The Modern Notion of Good Management in Politics: Out with Bob Corker and Jeff Flake–in with Donald Trump–and many others

I guess it’s just sinking in to the mainstreamers, but a takeover has been afoot for a long time. How can I put this, let’s see, I come from a management background. The best managers if they are taking over a previous culture’s problems must approach the situation differently than if they were going to start from scratch. Building something from the ground up is much more fun than inheriting someone else’s mess. When you take something over you need to kind of sit back and see who does what for you—who’s loyal, who’s a problem and figure out how you can replace the bad people with good people following all the crazy rules that are out there these days in order to provide a positive margin index. In many ways that is what happens every time we elect someone new, we hope to put a manager in place who will fix the legacy failures of the previous administrations. Often however we find that the candidates who offer themselves don’t have much management experience, their backgrounds are more aligned with attorney skills, not management so they are clueless in how to solve the problems that we need them to tackle. Starting way back, people like me have been pushing the notion in politics of replacing candidates with an emphasis in legal opinion with people who are business savvy. That’s how people like Eric Canter were knocked out of their entrenched federal House seats and replaced with more value driven representatives. That is how Donald Trump ended up president. People know what needs to be done, and they are now voting with that knowledge intact. We don’t want someone to tell us everything is fine like some clawless CEO speaking to their panicky board of directors. We want someone who can get in there and take charge and actually change the culture using advanced management skills for the furtherance of the traditional American idea.

Understanding that trajectory of thought, Donald Trump is not splitting up the Republican Party threatening the House and Senate majorities. He is cleaning house of the losers and positioning winners to take over strengthening that majority. The Democrats have no threats out there of beating Republicans in their races and Trump knows it. So to get the right kind of Republicans to vote for his agenda Trump is removing the bad Republicans like Bob Corker and Jeff Flake from the mix. That is a great thing which is all part of the difficulties of management. The “Party” is not more important than the “individual” and currently Trump has been elected to “manage” the country’s affairs and specifically the do-nothing Republican Party. Like any good manager he started off nicely, treated everyone fair to get a feel for them. He watched and was patient, and he took notes. Once he realized who the bad Republicans were, he went to work to pressure them off the team—and that is exactly what he should do.

When this happens in business it always hurts somebody’s feelings. People always think they are worth the most of anybody, so being a manager is difficult because many times you must deflate the impression people have about themselves. But before you can see it, you have to let them be themselves around you so that they can reveal themselves as part of the problem. Once you know that, you then must take action to remove them from your “team.” This is often not easy because there are many laws which do not favor management and protect bad people. As a skilled manager you must discover some creative way to follow all the rules, but still get rid of the bad people so that good people can thrive.

Really bad managers let the power of their position go to their heads. Their first reaction is to let everyone know who the boss is regardless of the talent level of the people they are dealing with. They assume that all people are equal and thus can be interchanged easily with each other like Lego bricks. This is the typical approach of traditional politicians. They come into office as lawyers looking for a steady income—but they don’t really understand how people work, so they can’t manage the people around them and make good decisions. That leads them to following the previous administration for guidance who also made all the same mistakes and eventually you end up with just another idiot barking out orders and using the power of institutionalism to scare everyone into following those orders. In companies, that is when they start to die. In politics, that’s when lobbyists get the ear of the politician. Since voters often don’t respect such people, the politicians find the seductive respect given by the lobbyists validating, so that becomes their new influences and that’s when you end up with losers like Jeff Flake and Bob Corker. The reason those guys have such bad polling is because now people see they have a choice and they aren’t just voting for the guy with the “R” next to their name. Voters are looking for managers like Trump—and that will only increase the seats that Republicans hold. It won’t lessen them.

Of course all the insiders know this already, but they hope that the media will sell to Republicans the notion that there is a risk of losing the majority in 2018. Nothing could be further from the truth. After the tax reform passes and the stock market goes into the Near Year at previously unfathomable highs—nobody is going back to the Democrats. People aren’t stupid. They know how to solve these modern problems, they were just looking for the right people vote into office. The moment they get them, they are putting them in place—and they will be more traditional Republicans who have an understanding of management—not the kind who have failed us in the past.

Good managers are almost always hated, and they are used to that. People are always nice to your face of course because they wish to hide what they are really about. But good managers understand that trait and are able to function well without the approval of their peers. Being a good manager is a very lonely path—there are very few people out there who can tell you that you’re doing things right—because they don’t know. Often times they are either part of the problem or unwittingly helping the problem be successful, so they have no advice to give that is worth anything. Good managers function best alone taking in as much information as possible and making decisions based on their experience, and natural instincts which cannot be plotted on a Six Sigma graph or taught in college. You either have it or you don’t. You may be able to develop it with experience, but nobody can give it to you. You couldn’t buy good management ability for millions of dollars of education—don’t let anybody fool you. It comes from someplace beyond our terrestrial understanding and the only access to it is very hard work. Trump certainly has those traits. Many other people do as well, and those are the new fashion in politics.

Without question the old politicians are looking at these new politicians who are coming in as skilled managers in some cases, and they hate them. They will whisper to the media the way workers in a place of business might whisper gossip hoping to stop a head slicer from discovering how useless they really are and ending their jobs. People hate Trump because he’s good at his job, not because he’s bad. Smart people understand why there is gossip and anger about Trump. Stupid people listen to the gossip, and they show themselves to be part of the problem. That is why good managers are needed, so they can act independently of the noise to do the work they were assigned to do. We tried the other way, and maybe the political class thought it would go on forever. But that was never the plan. Like good managers, the voters waited and watched and when they had their chance, they acted. And that trend isn’t going to stop—it’s going to grow.

Rich Hoffman
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