matt Pinsker from Virginia Commonwealth University.
2. Go to Movie Nights:
While once in a while shouldn’t be a big deal, US presidents cannot go to random movie nights to cinemas; as Pinsker says, “Going to the movies is generally not an option,” adding, “They have to bring a film to the White House.”
3. Go out on dinners without prior notice:
A President cannot eat outside at any restaurant without notifying the Secret Service and an official food taster tasting the food for the potential threat of poisoning. “Going out to dinner can be done, but the Secret Service will need sufficient notice ahead of time so that they will be able to secure the restaurant,” Pinsker says.
The President can only ride in a secure vehicle driven by an official driver trained for emergency situations. So “Driving is definitely not an option,” says Pinsker personal properties, and other safe locations like Camp David are exceptions.
5. Attend their Children’s events
“Attending a child or grandchild’s dance recital [such as the one pictured of Chelsea Clinton performing in The Nutcracker] or sporting event would involve such extensive security preparations for other attendees and participants that it’s essentially out of the question,” explained Dr. Jim Ronan, author, and professor of political science at Villanova University
6. Use personal gadgets unmonitored:
After taking up the charge, a US president must abandon his/her personal device. Once, “I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years. Only use government-approved and issued phones,” Trump Tweeted after officials protested that he uses his personal device to make calls.
7. Use Commercial Airlines:
Of course, due to security concerns, a President cannot take a commercial flight. Cybersecurity instructor for SecureSet, Dr Karla Mastracchio, says this is one of the few ‘normal things’ that a US President cannot absolutely go for.
8. Open their House windows
While it may sound insignificant and unnecessary, Presidents are not allowed to open their windows. While talking to Stephen Colbert, Michelle Obama once said, “I want to do little things like, you know, open a window,” as her husband embarks on the end of his Presidency.
It is easy to comment on what a president should and should not do while sipping coffee at home. In fact, this is a favorite pastime for most Americans. Being a potential candidate for the role, one can learn from previous presidents’ mistakes.
Lastly, these 10 actions discussed in this guide would go a long way toward gaining the American people’s trust and building effective political relationships with all parties involved.