I am referring, of course, to President Donald Trump firing Anthony Scaramucci as his Communications Director today.
For the first time, President Trump has given future Presidents a positive role model to emulate. Almost no Presidents, indeed, almost no executives anywhere, have the guts and competence to do this. Of course, I don’t know if any President has made as unbelievably bad an appointment before. Lincoln appointing George McClellan as his top general for the second time comes close.
Donald Trump seldom admits mistakes. There is no other way to interpret this stunning act (I first saw it in a comment on Ethics Alarms, and I thought it was satire), no matter what the President says, other than “I screwed up big time, and I had to fix it.” Neither Obama, nor Clinton, nor either Bush, nor Reagan were ever willing to do this hardest and most humbling of management acts.
Apparently General Kelly told the President that “Mooch” had to go, and he went. This is excellent news on multiple fronts. I assumed that Kelly would eventually demand loose-cannon Scaramucci’s head—it was so, so obvious that he was a walking, talking pathogen in an already sick White House culture. I did not think Kelly would act so quickly. This speaks very well for him: Davy Crockett would have approved too. Davy’s ethics formula was “Be sure you are right, and then go ahead.” Kelly was sure, and saw no reason to wait. There was none. Every second Scaramucci remained wild and free was a second closer to the next crisis.
It is also a wonderful sign that the President took his new Chief of Staff’s advice. Wow. I now have hope that he may be persuaded to give up stream-of-consciousness tweeting.
We can use this event as yet another test to assess just how biased various pundits are. How many will have the integrity to say, as I do, that firing a Scaramucci as soon as possible is a competent and courageous example of good management, even if it was made imperative by the President’s own head-explodingly terrible, incompetent and irresponsible decision? My guess is very few. What they want to do is bash Donald Trump, and this certainly gives them ammunition.
I would ask them this, however: how often have you hesitated to admit a mistake and fix it, waiting and hoping that somehow it would work out, only having to fix the problem later after the predictable catastrophe occurred? And you weren’t doing this in front of the whole nation, with a pack of hateful journalists just waiting to heap ridicule and abuse on you for doing the right thing?
President Trump deserves praise for this. And if his example is followed by managers everywhere, it will be a better world in too many ways to count.
[I thought this was over-kill, however…]