It’s inevitable that companies will be acquired by new owners. They’ll be put under new management that will decide to keep or implement new policies. Often there are changes to senior level management roles and staff members undergo individual reviews. There is reorganization in which departments deemed obsolete are removed while new ones are formed. Jobs are lost and jobs are made; stocks plummet or they rise. It is the business world. It is common and happens on a daily basis. Sometimes it is good for the company and its employees; other times it is a complete disaster.
One of Donald Trump’s largest and most consistent campaign refrains was that he’d bring business back to America. He promised that his business swagger and supposedly CEO-imbued acumen that has brought him nearly 50 years of business success (though that’s under debate) would help right the “unorganized” and “corrupt” American ship that has tipped too far to the left and away from good old-fashioned traditional values and economic markets. He promised reform, law and order, and stability.
However, since November 8, 2016 the world has witnessed a car accident of a transition of power about to happen in slow motion. I believe it is fairly safe to state that going from an Obama Administration to a Trump Administration has been nothing short of a muddled and haphazard shit storm. Despite all of his promises to play well with others once elected, Trump has gone decidedly the opposite. Instead the country finds itself on the day of his inauguration unsure of the policies he actually plans to implement with a long list of unfilled key positions and
Even his own supporters and members of his party have admitted that Trump has botched it, setting himself up as Antagonist or Retaliator in Chief that won’t play well with others. If the Federal government was truly a business, than we are witnessing the live action hostile takeover of our country due to the whims of a money-grubbing egomaniac of a CEO. Let’s recap.
The Dos and Don’ts
Do: It’s smart practice to keep all if not some of the senior level management in place during transition. They know the company’s structures and policies, what’s worked in the past and what hasn’t, and have spent years cultivating relationships with the staff as well as external investors. They will act as an incoming new CEO’s mouthpiece to help alleviate concern at the worker level, to answer questions about the transition, and to quickly capture the pros and cons of newly implemented policies.
Don’t: Not Trump. All ambassadors and envoys were fired the afternoon after Trump took office, breaking with precedent and not allowing short extensions that would support a smooth transition of roles and responsibilities. The move has affected as many as 80 positions, threatening to leave many Senate-confirmed envoys empty for months in critical countries, such as Germany, Canada, and Britain, breaking off direct communication to the President. This has threatened to negatively impact already-strained relations and limits the amount of country-specific information the President receives on a daily basis.
Do: It’s imperative that new leadership immediately connect with current investors to allay any concerns they may have and to keep them from jumping ship (i.e. massive stock sell off, etc.). These stakeholders often represent the financial backbone of the company. They can help support the company if the transition falters, injecting additional funds as well as connecting new investors.
Don’t: Not Trump. He has threatened to slap 45 percent tariff on all imports from China. This statement may resonate with his base but it is just one example of antagonistic policies that threaten the global economy. It undermines America’s leadership because arbitrary tariffs usually affect American suppliers and distributors instead of the actual foreign suppliers. It’s also dangerous practice to threaten economic allies, and enemies, because they are just as likely to retaliate. Starting a new administration with a trade war with one of the strongest economic actors in the world is not smart business practice.
Do: When a company is taken over by new management there are bound to be hurt feelings. Just because these people are no longer in charge doesn’t mean they don’t have sway with investors and the public. Any good business person should seek to heel those divisions. It’s good for company morale and allows new management to provide a united front to the public. It allows for consistent messaging and even reachback to previous management.
Don’t: Not Trump. Since he won Trump has been on a non-stop bragging tour of America. He has taunted people who voted against him and politicians as “losers” and “enemies” and, from the media to nonprofit advocacy groups to politicians, has continually threatened violence and lawsuits against anyone who disagrees with him.
Do: As always, with new ownership comes new management. Few times people are promoted within the company. Because new ownership usually wants to “shake things up, the majority of time new management are external hires. They may have little to no familiarity with the company itself, but have an extensive history of experience with the overall industry. They may even have worked for past competitors and can to past successes that make their hire a smart one. Any business person will tell you, experience matters, especially when new company owners don’t know what the hell they’re doing themselves.
Don’t: Not Trump. Trump is considered one of the least experienced Presidents America has ever had. He has zero political, diplomatic, legislative, and military experience. His grasp of the Constitution and how laws are made is at a laughable third grade level. He frankly has no clue what he is doing. You would expect him to surround himself with competent appointees. People who know how to navigate the complex legal, financial, and legislative structure that makes up the Federal government. Instead, he has filled his cabinet with people just like him – wealthy and inexperienced. The pony shows that Trump has trotted out to America and the world has created a laughing stock. But hey, no one can ever use the line again “Well, Obama was inexperienced when he took office!”
So here we find ourselves. Stuck with a President who for the next four years will tweet his displeasure and cause international incidents with both allies and enemies. He will find that his closed-door business style will not work on the public stage. He can’t force countries to sign NDAs and he can’t threaten them either thinking they won’t bite back. He will ignore the critical issues at home, such as combating climate change, poverty, and homelessness, while taking a chop block to people’s Constitutionally-protected civil rights and liberties. Thankfully, already some of his supporters are beginning to see the light.
Let’s make him a one term president America. He became accountable to the country this afternoon when he was sworn in. Campaign season is over! It’s time to hold his feet to the fire.