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Press Release - Fox Business: Opinion: Can John Kasich Fix Washington?

July 29, 2015

By: Steve Tobak

July 28, 2015

When you've worked with as many top executives as I have, you can't help but notice certain behavioral attributes that separate the extraordinary ones from the pack. Some qualities are probably fundamental to all great leaders, while others are surprisingly difficult to characterize.

Take Ohio Governor John Kasich, for example. I wasn't the least bit surprised to see him enter the crowded field of GOP hopefuls for the 2016 presidential nomination. Fund-raising ability aside (not exactly my thing), as I see it, he's got an interesting balance of foundational and intangible qualities that make a great leader ... of a company or a nation.

While he comes across as a regular guy with a sort of endearing folksy quality, when it comes to his position on key issues, he never wavers. He's always clear on what he stands for and why it makes sense to him. He's not an idealist, mind you, but a clear thinking pragmatist focused on his priorities. And while he's known for setting aggressive fiscal goals, he has an extraordinary track record of achieving them.

As chairman of the House Budget Committee during the late 90s, he championed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and, during his tenure, the federal budget shifted from a deficit of $163 billion to a rare surplus of $236 billion. Likewise, as governor of Ohio, his priorities were to balance the budget, create jobs and slash unemployment without raising taxes. And that's exactly what he did.

What I think few people understand about remarkably successful executives is how important it is for them to remain focused on critical priorities and not get distracted by all the noise.

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John Kasich, Press Release - Fox Business: Opinion: Can John Kasich Fix Washington? Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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