Ever since Donald Trump was narrowly defeated, yet elected, as the CEO of the United States of America, his behavior has undermined America Inc. both domestically and internationally. Nobody paid attention to his track record: having been bankrupt four times, he should have been disqualified by his institutional shareholders (the Republican Party) who controlled the Shareholders Meeting and the Board of Directors. Let’s take a closer look at the main qualities expected from any CEO in America.
Vision vs slogan
Most Americans took a slogan for a vision.
Making America Great was an undefined objective: which greatness for which America? A year after his election, the CEO has still been unable to articulate a vision for America that would be coherent, global and realistic. Instead, he negotiates bilateral deals without any consideration for the consequences for the United States.
The perfect example here is the planned repeal of the Affordable Care Act: he pretended to have a plan – one that he did not have – and relied on his party to come with a plan. They landed together a project that consequently would deprive 20 million Americans of healthcare. He denied the facts and it was up to a bipartisan initiative to spell out the consequences of this uneducated and absurd move. Had the White House anticipated that risk, a normal CEO would have asked his team to redraft the proposal. Instead, he sent a message that he did not care about the 20 million Americans to be affected.
Greatness vs grandiosity
The proposed tax reforms favor corporate America and its rich shareholders, to the detriment of the middle and working classes. The fact that the House voted for it make the Republicans accomplices of a violation of the principles of equity.
Is his vision to make all Americans better, as he pretended? Does he want to make America great to the detriment of the people he promised to make richer and better? Most of his policies are turning their back to the citizens of this country.
The international scene is unfortunately where the President can almost act alone. Is greatness the image he wants to project as the Commander in Chief? His few military actions in Yemen, Syria or Niger have been failures. He is currently playing with the risk of a nuclear war in a situation that should be handled with care, not with barking insults. His attempts to force China to further pressurize North Korea will fail: in China, contrary to the Trump Administration, legacy is more important than legitimacy, and one stands with one’s friends. Trump could learn a lesson from this: confronting Germany, Britain, France, China, South Korea, Japan and many other countries has broken long-term friendships between the United States and its allies. Is it making America a great ally?
Giving away multilateral treaties is a net loss for America. Trade is global, not bilateral. The Transpacific Treaty was offered on a golden plate to the Chinese while it was aiming to contain China’s economic influence in the region. NAFTA was a request by corporate America to make it easier to use Mexican’s low-cost production and a larger market. He tries to crush it.
Integrity vs immorality
The integrity of a CEO is an essential part of his or her credibility within the organization. The White House chose to put personal advantages ahead of the needs of the country. Trump’s salesman, Jared Kushner, is in charge of deal making with the worst of the planet. By doing so he aggravates the tensions in the Middle East, belying his supposed role as a peacemaker. Ivanka and Donald Jr. negotiate their own deals, including with China, weakening the position of the United States through their own corruption. Not to mention Mar-a-Lago and the Trump hotels used by the White House for the personal enrichment of the President.
Integrity includes telling the truth, explaining the issues and respecting the freedom of opinion. He does neither of this, convinced that a lying White House can convince stupid Americans. Managing with fake tweets will never create basic honesty.
A long series of illegal or unconstitutional breaches are only possible thanks to his (current) immunity.
Human rights vs contempt for people
Respect of basic human rights is critical to the standing of a CEO. Not at the White House.
Throwing out immigrants while hiring them for his businesses and displacing them are all part of the contempt for people and family values – one of GOP alleged values- is what the White House does. Racism is a prevalent characteristic of an administration that lines up with white supremacists.
Human rights include women’s rights. The deterioration of women’s rights under this administration is, sadly, not surprising – what else could be expected from Donald Trump, the only CEO in America who is known as a sexual predator and keeps his job? We are hopelessly watching systematic attacks against women. It makes Ivanka’s appeal for women rights not only laughable, but deeply despicable. They also include homosexual and transgender rights. His support to the Republican rapist while condemning a Democrat one is a proof that morality is less important than partisanship. One would not expect less from a sex maniac.
The attacks on abortion and contraceptive reimbursement, together with other health care more generally, evidence a fundamental disinterest for human rights.
Human resources vs “you are fired”
What could we expect from a man who made his reputation, not on hiring, but on firing people? We should have known better. Human lives are, for this CEO, disposable objects. He has already fired more of his own staff than he managed to hire. His main tactic is humiliating his own people. What sort of loyalty does that inspire?
Recruitment of talent is key to the success of any corporation: hiring an environment executive who denies scientific evidence of global warming, choosing an ignorant education Secretary fights against public education, and refusing scientists’ input on critical scientific challenges are only some of the examples of Donald Trump’s inability to hire the talent needed for an effective administration. Parading with Emmanuel Macron on Bastille Day is more important than having an Ambassador in Paris. Hundreds of key positions remain unfilled. The White House is paralyzed by a lack of talented professionals. The White House is a desert of talent, and no administration ever had a worse record in recruiting.
Motivating one’s team is critical. Tweeting against the Secretary of State, the FBI chief or the Department of Justice is public humiliation, one of Donald Trump’s favorite “management” tools. Insult is not a motivating tool. Fear is not loyalty.
Firing America’s CEO?
Based on the above, any reasonable Board would have fired this incompetent CEO of America, had they not made the absolute mistake of hiring him in the first place despite lingering questions on his ethics and capabilities. However, of course, this does not work for the President of the most powerful country in the world. It is a challenge, since impeachment will not work as long as the Republicans control both Houses
The mid-term elections in less than one year are the first opportunity to cut his wings, to limit Donald Trump’s ability to make America worse by refusing to elect complacent Republican lawmakers. The second opportunity will be the Presidential election of 2020.
It is not a pretty picture, but we have an unassailable CEO who is destroying what makes America great: its moral spine and reputation. In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.