The President of the United States has an appointed group of advisers that help him to understand issues and make decisions. These advisers are the Presidential Cabinet. Final decisions are the President’s responsibility. But consulting with his Cabinet before making a move is an expected part of his decision making.
The same is true for our personal and professional lives. (I’d like to take credit for this idea, but it actually came from one of my top advisers, my friend Kim.)
Each of us, in all stages of our lives, benefits from seeking guidance, knowledge and support from trusted colleagues, friends and family members. Whenever any of us has a big decision to make — Should I apply for that job? Should I breakup with my boyfriend? What do I need to know about buying a car? — we talk it over with family and friends.
Most of us also do research on the Internet when faced with an important decision. Just as the President doesn’t simply read a book or report on a topic, the Internet cannot take the place of talking things over with someone we know.
What is a cabinet?
According to the White House, the Cabinet’s role is “to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.”
Based on the duties of the President, the people in his cabinet are the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General.
Each of our personal cabinets is different, based on our needs and lifestyle. My personal cabinet is composed of people who I can go to when I have questions about the topics that are relevant to my life.
I don’t need a Secretary of Agriculture, however, when I want to know more about sustainable living and environmental issues, I talk to my friend Tracy. My friend Kristen is my Secretary of Music. Shannan is my Secretary of Nightlife and Fun. My sister, the tax consultant, is my Economic Adviser. Cynthia is one of my Spiritual Advisers. Conor advises me on home repairs. I have coworkers and colleagues who serve as my Secretaries of Labor and Education. You get the idea.
The point is: Instead of fumbling through situations alone, or expecting one or two people in my life to have all the answers, I am able to reach out to different people who are “experts” in their subjects.
How your cabinet can help you
Sometimes my cabinet members help with just a quick conversation or e-mail. Sometimes I need to lean on one or two cabinet members to guide me through a long decision process or tough situation.
Before the President of the United States takes office, he is already thinking about who he wants in his cabinet, closely advising him. Do we give the same importance to whom we are close to and who influences our lives?
OK, I’ve told you about a few of the positions in my cabinet. Who is in your cabinet? What roles do they play? What positions do you need to fill in order for you to be the best “commander-in-chief” of your life?