Yep, you heard right. Cat loving, present giving, country-turned-pop singer was ranked #6 on Fortune’s list of The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. President Obama, the leader of the free world, did not even rank. So how can someone like Taylor Swift be deemed a greater leader than the leader of our country? And what can everyone, especially those running for the 2016 presidency, learn from this moment?
Well, to start, Taylor was listed 6th mainly in part to her embracing of, “corporate sponsorship,” standing up to Spotify, and making genius steps to reserve trademarks in order to keep honing her personal brand. Basically, Swift stood up for what she believes in and has not backed down despite criticism. Not only has Swift shown her caring side by defending people who are being bullied on social media and giving personalized gifts to her fans, but Swift has also been a business genius. She has made large strides in the music industry and has even become the highest paid woman in the music industry. This is all according to Fortune’s reasoning behind ranking Swift #6.
Now, let’s talk about the man who did not rank anywhere on the list, President Obama. How can someone be ranked the second most powerful man in the world, but not rank anywhere on the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders? Well, apparently you can be very powerful, but a not a great leader. Vladamir Putin was ranked the most powerful person in the world, but also failed to rank on the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list. Maybe, President Obama did not rank because during his presidency, there has been an increase in tensions on the matter of race relations. Could it be because he is a lame duck? Is it because he spends his time having interviews with Youtube stars who swim in a bathtub filled with cereal, reading mean tweets on late night talk shows, and golfing, instead of getting actual things accomplished? Could it be because he just has not been an effective leader? Whatever the reasons are, the fact stands: Taylor Swift made the list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, and President Obama did not.
So, what can we learn from this?
First, for the people running for president: Be smart.
While the music industry and presidency are very different realms of careers, there is an entrepreneurial aspect to both. Taylor Swift has branded herself by being a kindhearted, talented person, and has proven it by giving personalized gifts to her fans, while toting her top-selling album, 1989. If you are running for the presidency, you need to brand yourself too, and prove it. Don’t just say you are a person who will stand up for what you believe in, and then only do it when the world is watching. Do the right thing, even when no one is watching. Be you all day, everyday.
Secondly, stay firm in your beliefs, back up why you believe a certain way, and then take actions to make a difference.
Taylor has been very strong in standing up for the issues she believes in. She said that music is hard work and should be treated with respect, then backed out of Spotify to prove she was serious. Whatever you stand for, whether it be implementing a better healthcare law, repealing the common core, or replacing school lunches with healthier foods, take a stand. Don’t just take a stand so you can brand yourself as a certain person. Find what you believe in and find a solution. Take a stand because you truly believe that it is an important issue that needs to be discussed and resolved. Then do something!
Thirdly, don’t be a jerk.
You can be bold and courageous without being a jerk about it. Taylor Swift has been coined as one of America’s sweethearts, but still continues to take the music industry by storm and is making effective changes. You can do the same in politics.
And finally, for all of those not running for president: Whatever career you aspire to do, whatever place you are in at your life, whether you are a student, a parent, or something else, you can take the world by storm too. Just be you. Brand yourself through your actions. Be intentional in your actions. Stand firm in your beliefs, and take a stand. Be bold, but don’t be mean. You can be just as much of a leader and role model by making a positive difference in the community around you.
Follow Rebekah Swieringa on Twitter at @pondertherandom.