Candid thoughts on a challenging mission
I was having candid thoughts the other day…
Last Wednesday, I was cycling down a track not far from Lavandou. On the way up was Nicolas Sarkozy, former French President. During the rest of the ride, I wondered how difficult the job of being President was. What if France was a company or a startup, something that Emmanuel Macron seemed to believe and act upon…
As a President, you inherit from a country covered in debt, administratively cluttered, with tensions everywhere. You are doomed to keep investing money you don’t have with a budget that doesn’t fit. The pool of talent from which you can hire isn’t great. The package isn’t really interesting, the jobs are stressful, and the ability of your team to hire, lead, and manage isn’t outstanding, as they don’t have the experience or the training for it. The people running the administration and the country are a lot more committed to their rights than their duties, and whenever they are pushed to deliver more, they go on strike. Groups of people are fighting against each other under the democratic fallacy that everything should be discussed intensively, just because it’s what differentiates a democracy from a dictatorship if we had to take extremes. People aren’t accountable for the noise they create, for the lack of efficiency in their actions, for the lies they tell, and for the absence of results. On top of that, as a President, you are asked to deal with the mess of the outside world, and you lose focus through all the things you must attend to, even though they are a zero on the scale of helpfulness for the country. Lobbies are pushing hard on the door of all your people for them to act in their favor. The job is for five years, maybe ten, and you must deliver immediate results as well as launch long-term programs that hopefully won’t get canceled by the next administration in place.
This is just a very short summary. How crazy is that?
Because the situation is complex, no one could think of a great plan to turn that thing around, simply or quickly, but if we must think on a large scale, I wondered what the first principles of a country like France would be. The objective is to be attractive, competitive, and profitable. On the principles, I thought that it must have a positive impact on a clear group of people without creating an opposite effect somewhere else, it must be simple and straightforward to understand and implement, as much as possible, and it must be properly measured with clear accountability.
France has everything to be attractive. The country is gorgeous, people are inherently talented, and our geographic situation is perfect. But whom do we want to attract? Tourists, Investors, Companies. How do we get competitive while being profitable and attracting them even more at an even larger scale?
France could be competitive. We have nuclear energy (hahahahahahahahaha I can’t wait for the haters to show up…), we are killing it in artificial intelligence, we have industrial history, we have an incredible agriculture sector as well, and our education was historically one of the strongest (see how a fixed mindset can slowly but surely destroy something that once was so powerful…).
France could be profitable. Well, honestly I don’t know, but I like how everything is being automated with the administration, and I am sure that at some point we will be able to save billions of Euros lost in system abuse and fraud, I am actually wondering how much it all accounts for…
Those are all trivial and candid thoughts, but sometimes I wonder why the world is poised with so many political intricacies, amplified by media putting oil on fire. What would be the most courageous, ambitious things that a French president could do…?