Today, Inauguration 2017, we witness the most divisive inauguration of our time, indeed since 1860. Yet this is so unlike 1860 when the nation was truly divided by an unconscionable practice which needed rooting out – yet drove the discontent in the electorate. Inauguration 2017 is borne of the most unlikeable candidates who yielded a President-elect whose brash, often offensive behavior creates deep dislike and distrust. Still, beginning today Donald J. Trump is our President, and everyone should hope for the best possible outcomes. Perhaps by focusing your energy on a single element of the Presidency the Country can come away better than we begin. I am most interested in the leadership element of this unusual Presidency.
Inauguration 2017: What will be the leadership style of Donald J. Trump?
Donald J. Trump has yet to follow a proven playbook in his drive to the Presidency. With his late night Twitter rants, relentless travel and off the cuff speeches he turned the process on its head. His failure to produce tax returns leaves the electorate blind as to his self professed business acumen, yet some things seem obvious: He is used to getting his way. He surrounds himself with his family. He does not react well to criticism. The Trump Organization is less real estate developer, more marketing machine. All this seems to indicate a command and control decision making style. This approach may work fine in a reasonably sized, family business, but the Federal Government is anything but this. Complex organizations with vast headcount and diverse areas of interest are far better led by leadership teams. The President is best served by choosing a capable, trustworthy team and letting them do their jobs.
Inauguration 2017: What to look for this Spring?
I think the first 100 days should be watched for evidence that this leadership team – The Cabinet – have agreed upon a clear direction and begun the work of translating that vision into actionable tasks. Whether this is a four year experiment or eight, the Trump Administration is best served by outlining a philosophical framework, garnering support from key stakeholders and driving to execution across the behemoth that is the Executive Branch – without undue check-ins with ‘dad.’ If we see this happen, we may actually make some progress during this term – progress we can all be happy with. That is what everyone should be hoping.