The person who is president of the United States holds the highest and most powerful position in the world. Since 1776, the United States has felt that social manners, behavior, and attitude are so important to the business of our government that a team of top experts constantly advises our president in these matters. One of these experts is the Chief of Protocol. It is this person’s responsibility to coach our president and his team on the details and all their implications for every event in which he is to participate.

Yes, there are rare moments when something happens that is ill-advised; however, the advice the president receives is based on history, traditional expectations, cultural sensitivity, and well-researched data. New situations require new actions, which means that new protocols need to be instituted.

It is difficult to understand the behind-the-scenes process by which all the decisions are made. The media tells us what they want us to know; each candidate tells us what is wrong with the “other” candidate; and the Internet posts news clips so fast and so often that it can be mindboggling to keep up and practically impossible to decipher what is based on fact or what is fabricated. The risk is in misguided conspiracy theories; they should be ignored. Focus on historical and current facts instead.

The media and television personalities like to suggest that one or the other candidate can do a better job without knowing all the facts. However, none of us are in either of the candidates’ shoes. What would we do if we knew all the facts and could be everywhere for everybody all the time?

Ultimately, respect should always be the determining protocol! You do not have to like a person, but you do need to respect the position he or she holds. This country needs to get back to supporting the president of the United States instead of mocking and complaining. If there is a misstep or an issue that needs addressing, it should be addressed diplomatically. You cannot please everyone all the time; there are just too many variations in everyone’s politics. However, we can offer our opinion as constituents or voice our dislikes and concerns through our congressman or congresswoman.

The president is only as powerful as his team. We are all a part of his team. Let’s not only vote, but let’s make sure that we are voting for a team of professionals who focus their time and energy not on blaming, but on fixing problems and continuing to make this country the country of choice.

Whether you are the president or CEO of your organization, the executive director, or a member of the management team, our team at Global Protocol Academy has engaged a list of amazing experts to help us develop seminars and training, supported by books and resources, that keep your company and its staff knowledgeable and professional. We can serve as your chief of protocol.  (Global Protocol Academy is a companion website.)


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