A lesson that continues to evade someone

A certain man in a global leadership position continues to avoid learning an important lesson. Not only does it hurt his efforts, but it is harmful to this country’s relationships around the globe and within its leadership ranks. The lesson is his failure to vet decisions and communications of such with key people before a broader announcement.

Yesterday, this man decided to walk away from a summit with North Korea without giving advance notice to a key ally in South Korea. As a result, the US relationship with South Korea is strained. Now, he may be whipsawing them again as he has done all week saying the summit may still be on.

But, this is not the first time he has done this. After pleas from our European allies, he walked away from the Iran nuclear deal.  The echoes of that change continue to strain relationships with our allies to the point an EU leader said “with friends like these, who needs enemies?”

His first major change was so horribly vetted and communicated, it was pulled after two days. He failed to discuss with Congressional leaders in his own party that he was instituting a travel ban. He also failed to gain input and buy-in from affected agencies who had to implement the change. It was as he likes to say a “disaster,” but this one was on his shoulders. Soldiers often refer to poor decisions like this with a word beginning with “cluster.”

But, there are many more examples. What may turn out to be his Waterloo is he fired James Comey without telling him. Comey found out from a TV news report. Further, he failed to give advance warning to his communication team, leaving them to make plans in the White House bushes while the reporters waited. That may be the best metaphor for his Presidency.

Yet, for a man who used to have a faux-reality show where he fired people, he has a hard time doing this face to face. He fired Rex Tillerson without telling him. He had Andrew McCabe fired as he cleaned out his desk to retire, an especially vindictive move. Not telling people they are fired beforehand is extremely poor management. And, for someone who likes to talk tough, it reveals those words are part of a false bravado.

His followers like to say what a great businessman he is, but while he is accused of being a great merchandiser, he is rarely accused of being a good manager. Managing a multi-organization business or government is complicated. It requires diligence, input, time, communication, planning and a dose of compassion. For someone who makes decisions on the fly and bullies people, he is at odds with the tools for successful implementations or relationships.

But, as the man once said. “I, alone, can solve this.” With all due respect, no you cannot, but you sure can screw it up.

8 thoughts on “A lesson that continues to evade someone

  1. Note to Readers: What further frustrates me is not only does the President lie more than he does not, his staff goes on news and pseudo-news shows and smugly lie. Watching Marc Short on PBS Newshour tonight, I observed several lies. The truth apparently does not matter.

    Two in particular relate to the tax law. First, he said we have budget surplus because of the law. Through the first half of the fiscal year we are at $598 billion in budget deficit as compared to $666 billion all of last year.

    Second, he said much of our low unemployment rate is due to the tax law. Well, the rate of unemployment is very good, but it also was very good on 12/31/2017 before the tax law went effect. It was also very good on 1/22/2017 when Trump took office.

    It disappoints me when newscasters don’t push back more. I guess the lies are too many.

    • Addendum to Note: I have since learned that Short’s comment about the surplus is actually a litter deceitful as well as wrong. Every April, there is a blip which creates a surplus due to tax collections This year’s surplus was higher than usual. But, that is deceitful on two fronts. The deficit is still $598 billion year to date, which is close to the whole year for 2016-17 deficit. And, the April surplus is due to last year’s tax law, not this year’s. This actually is more Machiavellian since it is trying to confuse people away from the larger trend. It is akin to saying we are not having climate change since we had a blizzard,

  2. Dear Keith,

    The one good thing about this president is, there is a lot more fact checking being done. No reputable media outlet can accept whatever he says without fact checking.

    The Elliott Broidy story is a case in point. The WSJ did not vet this story properly. I get that this is a paper owned by Mr. Murdock but it is not an excuse for not covering the basics. The story as presented in the WSJ is short on details which should have been a red flag. The NYT and CNN followed suit based on the WSJ report.

    Yesterday, I was reading an Elliott Broidy article published by Haaretz where the author referred to the WSJ story but he also stated that there were credible doubts about its validity of the WSJ report, and then he wrote about the theory that he acted as a stooge for President Trump.

    Truth, facts, evidence do matter.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Agreed. But, people must pay attention. The President used Nunes as a stooge to get a invalid memo released, so he would have a prop. It is all salesmanship to Trump, and his followers are not listening to others. It is highly frustrating. Keith

  3. It seems to me that the greatest challenge we have at the moment is getting his followers, his base, to wake up and smell the coffee, so to speak. There can be no doubt that Trump is as dishonest as the day is long. There is no doubt that he considers the entire federal government, including Congress and the judiciary, his tools to use as he sees fit and to demand fealty from. There is no doubt that he is taking this nation down a perilous path by pushing away our allies, taunting an unstable dictator, failing to concern himself with the very real environmental concerns, and dividing the people of this nation. So there is ample evidence that he must go. But I think that eventuality can be hastened if his followers can be convinced to listen, to see what he is actually doing and to understand that no, this is not in any way going to help them, but will hurt them just as much as it will hurt the rest of us. Therein lies the key, but I do not know how to do this, for I have been working at it for two years now and still, his approval rating holds at the 42%.

    • Jill, all of what you say is true. He has convinced his followers that everyone else is against him, so do not believe them. Their gullibility is sad and scary. The GOP leaders have created and abetted a monster they cannot control. Keith

      • I have to ask … is it that they ‘cannot’ control him, or are they even trying? From where I sit, it appears that they are not making much effort. Marco Rubio surprised me when he said he was willing to stand up to Trump on the ZTE issue. We’ll see if he puts his money where his mouth is.

      • Jill, until we can stop counting them on one hand, they pretty much aren’t trying. The sad truth is many GOP Senators know what a vindictive and lying bully he is, they choose to look the other way. They don’t want to get on the bad side of the mudslinger. Keith

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