Presidential elections are like Christmas, in that the hype around them seems to come earlier and earlier each cycle. But whether you welcome the frenzy or dread it, there's no denying that politicians can provide a lot of lessons about what and what not to do as a leader, manager, and negotiator.
Panos Panay, founder of DIY musician platform Sonicbids, recently found inspiration in HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton, a new biography of the former first lady and Secretary of State, and presumptive frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination. Written by Politico's Jonathan Allen and The Hill's Amie Parnes, the book is an inside look at Clinton's political career, based on more than 200 interviews with Clinton's supporters and detractors alike.
"It's an entrepreneurial approach to a political career," says Panay, who recently left his post as Sonicbids CEO after 13 years to become the founding director of Berklee College of Music's new Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship. "I just love the story of somebody who in spite of numerous setbacks is somehow able to survive and grow and pursue a bit of what is really an unconventional route." At Berklee's new institute, Panay will direct curricula and other opportunities in entrepreneurship that draw on the musical mind and approach business problems from unconventional, creative angles. "I'm continuously learning from observing how people behave in other fields and taking those lessons into what I do," he says.
And the book is also a real pageturner, says Panay. "It's awesome. I just picked it up at an airport, because I travel a lot. I'm like, 'Oh, okay, this looks like a decent thing,' and I'm loving everything that I'm reading about."