The German debate about the candidate for chancellor, Anna Lena Baerbock, is currently strongly dominated by the question: Did she lie on her resume or did she not? And if you believe the major German dailies, she has lost so much credibility with this that her candidacy for chancellor stands or falls.
I am not surprised by the political opposition’s decision to make this aspect their supposed Achilles’ heel. I am also not surprised by the intensity and indefatigability displayed here.
It’s electioneering, it’s politics, and nitpicking works in a country like Germany, where we don’t find more sensational scandals because of the lack of arms trafficking, illegal shooting of elephants, or bribery scandals. As a consequence, Germany likes to indulge in gloating bean-counting. That has always been the case. Bonus mile affairs wrongly acquired doctorates, and so on. And that goes for the opposition, for conservative forces, as well as for the new generation.
Some meticulously analyze the bullet points in the one-pager resume on Twitter, treating it like a UN investigation report.
And – as one might have guessed – it is not about Anna Lena Baerbock‘s stay in a penal institution but admittedly misleading and imprecise formulations of memberships.
The “Baerbock resume” case is also a welcome occasion for the politically correct community to continue to rehash the narrative that “they would never dare to do that to a man.” However, when I think of the Theodor zu Guttenberg case, I have my doubts.
Enough talk about politics. For me, the exciting question is:
How can it be that an experienced woman, a candidate for chancellor, uploads a CV on her website? And how can the PR company of the Greens thinks that by correcting the mistakes in the resume, the issue is settled?
How can it be that Anna Lena Baerbock has to face impertinent questions like “Why are you making yourself look more awesome than you are?”? And has to maneuver with a schoolgirlish “I didn’t mean to do it.”
In my opinion, the crux is not in detail but in the genre. Unfortunately, the genre of the CV no longer fits into the year 2021.
I wonder to whom is she applying with this resume?
The current state of the debate is: Anna Lena Baerbock has demonstrated good crisis communication and leadership qualities. She admitted that she was sloppy and made a mistake but never intended to cheat.
I have never quite understood the CV of leaders. Loosely based on the motto: Who the fuck cares, earlier on the point: marital status and children’s name. It certainly makes sense in certain situations when it’s a matter of having the essential skills and career in a clear form in front of you in a one-pager.
In a leadership context, I find the habit of applying for a leadership position with a student CV rather silly and demeaning.
Today, every leader should be able to respond to such requests with a friendly but firm: “Google me!”
“Google me” assumes that what can be googled is also conducive to the Purpose.
I strongly recommend:
Declutter your narratives and own your story. The fact that even a candidate for the German chancellor has to deal with so much nonsense leads me to the conclusion:
Better safe than sorry.