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Those In Power Should Step Down After Five Years - With A Free Essay Review

"Claim: In any field—business, politics, education, government—those in power should step down after five years. Reason: The surest path to success for any enterprise is revitalization through new leadership. - Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based."

The claim is that in any field, the people in power should step down after five years. The reason given to support this claim is that this would allow a group to rejuvenate itself through new leadership. I strongly disagree with both the claim and the reason given for it. In my opinion, replacing a charismatic leader after five years will be difficult and infeasible.

People in authority in any field, whether the CEO of a multinational company or the principal of a school, have commanding personalities. If an enterprise is successful, there seems to be no reason to replace a person in power. There are many examples of people who have been in top positions for a long period of time and changed the face of the companies they work for many times to adapt to the changing markets. For example Steve Jobs was the CEO of Apple for a large period of time. He constantly reinvented the products of the company, moving from the first Apple computer in the 20th century to Ipads in the 21st. Coming to politics, Bill Clinton served as the American President for a period of 10 years, and during his reign as president America progressed tremendously. My point is that brilliant people are hard to find, it is not easy to replace them with equally competent people.

Some people who argue in favour of the claim and the reason behind it will say that not all people at top positions can manage to rejuvenate their companies, and hence there is a need for replacement for every five years. However, they should realize that even if there was no fixed time period of five years to stay in power, if a company is not doing well, the people in power are bound to be replaced. For example, Gordon Brown was not seen as an effective leader for the Labour party, hence he was replaced by Ed Miliband.

To conclude, the claim and the supporting reason given are not supported by the many examples of companies which have been successful under a single leadership for a long time.


Essay Review

As you might guess, Steve Jobs is the example that comes to mind for many people when they fish around for a CEO successful over a long period of time. On the one hand, that might be a problem for your argument because if everyone can only come up with one good example, and it’s always the same example, then perhaps it is an example of the exception that proves the rule. From that point of view, it might be a good idea to offer several different examples. On the other hand, you need to emphasize the exceptionality of characters like Steve Jobs in order to underscore your point that "brilliant people are hard to find." In truth, I am just inventing problems here that don't really need solving. There can be many brilliant people, and yet it still be true that they are hard to find. Perhaps you just need to clarify the argument a little by toning down the exceptionality of your examples, for obviously if brilliant people are extraordinarily rare, then most enterprises will not be led by the brilliant, and so one might still be inclined to think the original claim generally valid, if not valid for the likes of Jobs or, if you think so, Clinton, whose tenure lasted, by the way, eight years, the longest term allowable in the U.S., in which time Clinton decimated social welfare and ... oh, sorry; this is an essay review.

Your second argument, in which you deal with a possible counterargument, is reasonable enough. I suppose someone given to contrarianism might note that people in power are bound to be replaced only as long as their power is limited by others. There's a mechanism in the Labour Party for forcing out, if it comes to it, an unwanted leader. In other organizations it may be more difficult to get rid of a leader (you might want to argue, however, that most organizations have some such mechanism). Overall, however, I think your argument in this paragraph skirts the issue a little. The question is whether a leader should step down after five years. Your argument seems to be that a leader should not voluntarily step down, but rather should wait until he messes up and gets kicked out. That argument allows you to avoid discussing whether rejuvenation really is essential to success and whether there are reasons why an enterprise might become stagnant under the leadership of one who has been in the job longer than five years. I don't think you should be avoiding that discussion.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: 13100021

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