· 2 min read · Features

Would you have hired someone like Dubya?

Imagine this conversation. A head-hunter tells the chairman of a FTSE-100 company that he has found the CEO that they are looking for. He has a MBA from Harvard Business School, the eager head-hunter reveals, managed a few mid-sized companies, some of which have failed, and had some early trouble finding his direction in life. What do you mean exactly? the chairman asks. Oh, nothing much...a little drinking problem. But thats all sorted now. And being a born-again Christian has made him much stronger emotionally. The conversation stops as the chairmans eyes glaze over.

The real story is even better. Somehow George W Bush (or Dubya as he is known because of the way the W is pronounced in Texas) has leaped from relative obscurity to the White House in just 15 years. But none of us have perfect CVs and it would be dangerous to underestimate the new president. Bushs record so far, as businessman, Texas governor and president, suggest that he is a far more shrewd, tenacious and determined individual that he has been given credit for.

Further, he ought to be the HR directors ideal leader. He has great self-awareness, places a huge importance on his advisers and genuinely wants to hear what they have to say. He avoids late nights and wants a life outside work making him perhaps the first work/life president. He has been laughed at because he is said to spend time playing video golf every afternoon. President Eisenhower was also mocked for taking time off to play golf (the real variety) but was later deemed to have been an excellent president.

Sport continues to offer interesting insights into HR and in this issue we look at the talent in the England squad as selected by Sven-Gran Eriksson. We also feature an extract from the forthcoming book, Blood, Sweat & Tears, by Richard Donkin, the FT columnist and editor of FTCareerPoint.com. The book traces the history of work from prehistoric times to the modern day. It proves to some degree the old saying, what goes around comes around. You may be surprised to find out how many things have been done before. Our extract explores the work of the 19th-century entrepreneur and social idealist, Robert Owen, who stands today as the forefather of the best aspects of HR.

Corus has been in the news recently largely for its job-cutting policies. We examine whether there has been a failure of leadership in the companys recent history that goes beyond the problems caused by sterling/euro disparity. Finally, we have found one brave soul to go on record as saying shed like to blow up HR. But this is not just about demolition. Lynne Weedall also offers advice on rebuilding a great HR department. Many of you have criticised the CIPD in the past (go on, admit it). In this issue the Institutes Geoff Armstrong argues the case for your professional body.

Morice Mendoza