Since your Inauguration barely a week ago – President Trump – you have managed to upset important allies and trading partners, blindsided your national security team, frightened legal immigrants, and angered your own GOP majority in the Congress.
The majority of voters in over 30 states voted for you because they believed you would create jobs — not nationwide and global chaos!
I am troubled by both the pace of activity and the lack of strategic direction in your early actions. What’s the goal?
I was troubled enough to throw down $12.95 for a Kindle copy of your oft referenced “Art of the Deal” to see if I could make sense of the chaos.
Any Art in Your Executive Orders?
So far I’ve learned that Trump, the builder, sees himself as an “idea machine”; an entrepreneur who leaves the details to other people. He dislikes structure. He sometimes enjoys playing the “bad cop”.
His “bad cop” has stirred more global protest in just one week than the United States has seen since the end of the Vietnam War – over 40 years ago.
For a year and half you talked about all the “good deals” you were going to make for America.
It is time to stop stirring up the pot and start delivering DEALS that will keep Americans safe and prosperous at home and abroad.
Those are deals that heal the divisions within the United States as well as between the United States and its allies and “friendenemies” around the world.
Confrontation Does Not Lead to Good Deals
Good deals can be defined as deals where both sides in a negotiation get something they need by giving up something they want.
In my world we call it “finding the win/win”.
In the senior ranks of management consulting firms, my performance was judged on the ability to develop new business and manage executive relationships (i.e. new clients and new projects with existing clients). Execution – getting results – was always the foundation of success but revenue and relationships were the bottom-line.
Building a good deal does not start with a confrontation – as have so many of your actions in the last 10 days.
The art of building relationships and negotiating good deals starts with being a good listener and empathizer – not a frenetic actor!
Robert Gates, the highly respected former CIA Chief and Defense Secretary to both Presidents Bush and Obama, did not support you before the election. But – a patriot – he met with you at Trump Tower after the election.
Gates has generously described you as “thoughtful” and “open to advice”.
I found that description comforting – those are absolutely necessary characteristics in the President of the United States.
But, if you are a good listener, then the next two questions should raise alarm: Who have you asked for advice and – more importantly — who should you ask for advice as the “leader of the free world”?
Why Experience Matters
Based on the public evidence, you appear to be listening less to the experienced generals you’ve appointed to lead your national security team and more to the under skilled sycophants in the White House.
Is proximity the only source of power in your White House?
Press reports and the actions of General Kelly suggest that Homeland Security was not consulted before you issued new travel and immigration restrictions on Muslims from seven countries already under strict review.
Who persuaded you that announcing Mexico would pay for the southern border wall “one way or another” was the way to open negotiations or improve our relationship with Mexico?
Humiliating the Mexican president publicly instead of meeting with him privately this week in Washington makes NO sense!
Your actions and words will make it more difficult from Rex Tillerson (when he is confirmed) and General Kelly to negotiate a border security deal that serves the interests of both Mexico and the United States:
- Stop illegal immigration transiting Mexico into the United States whether Mexican, Central American, Chinese or would-be terrorists and
- Stop the drug smuggling that has cost countless lives on both sides of the border.
The reaction by the Mexican people and their political establishment to those words will, also, complicate renegotiation of NAFTA.
Nothing was gained. You can’t even check-off a campaign promise kept.
Start Firing the Right People
This week, President Trump, you need to restart your administration. The success of your Presidency hangs in the balance.
Bold action is required.
You’ve got to eliminate the people who have proven their advice is bad advice.
Time to tell physically and intellectually over-inflated Steven Bannon and the self-aggrandizing political errand boy Stephen Miller “you’re fired”.
Next ask the “4 Stars” what to do with “3 Star” General Michael Flynn. Then follow their advice!
Good luck – the nation is counting on you not to screw this up beyond repair in just two weeks.