Before you read further, this is not meant to be partisan in anyway. That said, here goes.
The subject of computer literacy has come up in the Presidential Campaign, specifically the perceived lack of computer skills by Senator John McCain.
Senator McCain admits that he’s not the most computer-savvy person in the world, and the opposition has been quick to pounce on it. So have late night comedians.
I have mixed thoughts on this. I’m in the computer-literacy business. It’s why you see me on TV asking you to “Try my product®.” The Boomer generation, according to statistics by the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that just 35 percent of people over 65 use a computer on a regular basis. You’d also be surprised at the lack of computer skills for those under 65.
It’s been our goal for 21 years that everyone has access to a computer and knows how to use it.
So what about the President of the United States? I went to Google®, and under images did a search for “Oval Office.” I got lots of great pictures, including some of the current occupant’s desk.
There’s no computer on it.
The job description for President of the United States is Commander in Chief, the leader of the free world. Who-ever sits in the Oval Office isn’t likely to instant message Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. My guess is the POTUS doesn’t need to prepare a PowerPoint® presentation either, or work up an Excel® spreadsheet for the national budget.
He has other people who do that for him. The President’s job is to make decisions, some of which are pretty serious. The nature of the job is direct, spoken communication. The next President, just like the current one, will listen then decide. The President doesn’t have to be the smartest person in the room; the President simply needs to hire the smartest people in the room. They are the ones with the computers.
The only real piece of technology the President needs is a cell phone. We supply him one as part of the job. Air Force One isn’t a bad perk either.
I really could care less if the next President has a computer on the desk or a laptop in the briefcase. What I care about is their ability to lead, to make decisions under incredible pressure based upon what’s best for you and me.
It’s the toughest job in the world. In this case, computer skills are not necessary. Leadership and decision-making are.
For everyone else, try my product!
John W. Scherer
John is CEO & founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org