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the revolving door

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    President Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on Monday, upending the military’s leadership at a time when Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede the election has created a rocky and potentially precarious transition.

    Two White House officials said later on Monday that Mr. Trump was not finished, and that Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, could be next in line to be fired. Removing these senior officials — in effect decapitating the nation’s national security bureaucracy — would be without parallel by an outgoing president who has just lost re-election.

    President Trump’s decision to fire Secretary Esper out of spite is not just childish, it’s also reckless,” said Representative Adam Smith, Democrat of Washington and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “It has long been clear that President Trump cares about loyalty above all else, often at the expense of competence, and during a period of presidential transition, competence in government is of the utmost importance.”

    At the Pentagon, Mr. Esper’s departure means that Mr. Miller would — if he lasts — see out the end of the Trump administration. Defense Department officials have privately expressed worries that the president might initiate operations, whether overt or secret, against Iran or other adversaries during his last days in office.

    Mr. Esper’s downfall had been expected for months, after he took the rare step of disagreeing publicly with Mr. Trump in June and saying that active-duty military troops should not be sent to control the wave of protests in American cities.

    Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, called Mr. Esper five minutes before the president’s Twitter post to tell him he had been fired. ​

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    Over the past week, President Trump has axed his defense secretary and other top Pentagon aides, his second-in-command at the U.S. Agency for International Development, two top Homeland Security officials, a senior climate scientist and the leader of the agency that safeguards nuclear weapons.

    Engineering much of the post-election purge is 30 year old Johnny McEntee, a former college quarterback who was hustled out of the White House two years ago after a security clearance check turned up a prolific habit for online gambling.

    A staunch Trump loyalist, McEntee, 30, was welcomed back into the fold in February and installed as personnel director for the entire U.S. government.

    “Johnny is loyal to a fault to the president, but doesn’t have the basic understanding of how departments operate and what skills are required to hold certain Cabinet-level positions,” said one senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. “It’s actually hampered the president by putting unqualified people throughout senior roles.”

    Trump rehired McEntee in the weeks after the impeachment process, when Trump had been frustrated to see federal officials testify against him, and granted McEntee wide latitude to make personnel changes. McEntee quickly made aggressive moves, replacing longtime staff in the personnel office with a coterie of aides in their 20s and purging officials viewed as insufficiently loyal.

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    Please note that these firings are solely done to cover his ass. He's afraid that the "qualified' leaders will find all his "dirty tracks and laundry" even before January 20th. For Biden to get these departments doing the "job" properly with determined leaders will take time, so in the meantime Trump can"cash in" and make sure "evidence" disappears.

    But yeah the dumb ass people here have no clue "why" he gets rid of these people. Wake up Pelosi and Schumer for a change!!

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    Quora Digest this morning had a questions about corporate culture that is worth reading:

    "Trump supporters generally say they don't care what sort of a person Trump is, and many readily admit he's not a good person. Have people ever had that attitude in regard to a president before? That character, honesty, integrity, don't matter at all?"

    Here's the answer:

    Something I have learned from years of survival in the corporate world: There’s a simple rule in organizations:

    The character of the top manager of the company is the character of the company itself.

    This means, if the CEO is a lying, low-life bastard, he telegraphs that message to his underlings, or he hires people who like that sort of boss or at least have figured out how to survive in a toxic environment. Those managers then repeat the process by hiring people who like that sort of thing or learn to survive in the toxic environment. And those managers hire more of the same. When you get to the shop floor, you can look up and see a hopelessly toxic corporate culture that’s acid to the human soul. Those that can stand the acid, trudge through in hopes of money or power. Those that can’t, join the revolving door of employees leaving. (Yes, I’ve worked in just such an environment and I’m not there anymore)

    On the other hand, if the CEO is a caring, thoughtful individual who really does want to make the business a great place to live, they telegraph that message to their underlings and hire people who share that value. They, in turn, telegraph and hire people like that as well. The environment is softer and gentler. There’s less political in fighting and more consensus building. People at the lowest levels look up and see this and want to join in. The company pulls together like a mule team to get the job done. Employees stay for years even if the pay isn’t as high as at other places. (Yes, I’ve worked at such a company. They had to lay me off during a down turn to get rid of me otherwise I’d still be there).

    This works with any organization, including nonprofits and governmental units. The President is the CEO of the Company of USA. If he’s telegraphing hate and divisiveness, he’s going to surround himself with the type of people who thrive in such an atmosphere. They then surround themselves with more such people, and so on. The corrosion eats through the entire structure. Those that can stand it, duck, hide and wait for the guard to change so they can come out of their holes, or they quit. This is what we’re seeing with the federal government right now.

    Love them or hate them, love or hate their policies, but Bush II and Obama did appear to create atmospheres of inclusiveness that made people want to work for them. They didn’t suffer nearly the turnover that Trump is suffering from. The divisiveness didn’t permeate the government and spill out into our culture as a whole. With Trump, his heavy-handed style is causing constant turmoil in government, people are quitting in droves, and the divisiveness on which he thrives is radiating out in circles from the White House.

    So, yes. Character really does matter. No matter what organization you’re leading. It’s going to go where you lead it.

    Are you leading it to Heaven or Hell?

    Only you can decide.

    So, how does Trump stack up?

    The most recent analysis that I could find is from NBC news in September of 2019. At that point, turnover was "off the charts".

    The top echelon of the Trump administration has become a high-speed revolving door — with turnover in 78 percent of the positions, a new study has found.

    And 31 percent of those White House "A-Team" jobs have turned over more than once, the study by the Brookings Institution shows.

    "It's historic, it's unprecedented, it's off the charts," the study's author, Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, told NBC News. "I've never seen this kind of turnover before."

    In just 32 months, President Donald Trump's rate of change has surpassed "all of his predecessors who served four-year terms," she said.

    The report focuses on the top 65 positions in the Executive Office of the President, which includes jobs like national security adviser, chief of staff, communications director, press secretary and director of national intelligence.

    The study found 51 of the 65 positions have turned over since Trump took office.

    Sixteen of those positions have turned over twice — or more, the study found.

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    Yes, too bad you experienced the same in your job. Sorry to say my Dutch bosses were different and great people in the aviation culture; I did get several awards as well one which was awarded as employee of the year over 17000 people.

    So I can't complain; the only thing I have to add , that when I came here then things were different; indeed the US personal acted as you described. (must be an "culture" problem, learned in the "army") Yes they acted as ass kissers. However my boss did not fall for that and I was always invited on his yacht while the others were not. Also if the management from the Netherlands came over I was always invited to brief them.

    So I can't complain and loved my job. I travelled the whole world and dealt with every airline you can imagine.

    Of course it depends on the type of job you have as well the "vetting" of its employee's. The only bad times I recall was my job in Canada in the ice cold N.W. doing seismic work for Shell Canada.

    Selecting employee's was always daunting, because most people at any solicitation don't show their real face.

    I was not such a good leader; I had to fire several people over time because of not doing their work as required.

    But getting back to Trump and the "governing" in this country; it proves that "interfaces" on hiring and "qualification" are done in an awful way. I think it is the lack of "social" education about the "why" and "how" is missing here. "Cause" and "effect" is not taught here, let alone "human" interface. Neither the "background" evaluation is done properly. It surely shows with the Trump selection that part of the "brains" are missing here as well "international" education.

    Thus in my opinion, something has to drastically change in government "vetting" of all their employee's including the "top" jobs. Playing the "buddy" game does not work in an serious work environment; there has to be "thrust" related to management as well management should never show/use the "fear" factor in governing. I always could run anytime into the office of my company's directors and give them advise or had them change things. Here they are too "chicken" to do that; because of the "army" culture here.

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    An article in the Quora Digest explains WHY Trump has had such a high turnover:

    "I recommend Michael Lewis’s excellent book “The Fifth Risk” which describes in detail how bad the transition was.

    The problem is, it was all Trump’s fault.

    Chris Christie tried to warn Trump that under federal law, he had to start vetting presidential appointees before the election and convinced Trump that (1) it was a good idea to comply with federal law and (2) if he didn’t do it it would look like he was conceding the election. However, after Christie did some excellent work, Trump found out the process had cost $2 million of “his money” and disbanded it.

    For example, at the Department of Energy in 2008, staff welcomed 30 of Obama’s transition team the day after the election and gave them full briefing books. They also prepared briefing books for Romney’s team in 2012, but never used them.

    On November 7, 2016, the DoE was shocked that Trump had won but was still ready to greet Trump’s team with full briefing books. However, no-one showed up. No-one showed up the next day either. Or the day after that. The following week, DoE staff got in touch with Trump’s team to ask when someone would be coming. They weren’t told.

    Eventually, Rick Perry showed up, alone, in early December. It was clear he thought the DoE was involved with oil, gas and coal. He had proposed disbanding it. That day, Perry found out the DoE mostly regulates nuclear energy and nuclear materials, including tracking bomb-making material. Perry was visibly shocked by the news and never questioned the function of the DoE again.

    Trump met Obama soon after the election and mentioned he was looking forward to working with Obama’s White House staff. For some reason, no-one in Trump’s campaign had bothered to explain to him that all the White House staff was leaving with Obama and he had to find about 2,000 people to replace them. It was left to Obama to break the news. Trump was visibly shocked.

    In total, the president gets to choose 6,000 posts in the government, from the cabinet on down. Trump only ever bothered to appoint 4,000 people and left several key posts, like the ambassador to South Korea, vacant."

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    Arizona, Your article showed clearly how bad the situation is in our government; the daily news proves that as well. When I was still working here and had to visit the FAA, I was shocked at the incompetence and "paper" mess. Since that time not much has changed, with the exception may be of having "computers" and lots of data overload. Ha ha.

    Yes I call all of this "island" behavior. Also the "system" of changing "people" every 4 years makes it an mess. Party politics drive this beyond anything "normal" . At least in the Netherlands you are not faced with such; if you have "good" experienced people retain those. Like I've said so many times the "system" here is bound to fail because the "base" (foundation) is no longer sound and totally unworkable as proven under Trump; which gets worse with every election. Eventually the whole thing will collapse under its own weight. Action number one should be to "limit" Presidential powers. Amen

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    Arizona -- Yes the character of a company reflects the character of the CEO or the department head. It does take time, however. A new boss will have to purge the next level managers that don't want to play his/her game. I've seen it first hand in the corporate world where I lived for 35 years.

    Trump's administration was entirely predictable once the con man became president. For a president that has lied to the public over 20,000 times, it makes sense that his press secretaries would do likewise. They all lied, but Kayleigh McEnany is the most polished liar. Oh and then there is the "alternative facts" Kellyanne Conway. Wow.

    But getting back to Trump's initial staffing of the White House, he had no clue or no interest. He was too lazy to learn even the basic functions of government. But that too was predictable. As a "businessman" his biggest failures were when he was put in direct charge -- his Atlantic City casino bankruptcies for example, but a whole lot of other ventures where he dived in without doing his homework. He did better making money by putting his name (his brand) on hotels and products that others managed. And he made money as a host of the NBC reality show where the NBC executives called the shots on business decisions, and he was just there to pretend to fire people...something that appealed to the dark side of certain America psyches.

    Mary Trump's book is revealing about his character from a young age. Mary Trump is a psychologist and does an excellent job of analyzing his character from boyhood to adult and how his family was always there to bail him out. The mantra of "loser" has effected him throughout his life so much so that he has learned to lie and cheat at everything...even golf to avoid being a "loser". He just cannot psychologically accept losing at anything. Winning is everything. He invents alternative facts to avoid being cast as a loser. That's his whole life. And that's why he will never concede the Presidential election.