What Is Brand USA?

The hallmark of most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs is the ability to step back every now and then to reflect on where they are, where they want to be, and where they’ve been—including an examination of takeaways and critical lessons of what they’ve discovered along the way. Through reflection, we can make progress with confidence, knowing our decisions, decision making, and assumptions are grounded in mindfulness about what’s worked or hasn’t worked before.

As National “Election Day” came and went this week, did you even notice? An off year, it was a quiet election, with most everyone’s attention already focused on next year’s big event. But quiet or not, Election Day always offers an opportunity to reflect on where we were at this time in prior elections (such as 2012) and where we find ourselves today.

Since the 2012 Presidential election, have . . .

  • We reconnected as a country, as a people, or are we still divided nearly 50/50 in the national electorate?
  • People found a way to work together, or are most efforts overshadowed by divisiveness and partisanship?
  • We “citizens” and our government aligned thinking around this country’s mission and vision? What is “brand USA”?
  • We banded together to help pull this country out of its economic doldrums?

What do you think?

Three years ago, on the heels of the 2012 national elections, I wrote a blog “Let’s Succeed Together,” about how we need to offer elected officials our support and prayers more than ever—no matter which candidates won or lost. “They need to get the next four years right,” I wrote then. “And we need them to get it right. We may not get a do over.”

Now, with “Election Day” 2015 in our rearview mirrors and as we head into the next election cycle (it’ll be here sooner than you think with primaries and caucuses starting in February), let’s take a few seconds to reflect on those days just after the 2012 Presidential election.

What were we thinking? How were we feeling? What were we willing to commit to then, and how has that played out over the years?

What’s gone right? What’s gone wrong?

Share your thoughts here.

Looking Back at the Election of 2012

Let’s Succeed Together

(Originally posted November 14, 2012)

The 2012 Presidential election is over . . . finally. Are you as exhausted as I am from the wall-to-wall coverage and the ceaseless campaigning and spin that we’ve been inundated with since, it seems, the last election?

Does it feel like we’ve been treading water for the past year or two, simply waiting for this election to give us an inkling of what the future (at least the next four years) holds in store?

Are you like me and feel it’s about time we roll up our sleeves and go about the business of getting this economy cranking again?

I’m not here to debate political ideologies, but whether your candidate won or lost on November 6, we all have a job to do. It’s time for us to get back to work. It’s time for us to reconnect as a country, as a people.

For me, the near 50/50 divide in the national electorate was one of the most significant takeaways from this election. It’s clear that the path forward is anything but clear, and that nearly as many people support as well as oppose the election outcome.

Do you know what that tells me? That tells me our leaders, from the President to his Cabinet to our Senators and Representatives, to our Governors and State Legislators, and even to our local City Managers, Councilors, and School Board members, ALL need our support and prayers more than ever. They need to get the next four years right . . . and we need them to get it right. We may not get a do over.

We all strive for the same things—peace, health, and prosperity for ourselves, our families, our children (and their children), and our communities. Isn’t it about time we worked together toward those goals? There are good ideas on both sides of the political aisle—there are even great ideas that are not political at all, but just good, common sense.

We will fail if we remain divided; we will succeed if we pull together. It’s pretty simple, really.

Just like any business will flounder if its employees are not aligned with the company’s mission and vision, so, too, will this country. Like him or not, the President is the CEO of this country, the Commander-in-Chief. It’s up to each one of us, for the sake of the country and generations to come, to band together and get on board with pulling this country out of its economic doldrums, and one place to start is to show respect for the President. Rooting for him to fail because he does not support a certain political ideology is like rooting for America to fail, and none of us wants that. If America fails, we all fail.

Do you think the Founding Fathers agreed on everything and every possible path to the future? Hardly. But where they did agree was that once a decision was rendered, they gave it their wholehearted support for the good of the country.

Take a moment to consider the sacred words of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance. You might think I’m being hokey, but the words and their meaning still resonate for me: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”


The Rolling Stones once told us “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” I say it’s time we stopped complaining and started working together to get what we need. What say you?

Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O’MONKEYZ, a full-service digital media and marketing group specializing in more creativity, ideas, and fun for active lifestyle consumer products, sports marketing, and brands in San Diego and Southern California.