As many of you know, last month I took break from blogging.
The President, however, was not only hard at work for most of the month, but has been busy all summer.
So this week, I’m adding to my list of bad manager habits that I first posted back in May. As you may recall, these were habits inspired by the real-life actions of President Trump during his first 100 days or so in office – but which I feel managers should take pains to avoid if at all possible.
And as with my original list, I offer evidence for each.
(For those of you who follow me on Twitter, these will not come as any surprise to you.)
First, a disclaimer:
- I’m not saying Trump is a bad manager necessarily. It’s possible that he manages his businesses in an entirely different way than he is running the country.
- I’m also not saying that Trump behaves this way all of the time – or that he is guilty of each and every one of these behaviors. (He has, however, given the appearance of engaging in each on at least one occasion.)
- And I’m not even saying that it’s not alright to behave in these ways every now and again. (But I will say it’s probably a bad idea to make them habits.)
Bad Manager Habit #27: Spying on your own employees (or threatening to).
Trump of course insinuated that he’d taped his conversations with Former FBI Director James Comey. But there are also those who claim that other government officials may be the focus of presidential surveillance. (http://www.newsweek.com/trump-officials-fear-they-are-being-spied-upon-565739 and https://tcf.org/content/commentary/trump-white-house-spying-fbi/)
#28: Revealing trade secrets to your competitors.
In May, Trump met with high level Russian officials – and apparently revealed to them classified information regarding US intelligence efforts aimed at foiling ISIS terrorist plots. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-revealed-highly-classified-information-to-russian-foreign-minister-and-ambassador/2017/05/15/530c172a-3960-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?utm_term=.d1f1c6287c9b)
#29: Speaking ill of former employees.
In that same meeting, Trump called former FBI Director James Comey a “nut job.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/us/politics/trump-russia-comey.html?mcubz=0&_r=0)
#30: Changing your story.
Trump has repeatedly changed his story on why he fired former FBI Director James Comey in the first place. (http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/trump-changes-story-on-comey-firing-947668547523)
#31: Pursuing short-term profits at the expense of long-term growth.
Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement might be seen as evidence of prioritizing short-term economic growth over the longer-term costs/externalities of climate change. (http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/01/politics/trump-paris-climate-decision/index.html)
#32: Ignoring the concerns of your employees, and the community.
Trump’s decision to pull of out the Paris agreement was opposed by NASA (https://climate.nasa.gov) and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-to-announce-us-will-exit-paris-climate-deal/2017/06/01/fbcb0196-46da-11e7-bcde-624ad94170ab_story.html?utm_term=.46f8a56d7900)
#33: Lack of empathy.
Shortly after a terrorist attack in London in June of this year, Trump (incorrectly) criticized the response to that attack by the city’s mayor, at one point calling it “pathetic.” (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/trump-criticizes-londons-mayor/)
#34: Not doing your job.
An unprecedented number of crucial government positions within the Trump administration have yet to be filled. (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/21/donald-trump-administration-us-government-jobs-unfilled)
#35: Confusing the issue.
In a June 15th tweet, Trump seemed to confuse collusion with Russia with obstruction of justice, both of which are currently the subject of an FBI investigation. (http://www.npr.org/2017/06/14/532985377/report-trump-under-investigation-for-possible-obstruction-of-justice.)
And in a press conference following former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress, Trump denied that he told Comey he “hoped” the investigation would dropped, before adding “But it would have been okay if I did.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0q9epeV55Q.)
#36: Denying your employees basic benefits.
The Trump administration and the Republican controlled Congress have repeatedly tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would leave millions uninsured. (http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/24/news/economy/obamacare-repeal-cbo/index.html)
#37: Falsifying your credentials.
According to the Washington Post and other sources, Trump hung a phony Time Magazine cover (featuring himself; see above photo) on the walls of several of his golf clubs. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-time-magazine-with-trump-on-the-cover-hangs-in-his-golf-clubs-its-fake/2017/06/27/0adf96de-5850-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?utm_term=.636a44fbaff1)
#38: Managing via intimidation.
Trump has threatened to back primary challengers to any GOP lawmaker who didn’t support his healthcare bill. (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-threatens-gop-back-health-bill-or-get-primaried/article/2617074)
#39: Trusting the untrustworthy.
The President seemed to take Vladmir Putin at his word when the Russian president assured Trump that Russia had not hacked the 2016 US presidential election. Trump also briefly considered collaborating with Russia on a cyber security unit to prevent future election fraud. (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-time-work-constructively-russia/story?id=48530164)
#40: Setting your subordinates up to fail.
Former press secretary Sean Spicer never really had a chance. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/21/spicer-resigns-from-white-house-team-sources-say.html)
#41: Publicly criticizing your employees.
Trump has openly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions—an early supporter of the President—on at least one occasion. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/21/sessions-in-tough-spot-after-trump-criticizes-him-in-new-york-times-interview.html)
#42: Encouraging employees to break the law.
In a televised address, the President urged New York City Law Enforcement Officers not to be “too nice” to suspected criminals while making arrests. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/07/29/police-trump-speech-violence/522561001/)
#43: Remaining conspicuously silent when words/action/leadership are needed.
Trump waited two full days to condemn the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville… (http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/14/politics/trump-charlottesville-north-korea/index.html)
#44: Espousing/tolerating racist views.
…and then a day later defended some within their ranks as being “fine people.” (http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/15/politics/trump-charlottesville-delay/index.html)
#45: Needlessly going over budget.
In part due to the President’s many trips to Florida, the Secret Service has already spent its entire annual budget. (https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/08/21/report-trumps-travels-have-left-the-secret-service-unable-to-pay-agents/23155707/)
#46: Excusing illegal behavior.
Last month, Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who in July of this year was convicted of criminal contempt of court. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-pardons-former-arizona-sheriff-joe-arpaio/2017/08/25/afbff4b6-86b1-11e7-961d-2f373b3977ee_story.html?utm_term=.28e31ad25136)
#47: Appearing to capitalize on/exploit others’ misfortune.
On a recent visit to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, Trump wore a hat available for purchase at his re-lection campaign’s online store. (http://www.npr.org/2017/08/30/547396137/trump-wore-usa-hat-to-visit-hurricane-zone-and-trump-fans-can-buy-the-look)
#48: Picking fights.
In recent weeks, the President’s fiery rhetoric has escalated the likelihood of potential military conflict with North Korea. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/09/05/trumps-comments-on-north-korea-from-fire-and-fury-to-blaming-china.html and https://www.thenation.com/article/trumps-handling-north-korea-going-lead-us-straight-nuclear-disaster/)
#49: Blindsiding your colleagues.
Earlier this week, Trump sided with Democrats in agreeing to attach hurricane relief to a shorter-term hike in the debt ceiling than Republicans had hoped for, and in the process seemed to have caught Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan completely off-guard. (http://secondnexus.com/politics-and-economics/trump-blindsides-republicans-making-deal-democrats-conservatives-livid/ and http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/06/politics/trump-meeting-with-democrats-deal/index.html)
See you next Friday.