A couple weeks ago I posted about the relevance of a football coach knowing how to tie his shoes. I argued he doesn’t need to know how to do this as long as he has a great strategy and someone else to oversee the proper selection and use of said shoes. Well, today I read this about McCain, and it does indeed sound like not only does this potential coach sound like he doesn’t know how to tie his shoes (can’t use a computer), and he has no strategy for technology either.
Let’s imagine that Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts didn’t know how to tie his shoes.Â We actually don’t know if he knows how to tie his shoes.Â We assume he does.Â But let’s say he didn’t.Â Let’s say he has Mr. Equipment Manager on his staff ensure that he always goes onto the field with shoes on.Â Let’s also assume that Mr. Equipment Manager, recognizing that equipment selection is an important part of making their football team successful, is also responsible for outfitting the team with shoes.Â Now the players may understand how to tie their own shoes and put on their own gear, but it’s Mr. Equipment Manager who invests the time to determine what is the best set of tools for the team to ensure victory every Sunday.
Tony Dungy, who led his team to a Super Bowl victory, quite possibly did it without knowing how to tie his shoes.Â Does this bother anybody?Â Not me.Â But I think the tech community might be concerned.
I don’t get worked up by a lot of things, but the tech community (of which I consider at least peripherally involved, considering I make software for the manufacturing industry) has certainly gotten me frustrated as of late.
The most recent involves the discussion I’ve been watching that is taking place at the Personal Democracy Forum 2008, more specifically comments regarding McCain and the fact (?) that he does not know how to use a computer.Â And now there is some “giggling” among some regarding this video.Â Regardless if I am a McCain supporter (I am not…my candidate’s gone), do I expect “Can use a computer” to necessarily be on the president’s resume?Â And what are they expecting out of the president when he/she is on the computer?Â Should they be using email?Â Word?Â Twitter?Â Programming in VB.NET?
It seems like there could be countless equivalencies in other areas:
- I would expect the president to understand the value of healthcare, but should I expect him/her to know how to operate a blood pressure monitor?
- I would expect the president to understand the value of national security, but do I expect him/her to know how to actually gather intelligence?
- I would expect the president to understand the value of education, but do I think he/she needs to be able to write a lesson plan?
- I would expect the president to understand the importance of infrastructure, but do I think he/she should be able to operate road paving equipment?
- And the reason for the post: I would expect the president to understand the value of technology, but do I think he/she needs to be able to operate a computer?
It just seems weird to me.Â I hope the president is a great leader.Â A great leader would understand the value of these things.Â A great leader would be able to lead great people in moving the country forward.Â So I would expect the president to hold other people accountable for ensuring success in the respective areas I mentioned above.
I sure hope the president’s typical day isn’t filled with activities like this:
- Spent time examining the manual for new medical imaging device
- Wrote curricula for fourth grade science and seventh grade literature classes
- Searched for and found 15 new friends on Facebook
Of course this is a generalization, but the tech community seems to me to be a gigantic high school clique that is sitting around snickering about the “kick me” sign they stuck on someone’s back today.Â And they’re passing notes back and forth on Twitter and laughing because the teacher doesn’t know it’s happening.