10 Things That Make a Bad Politician

What makes a CEO the worst? It could be anything from a tumbling stock price to taking laps around the conference table in pursuit of comely summer interns.

The Slant thinks Ron Johnson of JC Penney (reader alert: note the industry) was the worst of all because of a sharp decline in same store sales coupled with a $53 million pay packet. Ron Mason of Groupon finished second for sitting atop a bubble fueled by stupid investors who bought in to a stupid idea, though excessive profit predictions and dodgy accounting also played a role.

BusinessWeek liked Brian Dunn of Best Buy (could retailing itself be a problem?), Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy (more accounting shenanigans), and Andrea Jung of Avon for booting a deal with Coty.

The Motley Fool at least has the good grace to lead with the question of what makes a CEO best or worst. We are then guided here, which seems to devote its entire time to compiling lists (I am definitely out of step with them). Thank heaven for the proprietary "Business Value Enhancement Matrix," which permits Chiefist to make comparisons across industries that might be encountering differing head or tail winds. The BVEM spat out Michael Laphen of Computer Sciences, Louis D’Ambrosio of Sears (I am really seeing a problem in retailing now), Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Gary Kelly of Southwest Airlines and James Gorman of Morgan Stanley as its top five.

How does Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook escape notice? That hoodie he wears must make him invisible.

How can I add to these? Can’t so, when all else fails, change the question. It worked for college exams and there is no reason it should not work here too. Here we go.

Which political leaders – essentially CEO’s of governments – have performed worst in 2012?

Bad performance can be achieved in many ways, but here are some examples:  

1) Placing your personal interest (re-election counts) ahead of your obligation to your country;

2) Placing your party’s interest ahead of its obligation to its country;

3) Placing personal or party fund raising interests ahead of obligation to country;

4) Taking bribes whether for deposit in offshore accounts or to support campaigns;

5) Trying not to solve problems because having the problems benefits you personally or your party more than fixing them;

6) Party loyalty when you know it to be wrong;

7) Killing your own people;

8) Making impossible promises to voters;

9) Running your country into the ground because the crash won’t happen on your watch;

10) Refusing to recognize the legitimacy of differing points of view.

There you are: 10 measures of bad performance.