The available talent pool is shallow

A leader can choose to hire people that are competent, experienced and even loyal. When a new President comes on board, they usually draw from a deep talent pool of folks who served the incumbent’s party in the past.

From the outset of the current incumbent’s election as President, the rules have not fully applied. The first clue was his surprise that he won. He had done little preparation for hiring a staff and is still behind in filling positions.

The second clue is the focus on loyalty more than the first two criteria. While there are a few capable folks on the staff, many capable and experienced folks took their names off the list or were not considered as they dared be critical of this imperfect man. They were not loyal enough.

The third clue is the continual lack of due diligence on the people announced and even hired. Many people told the President not to hire Michael Flynn. He was the first to go. Others were not approved by Congress and still more should not have been approved due to poor qualifications for the position.

A final clue is the talent pool has tightened. More candidates have taken their name out of the pool given the tempestuous White House. This a reason the President is hiring people he sees on TV which is where he spends much of his attention. By itself, that is not necessarily bad, but coupled with the lack of due diligence, several people have been offered jobs who should not have been due to conflict. As recent evidence, his legal team announced four new additions, only to withdraw their names after finding out about conflicts of interest. A Supreme Court experienced attorney named Ted Olson declined to be considered citing this chaos as one example of a well oiled machine.

One year ago, the President said he had formed the finest cabinet and staff ever. With the significant amount of turnover, it is obvious that statement was hyperbole. Yet, the people he has added of late are not being described as universally great choices. Even the more competent ones are defined as having similar character flaws to the President.

The key question I ask folks is would you want to to work for such a tempestuous and deceitful person? And, if you did, how long do you think it would take before you wore out your welcome or left because of the environment?

We need more competent, experienced and cooler heads. This is even more true when the boss colors so much outside the lines. The problem is that pool has been purposefully drained.


14 thoughts on “The available talent pool is shallow

    • Hugh, very true. I am sure the VA nominee is a quality doctor, but as Dr. Ben Carson has clearly shown, being an excellent doctor does not mean you can manage a huge organization. Again, not saying the nominee is like this, but most doctors do not like to manage people. Keith

      • PS – Carson continues to get press for bad expense management and other matters. Yet, what has puzzled me all along, is why HUD? Why didn’t Trump nominate him for Surgeon General? The same with Rick Perry, why DOE? Perry’s predecessor is a Nuclear Physicist. I presume Perry may have been a good Governor, but he certainly is no physicist.

  1. As I always say, great minds think alike! Just about an hour ago I finished my post for tomorrow a.m. along very similar lines, only much snarkier, of course!

    I keep remembering how he said he would surround himself with the ‘best people’. If this is the best, we are in deep trouble. And to answer your question … there is not enough money in the U.S. Treasury to pay me to work in the White House … I’d rather mine coal for a living, and I would still feel cleaner at the end of the day.

    • Jill, I look forward to reading yours. It is hard to hire the best when you diminish the pool. Malcolm Gladwell noted in his book “Outliers” how Canada picks its elite hockey players at an early age largely from only half the target pool. Kids who have the right birthday play against younger players and shine because they are 1/2 year older on average. To be frank, there is no way in hell for Trump to have picked the best people based on his selection process. Keith

      • Agreed. First, his criteria are not designed to assure the ‘best’ people. Loyalty and appearance seem to be the top criteria. Second, I think he defines the word ‘best’ differently than you and I do.

      • Jill, very true. I think he uses the word “best” like an advertiser uses “new and improved” to sell products. The word best is a tagline. Keith

      • Quite so. And even when one is not trying to deceive, ‘best’ is a relative term at best (pun intended). And Keith? Think … Ebony and Ivory. 😉

      • Jill, I got the planted earworm. The song is special because of the artists and theme, but is neither artist’s best work. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: With the many open positions, less than capable occupants in too many positions and a leader who does not relish doing homework , it makes me feel our country is so unprepared to address issues around the globe. We have already witnessed what the President wreaks following his whims or uninformed judgments. I fear he will make many more.

  3. Dear Keith,

    We already know that the president wants yes, men who make him look good. He despises those who think differently and who dare to share their thoughts. He saves firing them for his bad news days. Then he picks folks he likes, and who look great on TV. If they have paid him a compliment on TV, then, as far as President Trump is concerned, they are more than qualified.

    That most sane people don’t agree is immaterial. With his method the unqualified individuals are grateful for being given the opportunity and the president can berate them at will. He doesn’t have to worry about ingrats (in his mind) turning down offers to work with him.

    He has so many unfilled key positions.

    We have been hearing news reports about how the WH personnel office is staffed with ne’er-do-wells.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, to me, even those who compliment him on TV should see what the man is like. They can mask it all they want, but someone in their family has to ask them do you really want to work for this man? You will only be on his good side for a limited duration. He will fire some of these same people he just hired when they embarass him by some revelation or when they slip up and tell the real truths. Keith

  4. Note to Readers: In my experiences organizations take on the personality of their leader. So, is it a surprise that so many in Trump’s cabinet are having expense account and decoration budget problems? Think about that. It is hard to drain the swamp when directors feel they are Yertle the Turtle standing on others to view their fiefdoms.

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