President Donald Trump made his mark well in creating a Business Empire; he made his mark well as a Television personality; and in a hat-trick he repeated a similar feat in Politics by swinging the Republican Party to power – from the time he threw his gauntlet in the Election fray in June 2015 to the time on November 8, 2016, when he emerged victorious – in an Election that American history will possibly record as Historic.
Assuming power on January 20, 2017, he never looked at the mirror, but only at the heart of his constituency ( even if this is not a decent majority – with only 35-38% approval rating now ), and began planning programs ostensibly to benefit them, even when open opposition coupled with gossips tried to run him down. He remains energetic and even defies age.
But the expected accolades with potential to refresh him did not arrive; on the contrary cats came out of the bag in more than good measure. Whether it was his own making or otherwise, one could not have experienced a more challenging time during the initial days of Presidency than Donald Trump possibly.
Donald Trump could not gild the pill; he could not gild the lily; he could not create an effective ginger group; and he received criticisms galore from all quarters – some whole truths and some gas and gaiters.
His travel ban had gone sour again; his climate change stand was not received with goodwill by a majority of nations; his move to install the border wall has not seen any promising or propitious reaction due to cost, time, and effort as at present; his firing of Sally Yates and James Comey were perceived as missteps in decision-making; his repeal and replace of Affordable Care Act even while earning support from some, still stands incomplete.
Will this be his ‘resolve’ now at 71?
” I need to display mellow natures and mellow the hearts of people to bring them to my side; this will also get my defenses stronger and stronger “.
My Commonsense belief affirms that in President Donald Trump’s case the opinions he hold strongly seem to hold him in turn strongly. Analysts and people alike debate whether his strong opinions, specially on issues like immigration, border wall, climate change, … … , come from less adequate understanding of the totality of the issues themselves, or from his own firm conviction as to what he thinks and places to pass will yield real good for the nation in future. Time alone can pass the judgment.
Most of President Donald Trump’s admirers would be too happy to call him a ‘true leader’, and be proud to be part of his scheme of actions. It is the continued spirit and sense in their minds with novel, inspiring programs from the leader, and widespread growth of similar feelings in the minds of a majority of the population with the combined grace, strength, and wisdom of his advisers that will mark his “Leadership” in this tumultuous period during his term.
God’s guidance is the best Wish.
” Dieu avec nous”
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 – 11. 01 a.m. ( IST).
Tidbit : ” On his birthday it will be nice if someone sent him just 51 or 61 flowers instead of 71 for his attribute of making Age Jealous “.
” All countries are together in protecting our Planet” – said President Barack Obama.
” Paris Climate Agreement is historic; it is a turning point focusing not on red lines but on green lines of Cooperation and Compromise” – said Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister & President of the Conference (COP 21).
” A choice for your nation is a choice for the humanity in this world” – said François Hollande, French President.
” Solutions to Climatic Change are on the table now; the end is in sight and we’ll finish the job” – said Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General.
The Paris Climate change Conference (COP 21) lauded in words above by Leaders in December 2015; equated to a game changer in Science (Climate) and Environmental Compromise unseen earlier for more than two decades; online anger and greater awareness of people for the first time playing a major role in Conference achievement; largest group of nations (195) coming face to face with each other for a comprehensive agreement peacefully – all met with the hurdle of non cooperation from a nation most favored to lead the initiatives of combating the Climate change with tech prowess and funds, if not for its heavy contribution to greenhouse gas emissions compelling an ethical responsibility driven by misguided assumptions regarding the accuracy of Science and the commanding inner voice of the Leader (President Donald Trump) in overturning his predecessor’s signature move(s). This seems to make even the disappointing and deficient Copenhagen meet many shades better now.
The birth of the Paris Agreement on December 12, 2015; coming into effect in November 2016 with the leeway for individual nations to ratify their commitment and observance through respective national legislative procedures is poked if not jolted by this Trump Act, and the consequences can be anything but easily comprehensible at this point in time. EU (European Leaders), China, and Russia have expressed confidence in the Agreement standing firm without renegotiation. It’ll take time – months/years to gauge the real implications.
It occurs to me that President Donald Trump by putting oil through this withdrawal move has kept the lamps of his base burning amidst the swirling election promise(s) in mind. In the process he has also taken the risk of America being relegated from the Leadership role that the world has got accustomed to associate with. America’s loss will be China’s gain. China, for all its uncompromising attitude through the years stands on the cusp of adorning the role of Leadership in this environmentally tempestuous season. This, if comes true, will be the HISTORIC Power Shift of the Millennium.
The Cardinal actions proposed in the Paris Climate change Agreement center around : (a) Agreement that Climate change will be limited to a rise of not more than 2°C by the end of the century; (b) Agreement that a $ 100 billion fund/year starting 2020 will be established for the developing nations to take necessary steps of control; (c) Agreement that a plan to review each nation’s pledge to limit the greenhouse gas emissions every five years will be put in place.
From an academic and research perspective two aspects will likely be impacted in ‘different’ directions.
Figure below depicts the above two routes clearly :
1. Advancing the fossil fuels in a “clean and sustainable” manner without totally eliminating the use; 2. Finding new energy development, storage, and use technologies to give more power to power the growth engines of the nations.
Many institutions and organizations are engaged in (1) above and what is needed is more government, public, and private engagement to take that to a higher level.
It is significant to note here that nearly 25 organizations (CEOs) have written to President Donald Trump to stay with the Paris Agreement even while resolving their independent commitment to do their best to help counter the impact of Climate Change.
As for (2) above : more powerful batteries, chargers, home units, rooftop solar systems offering extra lifespan, Alternatively Fueled Vehicles (AFVs), smart gas meters … … … are some of the works already in progress with potential to drive research, manufacturing, and installations the world over. Increasing the effectiveness of operations, faster charging, reducing the cell cost, better anode alternatives in batteries, scaling up for mass production, use of nanotechnology particles for power generation.. are some challenging areas where human ingenuity is already digging deeply. A new group of ‘energy angels’ will emerge to get a stranglehold in this sector. It will not be out of place to attest a scenario where giants like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Tesla, and many others of their ilk will view to set up Power Companies independently or with joint participation. Also hardware, software, apps, data sciences, airborne services, robots, next generation satellites, in the growing tech sector will boost the connected devices platform enabling and enhancing the delivery of Clean Power around the Globe. Job growth in these will increase multiple times for sure.
In the light of above withdrawing from the Paris Agreement may seem unwarranted. President Donald Trump and his team can direct their energies to bring about a transformation in Education in schools, colleges, universities and other institutions to ensure that every individual can learn the skills in the growing tech sector. This promises to open up new vistas of opportunities with unprecedented growth potential bringing about a new revolution. With Climate change becoming every individual’s “movement” and not just the preserve of environmentalists, activists, planners, government, or other institutions –
cooperation among nations to come together for a common cause is the order of the day.
Herein lies the strength and leadership of America.
“Dieu avec nous”
Friday, June 2, 2017 – 10. 59 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” I can do things you cannot; You can do things I cannot; We can together do great things.”
Truth can crush the hopes of any individual, be it a common man or the President, rooting to be on the rise in his/her work journey into the future. President Donald Trump is on this threshold now.
President Donald Trump has had his 9 day foreign trip with ‘bon accueil’ – the trip included Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican City in the process introducing a sense of novelty (each place representing a majority religion of its own) for a U.S. President’s first foreign sojournment. At home though his success has been obfuscated by a set of cards stacked against posing challenges to his authority and pace of actions – (a) Washington Post’s bombshell report on Jared Kushner’s (President’s son-in-law and top adviser) proposal to Russia in establishing a Secret Communication Channel in December 2016; (b) Jared Kushner’s possible meetings and discussions with Russian Officials as also with a Russian Bank Chief and the existence of conjecturable deal(s); (c) Strong belief in suspicious contacts between Russian Officials and Trump campaign associates as testified by the former CIA Director, John O Brennan; (d) Montana Republican, Greg Gianforte’s body slamming of the Guardian reporter, Ben Jacob’s, just hours before the House Election; he won the seat by a good margin, though; (e) Discontent arising out of President’s Budget Proposal projecting deep cuts in EPA (31.4% decrease); Department of Education (13.5% decrease) ; Housing and Urban Development department (13.2% decrease); even while increasing allocations for Homeland security (6.8% increase) ; and Department of Defense(10.1% increase) – all the above to the point of alienating more people from his support base.
Combine the above with the (by now reknowned) tweets of President Donald Trump in the last 20-30 days, a good study in context is what comes into view. His tweets were not emboldening; instead they were causing panic. People and many leaders, within and outside, are in the least inspired by some of his actions/tweets is the general perception portrayed mostly in sections of media, press, and the public.
The above developments, howsoever damaging they may prove to be, constitute in business terms only a ‘small data point’ in the broad framework of ‘Big Data’ necessary for proving culpability or condemnation (set aside any criminal indictment as not possible). The events also have their own ‘codes’ set firmly now; though the ‘codes’ have not been cracked fully as at present. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller has his task set well on this aspect. A fresh opening may be a fresh catalyst is the hope with which the news may be assimilated by the Democrats, specially. If and when the ‘codes’ get cracked fully, it could well be poised for a big turn in the American Political Context.
President Donald Trump may still hold sway; with good standing still left in the company of his constituency and the loyalists in the administration. But he is not offering them any complete or competitive benefits as his new budget proposal would reveal in key sectors as jobs, energy, Healthcare, education etc to be firmly designated a turnaround as promised in the election campaign. In effect it signals only a shift from growth and cutting costs to increasing/weakening the debt burden. Time, though, is still on his side.
Viewed in the above scenario, the following Six aspects will carry the attention of people as the President moves on with his plans:
1. Will the new energy and hope brought by the election to the office of the President be short-lived?
2. Are the President’s tweets a collection of untruths with potential to hold back people’s progress, each day, each week, each month passing?
3. Don’t people desire and deserve a life free from all the added/growing pains of economy … … … causing likely losses in the end?
4. Is the President peddling deals for profits – as some observers may feel and opine on occasions – or for National Growth in a genuine fashion?
5. Will the business savvy President really become politically gifted soon to bring about a positive change in the perception of every section of people or will the faith in his Leadership be a mirage?
6. Is it that any fear of future for the people be not due to his inadequacy but more to the threat of his becoming more powerful/autocratic?
American people – citizens – need to display a strong, determined, and positive mindset to control their emotions at this critical juncture in this Millennium.
” Dieu avec nous”
Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 9.59 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Truth is Silent when Money speaks” (Russian)
” President Donald Trump’s Week 14 in Office – April 24 – 28, 2017 – Consummative 100 Days” – April 29, 2017.
President Donald Trump – 100 not out with just one ‘Six’ in the form of Confirmation of 113th Justice of the Supreme Court, Neil M Gorsuch; a ‘boundary’ in the nature of a retaliatory attack on Syria – signaling that chemical warfare has to be nipped in the bud itself; and the rest coming from ‘singles’ mostly.
Rather than evaluating the performance of President in his first 100 days in terms of specific accomplishments; quantification of actions completed; or measures of his popularity percentage; – an analysis and brief description in terms of the ” EFFORT” taken to move from Day 1 to Day 100 in the face of challenges will be quite in order. We don’t get butter directly from the cow; it needs “Effort” to transform milk into butter.
President Donald Trump won a difficult election making the Republican Party proud in the first place. He had the major promises of – (a) Repealing Obamacare (fresh proposal introduced; not enough support to pass; modification for the record effected and is being processed – a ‘setback’) ; (b) Working towards a sustainable immigration policy (proposal placed; appellate court stay; modified for the record and placed again; a single judge stay witnessed – a’ setback’; (c) Negotiating deals for the betterment of Americans and the nation (China’s support to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions; Nafta negotiation with Mexico and Canada to begin; – ‘Fair’ performance) ; (d) An economically strong America (stock markets touched a new high with only last week recording the first fall – ‘Good’ performance) ; and (e) a big infrastructure program (trillion dollar initiative proposed in the budget; backed and upheld – ‘Good’ performance). One can at best classify these as a “manifesto”. The manifesto is usually for the full term and not for a short appraisal recording the assessment of individual. Hence, the 100 days activity period will only be a harbinger of detailed actions in the process of implementation. ‘Many a little makes a mickle’, and little improvements combined with forward movements on every promise during the period will count in significance.
No major achievement(s) indicative of a distinguishing mark, eminence, or honor. But just as a chip on the shoulder indicates that there’s wood higher up, every little progress is indicative of a larger impact in future. Combine this with the kind of external and internal forces due to sudden turn of events, and one’s task becomes all the more strenuous and enduring. From this perspective one can safely regard the President’s ‘EFFORT’ as more than just ordinary or plain.
From a Commonsense Management point of view, President Donald Trump’s persona during the period can be expressed in the following three words – “Supremo, Steers’man, and Slovak” as depicted in the figure below :
(a) Supremo : President Donald Trump is like a Supremo with a strong hold on power with popular support and authority. Although some may doubt his mental agility and decisions, he seems to be exhibiting his drive and determination to pursue the goal of treading a path different from the previous heads of state. His acts were encouraged and supported by those around him which was good for short-term plans, but found wanting in terms of experience for resolving any conflict (as with the spontaneous retaliatory attack on Syria but without a concrete plan for further courses of action due obviously to time constraints). However, the experience gained, in particular the success of the attack destroying a Syrian airbase sending a clear signal that the US will not be a passive onlooker of the catastrophic chemical warfare now or in future; a clear message of his priority to protect and ensure the safety and security of the citizens in danger, threat, or distress. The record of the destruction of a major part of Syria’s airpower cannot be overlooked. Analysts may do postmortem for long. Need to improve intelligence; active diplomatic maneuvers; inadequacy of a political solution for now; swift, effective and productive counteractions; creation of a culture to enable the above are the lessons learnt. The Supremo stands supreme.
(b) Steers’man : President Donald Trump is like the steers’man with a dominant role in Strategic Thinking to steer the America First Vision. His main theme in this exercise incorporates leadership by “Nationally Associated Mind” (NAM) in tackling the problems facing the nation now, as he promised. His actions represent a congruence of thoughts from his advisers as strategists; industry champions as doers; and people as voices of concern and beneficiaries. Through his actions on revival of coal mining jobs; appointment of Neil M Gorsuch as Supreme Court Justice; considering designs and prototypes for the construction of the wall in the Southern border; – he has displayed his understanding of the nuances of managing concerns of people as well as the responsibility of his team. Great leaders have the right helpful mechanisms with courage programmed and course corrections incorporated to achieve the goal. While President Donald Trump has set his destination right and possibly clear, he still is engaged in creating and installing the right mechanism for the actions going forward. This will be his challenge after his 100 days reign. The steers’man steers in good stead.
(c) Slovak : President Donald Trump’s principles and promises seem to parallel the Slovakian in EU even if the two nations are not comparable in terms of economy, geography, and diversity. It is not related either, nor can it be transmitted to other areas. The two striking priorities between the two, however, can be traced to (a) making the economy strong with jobs and growth; and (b) formulating a sustainable migration and asylum policies. In both cases, priority themes at the forefront are driven by (a) projects and programs having a practical impact on improving the quality of life; and (b) focus on people welfare seeking to achieve results in every part of the nation. President Donald Trump as the leader will strive to create an appropriate environment for development; unify the entire geography of America; introduce a sustainable immigration policy; build the stability, prosperity, and democracy as its fundamental pillars. The Slovak reminds the Slovakian in action.
If the first 100 days saw the beginning in the nature of right, power, energy, and resourcefulness – his performance should be marked with praise.
People may be guessing and wondering whether President Donald Trump can find the best remedy for all the ills affecting the American Society – a goal he has envisioned during his campaign – but his initiatives during the first 100 days reflect determinately that he is honestly engaged in looking at the problems through his own prism, right or wrong and the constraints or shortcomings notwithstanding . He will eagerly look forward to support from Congressional members on both sides of the aisle for all his key programs.
He shall, however, be ready to withstand pressure for the next 1360 days!
What Abe Lincoln said is appropriate in this context : “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm” and “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedom it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
“Dieu avec nous”
Saturday, April 29, 2017 – 8. 49 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you wish to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln.
Here’s a compilation of key events/initiatives that happened during President Donald Trump’s Week 14 in Office :
1. President Donald Trump’s new Tax Code entails the following seven key elements : (a) The number of tax brackets for individuals has been reduced from 7 to 3 now. (b) Standard Deduction is doubled. (c) Repeal of Alternative Minimum Tax. (d) Lower Capital Gains tax from 23.8% to 20%. (e) Repeal of Inheritance Tax. (f) Preserving deductions for mortgages and charity. (g) Corporate tax reduced from 35% to 15%. President Donald Trump is a high income earner. He receives income from 564 business entities and can take advantage of low rate on “pass through” companies. It is felt that his proposal signifies a strong tilt to favor the business and rich people. It is also felt that major benefits would not last beyond 10 years at the most, because laws do not permit deficits above that window. Details are yet to be released.
2. Economic growth will offset the proposed tax cuts is the argument in support. However, many economists do not concur.
3. President Donald Trump signs two executive orders in his move to shift environment policy : (a) to expand offshore drilling ; and (b) to roll back conservation of public lands. The lands will be open to drilling, mining, and logging due to this order. It will also permit offshore drilling in the protected waters of Atlantic and Arctic. Chief aim is creation of more jobs in the energy sector – a promise he made in Election Campaign.
4. Negotiations of a spending bill that will likely set aside any provision for border wall construction while at the same time increasing the funding for military and border security measures can effectively neutralize any threat of a government shutdown. In a healthy and hearty sign of legislative fraternity, the Congress today approved a one week spending measure till next Friday setting in motion negotiations for a long-term Spending Package.
5. William H Orrick, United States District Court Judge, blocked the President’s move to deprive federal funding to localities that do not align with immigration enforcement efforts citing rules that such efforts can be imposed only by the Congress. The sanctuary cities may feel relieved as at present.
6. Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Ajit Pai, plans to loosen the government’s oversight of high speed Internet providers. Central to this is the net neutrality. “The more heavily you regulate something, the less of it you are likely to get”-he says. High Speed Internet Service should no longer be treated like a public utility with strict rules, but should largely be left to police itself, he added. This plan is contrary to Obama’s signature telecom decision which had the support of the tech industry. Net neutrality is back to the fore again.
7. House Freedom Caucus lends a fresh lease of life to the Repeal of ACA by giving it’s approval to a new, more conservative version. But Republicans could not muster enough support to get it through.
8. Renegotiating and not abandoning Nafta is President Donald Trump’s priority now – a change in script from his election campaign thunder – as evidenced from his telephone calls with Mexican President and Canadian PM.
9. Jared Kushner’s business partner, an Israeli investor, has been an enabling hand in his multi billion dollar business with potential for conflict – it is revealed.
10. Ivanka Trump’s accolades in defense of her father that he has been a “tremendous champion of supporting families” at the W20 Summit in Berlin met with unpleasant responses.
11. Fox News faces a class action lawsuit for its “abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful, and hostile racial discrimination” brought before the Court by Eleven current and former employees.
” Dieu avec nous”
Saturday, April 29, 2017.
Tidbit : ” The main task of any President is to work for the Public Good”.
” President Donald Trump’s Week 13 in Office – April 17-21, 2017 – Words and Actions Can be Different in Governance” – April 21, 2017.
Here’s a compilation of events/actions initiated by President Donald Trump during his Week 13 in Office.
1. President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to curb foreign workers, to safeguard the interest of American workers, and to put an end to “the theft of American prosperity” resulting from low wage immigrant labor. The order is a reflection of his resolve to implement one of the electoral promises – “Buy American, Hire American”.
2. President Donald Trump wants Government agencies to purchase more products and services from US companies and hire more American workers.
3. China, Japan, and Canada were the focus of President Donald Trump’s anti-trade action this week, with America’s steel imports from the first two on investigation, and the financial injuries caused to American Dairy Farmers due to Canada also finding strong expression. Policy changes are unclear at the moment, though. Supporters will be happy.
4. In a Congressional contest in Georgia, (represented by Tom Price, presently the Health & Human Services Secretary) that gave powerful jitters to the Republicans, Jon Ossoff, the Democrat, missed his majority by the skin of teeth setting in motion a June run off with Karen Handel, the leading Republican in the group. It is a warning sign providing time for corrections that Republicans as a group need to put their best foot forward in the 2018 contests.
5. Carl Vinson, the US aircraft carrier, and four other warships ordered in to the Sea of Japan intended to be a deterrent to North Korea’s provocative missile tests turned in to a cause for worry as at the moment they were sailing in the opposite direction to partake in joint exercises with Australian Navy in Indian Ocean.
6. North Korea’s UN Deputy Representative, Kim In Ryong, at a Press Conference unleashed a torrent of threats, war scenarios, and rhetoric aimed at US. Vice President, Mike Pence, warned North Korea not to test the resolve of U.S.A. or “the strength of our military forces”. Pursuing diplomatic moves are not ruled out. North Korea’s UN ambassador condemned the US naval build up in the waters off the Korean Peninsula, plus the US missile attacks on Syria. Kim said : “It has created a dangerous situation in which thermonuclear war may break out at any moment on the Peninsula & poses a serious threat to world peace & security”.
7. Pentagon begins review of US nuclear weapons policy.
8. Democrats will consider how the proposed tax code will benefit President Donald Trump and his family before taking a stand on support or otherwise for the “tax code” action. Republicans also seem divided on this issue.
9. Justice Department is weighing whether to charge Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, for his role in the disclosure of classified information that the US claims has harmed the National Security and Diplomatic relations. President Donald Trump’s administration terms Julian Assange’s Wikileaks as a “hostile intelligence service”.
10. Bill O’Reilly, the celebrated prime time host on Fox News has been ousted due to disclosures on his multiple settlements involving sexual harassment allegations against him.
11. Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter, has filed 173 foreign trademarks in 21 countries including Hong Kong and EU.
12. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, says :”I’m amazed that a judge on island in the Pacific can block President Trump’s Immigration Order”.
Turning our attention to the Commonsense Management perspective now, it must be stated that the President’s Governance Model is shifting too slowly to assume a mature path :
The figure below represents the ‘three P’s’ of the model :
(a) Product : President’s actions do not appear to suggest any clear model worthy of imitation or following at this stage. Even many of his followers who staunchly favored him in the Election would not consider his actions constructive enough to be copied marking a pattern. If some of his retreats may have added new support hitherto unnoticed, the same would have eroded some in equal measure from his loyal constituency. The result overall may not be much to boast of or be proud of. The singular characteristic that stands out amid all his flip-flops, confusion, disquiet & disorder, anxiety, and even embarrassment is his surge of continuity in behavior, gestures, and operations suggestive of a ‘fighting mode’ to reverse the order of events he views as important to his goal. “This is his Product”. Even with this silver lining it seems hard to arrest the growing negative public perceptions to any degree. This presents his biggest challenge after the first 100 days of ‘uneasiness’.
(b) Programs : The program(s) that the leader places in front of his people, howsoever incomplete or imperfect they be, are what will decide and render feedback in respect of the progress/performance of the leadership team vis-a-vis people’s readiness to accept or reject them. He needs a “program” that is capable of shaking the status quo in Washington DC that has the potential to bring about a positive change in Governance. It is appropriate here to mention the program initiated by the Indian PM on job & skills development to employees. With President Donald Trump’s emphasis on promoting jobs in manufacturing specially, such a massive training program by companies in partnership with academic institutions and the government will afford a significant move ahead.
(c) People : People, perhaps a majority now, generally expect that President Donald Trump will fail to inspire or slip up in his programs as it happened with the tweets, and to an extent barring the spontaneous retaliatory attack on Syria and a little less in the case of changing the lottery system in H-1B visas ostensibly to promote American workers dwelling under their own vine and fig tree(s), his actions have largely been a vindication of this aspect – “America First”. What he is attempting is to walk a different path untreaded before. Without focusing big on what he wants, a focus to bridge the gap between the rich and poor is imperative. This only can make him a “people’s president’.
To conclude : The present government now in its nascent stage(s) can best be described in terms of a start-up in business with a ‘best common viable goal’ – the goal of making America First – with a plain and ordinary PRODUCT moving ahead to settle a small element of a Big purpose and progressing forward. These are days of start-ups and not behemoths and that should be more than encouraging to the present leadership team even if election campaign words turn out to be different from concrete actions.
“Dieu avec nous”
Saturday, April 22, 2017 – 8. 29 a.m. (IST).
Tidbit : ” It takes 20 years to build a reputation and just 5 minutes to ruin it”. – Warren Buffet.
” President Donald Trump’s Week 12 in Office – April 10-14, 2017 – A contrarious View of His Governance Model ” – April 14, 2017.
Here’s the list of key initiatives taken/ events happened during President Donald Trump’s Week 12 in Office :
1. New York Times wins three Pulitzer prizes : (a) Breaking News photography for Daniel Berehulak – for providing a portrait of a violent campaign in Philippines; (b) Feature writing for CJ Chives for his piece on a young veteran of the War in Afghanistan suffering from PTSD; and (c) International Reporting for the series on Russia’s surreptitious assertion of power. Public service award goes to Daily News for a series on New York Police Department’s widespread abuse of decades old laws to force people from their homes and businesses over alleged illegal activity.
2. A Federal Judge struck down Texas’s 2011 Voter Identification Law, ruling that it was enacted with the intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters.
3. President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts in Environmental Programs will affect Clean Water, Pollution Control, and Law Enforcement – prevailing general feeling. Former President George Bush favors foreign aid. Cuts on US spending abroad is not the right move according to him.
4. Meeting aggressive sales goals by creating fraudulent accounts scandal consumed two more executives of Wells Fargo – John G Stumpf, former Chief Executive, and Carrie L Tolstedt, former Head of Community Banking – who have been commanded to pay $ 75 million in compensation. The conditions and culture prompting this scandal were detailed in a 113 page report after six months of investigations.
5. Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos has withdrawn several memos regarding Consumer Protections for Student Loan borrowers issued under the previous administration. High quality customer service plus accountability and transparency for all borrowers plus limiting costs to taxpayers are the key intents.
6. President Donald Trump passed his First Test of his reign/administration when Republican Ron Estes won the Kansas Congressional seat, albeit a narrow margin, vacated by Mike Pompeo, presently the CIA Director.
7. Attempts at twisting/masking Syrian Government’s culpatory act in the last week’s Chemical Weapons Attack by Russia casts further doubts on President Donald Trump’s strong adherence to Russian President Vladimir Putin
8. The first meeting between President Donald Trump’s top official, Secretary of State, and Russian President took place on Wednesday. This came in the wake of the Russian cover up in Syria Chemical attack, an accusation the WH understandingly held.
9. President Donald Trump’s wow to revise the tax code has been viewed with apprehension/fear by the Democrats presenting the President’s Conflict of Interest threadbare even as the President has been unwilling to overhaul deductions he has used to avoid paying taxes.
10. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-lago, Florida, slapped with 13 health violations, three of them categorized as “high priority”.
11. President Donald Trump signs anti Planned Parenthood law.
12. US dropped the most potent non-nuclear bomb (21600 kg) in East Afghanistan close to Pakistan border to destroy the ISIS strongholds in the region, tunnels, and bunkers on Thursday.
Of significance this week from Commonsense Management perspective are :
First, the ‘Change in the President’s Rules of Engagement’ specially with foreign nations/institutions. The figure below puts this in perspective :
President Donald Trump seems to be amenable to changes in his positions adopted with strong feelings during the Election Campaign : 1. From NATO being ‘obsolete’ to NATO is ‘no longer obsolete’. 2. From ‘China being currency manipulators and perpetrators of trade losses’ to ‘China is no longer the currency manipulator, and President Xi Jinping is sincere in helping defuse the US showdown with North Korea’. 3. From ‘Our relationship with Russia is beneficial’ to ‘We may be at an all-time low in terms of our relationship with Russia’ now. Rather than criticising these as flip-flops, the President’s views above shall be taken to reflect prudence and diplomacy in the face of combatant challenges – a stand also indicative of the deep learning initiative he is able to bring to his character and temperament that his critics have been contesting forcibly until now.
People’s psychological changes and reflections to any action(s) of the leader are so fast changing and uncertain mimicking the swinging movements of a metronome that what works or perceived to be working in the ‘present’ cannot be guaranteed even for short durations in the political horizon of this new age. Changing views is an inescapable requirement of making for the objectives in a situation as it exists now globally. Just as in business to repair the damage caused to a company is much more than just a tall order (say, for example : as with disgruntled customers), in Politics to redeem the positive perceptions once lost is more than just humongous.
If the President does not move ahead consistently, it would mean he has either stopped or the hurdles in course have worked successfully. But, he is moving ahead consistently by “tweaking and shifting his stance on issues” as above with determined assertion and aggression. It is also significant to note that the President is still in the introductory stage of Governance ( you only have to draw a parallel to the concept of Marketing PLC to understand this). Time is the essence and immediate pronouncements for or against may not be appropriate.
Second, to say a little more on the President’s Governance Model :
President Donald Trump has astutely incorporated the three following elements in his model of Governance :” Eraser, Establisher, and Enterpriser “.
The figure below depicts the three E’s of his model as observed at this juncture :
(a) Eraser : Eraser tries to erase some memories, programs, schemes, plans, or even thoughts prevalent among people. First, President Donald Trump took the mood, emotions, faith, beliefs, and changing attitudes of people to harness and sustain the loyalty and following to his `brand’ of administration. Second, he identified “Growth & Jobs”, “Immigration Control & Stability”, and “Safety & Security” of people as the three pillars of his population market segment to focus on. In the process he forged ahead with undoing and redoing some programs of the earlier government(s). Some like it, some do not. “My mode of operation is different and I’ll not hesitate to be flexible” – is possibly what the President attempts to convey to people. This is how the “Eraser” that President Donald Trump is, perhaps, wants to move ahead and recognized.
(b) Establisher : Establisher tries to establish, fix, Institute, or even educate people to hold power and position. To put his ideas to work and fruition, President Donald Trump needs to muster partnerships to manage and sustain internal/external resistances to a minimum. If President Donald Trump’s views on Russia, after the deadly Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria; on Syria, his harsh words that Bashar-al-Assad’s actions should not go unpunished with Secretary of state, and the US representative of the UN Assembly echoing similar views openly; on China, the somewhat unexpected camaraderie displayed with the Chinese President Xi Jinping last week; on Germany, his congratulations on phone to the Chancellor Angela Merkel on her local elections victory coming close on the heels of the well critiqued indifference to shake hands courteously when they met in WH – all signaling significantly deep departures from his election campaign views, but a portend to his possible shift in foreign policy initiatives strategically valued to arrest tensions. This possibly is how the President, the “Establisher” that he is, wants to dig his heels in.
(c) Enterpriser : Enterpriser tries to initiate, develop, risk, build, or even excite and embolden people, policies, institutions, and the nation(s). As is his wont, President Donald Trump has been daring and adventurous in his decisions – Spontaneous attack on Syria; Cutting funds/foreign aid for some sectors in the budget; Attempting to repeal and replace ACA; Going forward with new designs and preliminary work on building the Wall in the Southern border are some in this context. He is possibly engaging in pilot Market Research to gauge the reactions of people, analysts, and critics. It is perfectly in order up to a point at this juncture. What is, however, crucial will be the ensuing actions in the nature of Kanban/Kaiser – incremental improvements to all of the above programs even as they progress. This possibly is how the President, the “Enterpriser” that he is, charts his course of accomplishments.
In conclusion : What possibly can impact seriously his effectiveness is his words perceived by many as rudish, more than his deeds getting attacked openly in these uncertain circumstances. This weakness has the potential to affect the spirit and morale of his own associates besides impacting the work in progress. Cautious optimism will be the watchword.
If that be his goal, his acts have to be viewed with thought; he should be given adequate time for future corrections; his programs monitored closely before passing any verdict prematurely. Meaningful improvements in the lives of people may not be visible still. It is only 12 weeks now, and he has still a lot of time to redeem and redintegrate. Can people hope for a magic bullet work?
“Dieu avec nous”
Saturday, April 15, 2017 – 10.39 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : “Making your plans according to circumstances, and not first plan and then make circumstances is the success mantra.”
” President Donald Trump’s Week 11 in Office – April 3 – 7, 2017 – Need for Redefining Governance Model ” – April 7, 2017.
This is listing the key initiatives during President Donald Trump’s Week 11 of Presidency :
1. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had ordered a review of Federal agreements with thousands of law enforcement agencies including those that address abuses. This examination reflecting President Donald Trump’s emphasis on law and order; and reducing violent crime could lead to a further retreat on consent decrees nationwide.
2. President Addel Fatah el-Sisi of Egypt is emboldened by President Donald Trump’s validation. Former President Barack Obama had a different equation with the leader of Egypt.
3. Stephen K Bannon has been removed from National Security Council. NSA, Lt Gen HR McMaster’s imprint is solid, strong, and stable.
4. President Donald Trump describes his $ 1 trillion Infrastructure Bill as a High Value Legislative bill.
5. President Donald Trump defended Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly with words: “A Good Person” ; “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong”.
6. Possible changes to a program that allows tech companies to import foreign workers may be adding to an even heavier rush for visas than usual this year – it is felt.
7. US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that “Entry level Computer Programming jobs” would no longer automatically qualify as a ‘Specialty Occupation’ which is a basic requirement for receiving H-1B Visa. Justice Department on Monday warned that it would look closely at any employer that showed a preference for H-1B workers instead of Americans. This comes just before the Government starts accepting applications for next year H-1B visas. Tech companies will likely face more scrutiny. Big companies like Google, FL may not be affected.
8. Devin Nunes, Donald Trump’s chief ally on the Congressional Committee investigating the President’s connections to Russia stepped aside from the inquiry, leaving the WH open to further attacks of the nature in future.
9. Neil M Gorsuch becomes the 113th Justice of the Supreme Court with his confirmation by the Senate today. “A feather in President Donald Trump’s cap” – who promised to appoint a Committed Conservative succeeding the deceased Antonio Scalia in February 2016.
10. North Korea tests a medium range ballistic missile reinforcing the American belief that it is a threat to be taken seriously with potential to strike the Foreign Policy Engagements.
11. Expressing his deep felt sympathies to the victims of the Chemical Weapons attack in Syria, President Donald Trump said : “the death of innocent children, women, and little beautiful babies” (86 people including 27 children) makes him reassess the situation in Syria. It poses a foreign policy challenge to the President.
12. ” No child of God should ever suffer such horror” – said President Donald Trump and in a retaliatory measure authorized military and air strikes on Syria.
13. Israel supported the move recognizing in terms of a “strong message” sent in retaliation for the chemical attack – that Chemical Weapons will not be tolerated.
Moving on to the ‘management’ takeaways now :
President Donald Trump’s political periegesis needs to mark a distinct path of Governance if he is to etch his stamp and to ‘position’ U.S.A’s role in the world at this critical juncture.
Three events that contribute significantly to a fundamental change in the President’s perceptions are (a) the harsh awakenings imparted by the ‘chemical weapons attack’ and the consequent death of 80 odd civilians including women and babies; (b) “North Korea’s ballistic missile test”, and (c) the diplomatic challenge posed by the Chinese President, Xi JinPing’s,
visit in the light of President Donald Trump’s remarks with conviction during his election campaign on Trade Deal losses and Currency Manipulation maneuvers.
It is only a week earlier the President affirmed the Construction Workers Unions – ” I’m not, and I do not want to be the President of the World; from now on it’s going to be ‘America First'”.
The events mentioned above may not be construed as a distraction, but they definitely call for a shift in President Donald Trump’s positioning of U.S.A. as America First during his inaugural in January 2017 to a more perceptible focus on some “jarring global operations” constituting a New Governance Model.
The Figure below presents the three elements of the New Governance Model.
First, it begins with ‘repositioning U.S.A.’ possibly incorporating global involvement while ensuring the safety and security of America.
Second, the President’s swift actions locally are transforming the way he infuses enthusiasm even though it excites and emboldens mostly his loyal constituency. It still makes his overall ‘people connection’ weak and suspect. It has to be enlarged and spread further to cover a majority of the population. If it is data that connects with customers in business, it is the sentiment and execution that connects people in politics. Accelerated program execution is a priority at this juncture.
Third, the President needs a different formula to solve new challenges – a formula that will incorporate ‘hard and soft’; ‘strong and less strong’; ‘beneficial and sacrificial’ elements creating a new value to his ‘brand’ giving a more satisfying ‘Trumpesque’ experience to people. It means that he should promote big businesses even while encouraging small businesses/startups; he should promote coal, oil, and gas for energy independence even while encouraging renewable resources; he should promote stringent immigration control even while accepting those who spent long years contributing positively to the nation’s growth; and the likes. An obvious question that arises in this context is how this ideal can be achieved. Is there a proven ratio of the mix available based on past experiences or studies? Will a 60:40 or 70:30 ratio be the optimum? Can trials be formulated and worked in practice? Academicians and researchers will ponder.
Final Inference : A singular but complex problem that will haunt any leader in program execution is ‘resistance to change’ which will force the leadership to work on enhancing trust and bridging the trust gap between the loyalists and common people who differ in their views. The best recourse for the leader under the circumstances is to engage in aggressive propaganda measures communicating the benefits of programs to people by the lawmakers in every constituency. I wish to recall in this context what the Indian PM said just a couple of months ago, and once earlier in 2015, that his “party legislators would do well not to sit and chat in the Parliamentary Hall in Delhi but go to their constituencies and communicate the brighter aspects of the Government’s programs to people”. He urged with command and most legislators pursued in all sincerity. The result was for all to see. Except for Delhi, Bihar, and just last month in Punjab his party virtually steamrolled the opposition in all elections since the leader’s own epic election in May 2014. This is the kind of change that the foreign leader needs to emulate now. 2018 is not far enough to ignore this aspect. I only believe that it’ll be quiet appropriate and the act sensible. This, perhaps, is the best tool in Democracy in the right place at this point in time particularly when challenges seem insurmountable and uncertain. Also when the leader engages in undoing and redoing things in a different way, as President Donald Trump attempts now. That the American people may not be surprised or shocked about their leader’s moves – since the leader has declamatorily poured these acts over and over during his election campaign even with time frames in some cases – is in itself a blessing from the point of view of Commonsense Management Principles of Governance. This aspect has to be further tested and discussed specially when deviation in courses of actions and even in Foreign Policy loom large now.
President Donald Trump will be “Making New Rules for a New Order in this New Age” will be what most analysts and observers may anticipate.
“Dieu avec nous”
Saturday, April 8, 2017 – 11.29 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” What Donald Trump has been is of not much consequence now; what he is now and what he wants to be during his Presidency is what matters most.”