Presidential race? It’s anybody’s bet

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Presidential race? It’s anybody’s bet

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Not long ago, I met a friend who is knowledgeable in the structure and dynamics of conglomerates. “When you are diligent, get along with bosses and display competence, you can go up to director level,” he said. “But it takes a bet to become a CEO.” A bet means speaking up when you have an opinion. Instead of following orders passively, you should have the courage to say, “I have a better way.” As your job is at stake, you need to determine if the owner is ready to embrace different views. Also, you should be ready to take responsibility for ensuring that your suggestion is successful. If it works, you could be promoted to the highest managerial position. If it fails, you could be let go.

Betting does not happen only in corporate environments. In fact, you need the courage to make a bet in every field. Going beyond the direction of the owner is like beating your own father. Psy, who has emerged as a global icon, said on the television show “Healing Camp” that he was desperate to become a musician because he wanted to live a life different from his father, a successful businessman. When Psy was caught smoking marijuana, his father came to the police station and said, “Why don’t you quit smoking cigarettes as well?” He thought, “Today, I got over my father.”

Lee Beom, policy adviser of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and a former star instructor at a private cram school, paid attention to the cultural difference between Apgujeong-dong and Daechi-dong in his book, “Lee Beom Goes Against Academics.” According to Lee, the residents in the riverside area of Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong are mostly old rich. In contrast, the residents of Daechi-dong and Dogok-dong, the southern part of Gangnam, are professionals who made their own fortunes. Therefore, the younger generation in Apgujeong is born to wealthy families and more laid back. So there are people who become successful in ways their parents do not approve of. Psy is the archetype of untraditional success. Psy is in fact from Banpo-dong, but he has adopted the Apgujeong culture. In contrast, academic accomplishment is emphasized in Daechi-dong, so children grow up to become doctors and lawyers. But it is still rare for someone who grew up in Daechi-dong to become a pop star like Psy.

Saenuri Party presidential candidate Park Geun-hye apologized to overcome the legacy of her father, Park Chung Hee. Other presidential candidates have things to overcome, too. Moon Jae-in has to overcome former President Roh Moo-hyun. Ahn Cheol-soo said he would overcome the ancient regime, but he has not specified what that might mean. This betting has so much at stake.

* The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Noh Jae-hyun

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