Thinking of Becoming President?

Ervald

Deputy Minister
Diplomat



Thinking of Becoming President?
My Lessons from Being President

Written by Ervald





For most people in NationStates (NS), achieving the role of being the head executive in a region is their high mark in NS … but for some people like me, it isn't. I know I served only briefly and wouldn't be surprised if some people didn't even know I was president, but I felt like I learned some incredibly important lessons in that office that I would like to pass down to other people. Perhaps some people might find this article somewhat useless once the executive split occurs, but maybe some of you are president or prime minister in another region that need some advice.

1. Know your limits.

I can't stress this enough. With most chief executive roles, there is a clear foreign affairs and domestic affairs divide in the departments you lead. You can help bridge this divide by having a vice president that has expertise in a different portfolio than you. We see this a lot in our region when the president has experience in domestic affairs but his or her vice president has experience in foreign affairs, or vice versa. I picked Drexlore to be my running mate and the two of us were mainly experienced with just foreign affairs. While we had some experience in domestic affairs, our experience in foreign affairs was much more prominent. This often led to situations when an event would occur regarding domestic affairs that I wasn't entirely sure how to approach a resolution for the issue. Normally, the next best course of action would be to approach your Vice President about it but since Drexlore was in the same boat as me, he wasn't entirely sure either. It's perfectly alright to admit you're not great in a certain field, as no president will be a master at every subject. Just make sure you can find someone with whom you can work, but can also admit you need them to handle something you don't have experience with.

2. Figure out your schedule.

When I first took the presidency, I figured that since it was my senior year and would be taking fewer classes, I would have the time and stability to take it on. However, I absolutely forgot that the beginning of the school year is always the most stressful part of the year and it took me just a short time before I realized that I would only have an hour or two of free time each day before I had to get cracking on homework. There were times during discussions with a leader of another region that it should have been studying. So, before you take on the presidency, *absolutely* make sure you can take it on. Even if you think to yourself "Ah, I'll get used to the new job" or "School won't be as hard as it was last year," look into it even harder. You might be saving yourself from making a mistake. Figuring out your stability also helps. At the time, my friends were incredibly busy and I was going through some rough times regarding my own personality. But thankfully, I have managed to see my friends more, the school year has gotten easier, I now have a girlfriend, and I don't feel as self-conscious as I did back then. Always take care of yourself first in real life before worrying about this game.

3. Figure out what the heck you believe.

I would say this was the main downfall of my presidency and in general, my career in Europeia. I didn't know what I believed in. I just knew I wanted Europeia to do better domestically and on the world stage, and I was just looking for *any* possible solution to that. As I did for previous positions I held, I relied a lot on advice and popular opinion which can be helpful but if you don’t have core beliefs, it will be hard to figure out what to do when you have a crisis on your hand. As I have said in Eurochat, I have always been kind of a bureaucrat. You can rarely find opinionated posts of mine in either the Senate or in the Grand Hall. Ultimately, for a job that requires you to know what the heck you believe and be willing to defend your actions, I just wasn't right for that. It is incredibly important not only to make sure you're experienced and know what you're talking about, but also make sure you know what you believe.

Hopefully, some of these lessons can help someone who is planning to run for president or prime minister, whether that's here or in a distant region. I figured that if I don't have any sort of accomplishments to be proud of from when I was president, I might as well tell *why* I don't have accomplishments to be proud of as president.
 

Lethen

oh hi lethen
Forum Administrator
Supreme Chancellor
This is very interesting, Ervald. I think (2) is something we often harp about ("RL always comes first," etc. etc.) while not offering any solutions while I think we greatly overlook the importance of (3). Sure, we think a campaign ticket may have a "vision" in their platforms, but how often do we hold an Executive accountable to how well it adhered to its "vision?"

I'm glad you didn't burn out from Europeia and completely disappear after resigning (with dignity, I might add). We're a better region with you around :)
 

JayDee

Fakin it till I'm makin in
I will admit, I was a bit baffled to find you had been elected president upon my return. That being said, you seemed to hold yourself well in public. I'm not going to lie and say that you were a good president, but you are a person with potential who I know has the ability, with time, to become a good president or even a great president.

In the end, the most important thing is that, when the region called for a new president, you were the only one to answer the call. You took the step no one else was willing to take. We need that kind of initiative in this region. That's why I know that one day you will make a fine leader if you so choose.
 

HEM

Grand Master of Spam, Grand Admiral of the Sea
Forum Administrator
I think point three is critical.

In almost every situation as President, you are better off being decisive and risking making a bad decision than dithering and avoiding a situation. That's not to say you shouldn't take a dedicated amount of time to consider an issue and get input, but there comes a time you need to make a decision, even if there's a not-insignificant probability of getting it wrong.
 

Kuramia

Trust me.
Forum Administrator
Chief of State
A great scope of what kind of committment it takes, on a personal level, to take on the role of President in Europeia. Thank you for your candor here, Ervald.

Personally I think you wanting the best for Europeia is a great stance. I know when it comes to how specifically actions and words can do that is a experience that takes a lot of time to cultivate. I would point to your highly successful run as WAA minister. You surely knew how to apply what you believed was best for Euro there!
 
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