It is good to fire people from time to time, in fact, if you aren’t doing it when it’s needed, you aren’t doing a very good job of management. It’s not something that should make you happy, or should be doing just to be doing it, but if you are in a leadership position and don’t get rid of people who aren’t adopting the philosophy you are trying to instill, then you have to do it. Failure to do so weakens whatever it is you are doing. Contrary to the popular modern belief that jobs are entitlements, firing people is healthy for an organization, its like trimming trees or pulling weeds in a flower bed—it’s something that must be done in order to make things better. As we have all learned in the Theory of Constraints you can only be as good as your weakest links, so when you identify them, they must either be strengthened or removed for the health of your organization. And that is certainly the case with the position General Mattis held under President Trump as Secretary of Defense.
You don’t always know about a person until they are battle tested. With every new hire comes optimism that they will fit into your vision for whatever the endeavor is, and its generally a cause for celebration. After all, when you start something you should be excited and so should the people who were hired. When Trump hired all the people of his cabinet, being an optimist I’m sure he wanted everyone to work out. But of course they don’t always do and the Trump administration specifically in just two years has terminated more staff than any administration in the history of the United States. However, that’s not a negative, it’s very much a good thing. In the case of General “Mad Dog” Mattis Trump learned that the “generals” he had hired to help his administration were entirely too process oriented and not quick thinkers on their feet, so he has had to get rid of them. Especially in the case of Mattis, they were groomed in big government environments and under the pressure of reality are more Democrat than Republican leaving them with little to do in the future.
When Trump said at the beginning of his administration that he didn’t want to have troops fighting all over the world for nothing, he meant it. General Mattis had the job of ending the wars in Afghanistan and Syria and he hasn’t developed an exit strategy in the first two years that was acceptable, so Trump is moving on. Yet to hear the media report the story you’d think that Trump had no right to fire Mattis or to eliminate anyone from his administration. The outrage expressed is interesting because it shows truly how little most people know about leadership and what the role of the president is supposed to be. Government isn’t supposed to be a job creator, its supposed to be effective in accomplishing the task the job was created for. If the person isn’t accomplishing that task they should be fired.
Trump became an international celebrity with his television show essentially firing someone after each episode, the people who voted for him knew what they were getting. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you aren’t getting the job done, you should be terminated from your job. The trouble with modern sentiment is that they have been taught in their public schools, and other social circles that nobody should ever be fired or that expectations of employment are meant to be ignored that is the real problem. Like school teachers, police officers, fire departments and all other federal workers functioning under union control there is a basic assumption that the “people” are in charge and that management’s job is to issue paychecks to their employees who can pretty much do whatever they want when they want to do it. For instance, when President Trump fired James Comey the shock came more in the form that nobody ever fired a unionized worker in government because such a thing just wasn’t done—ever. So Trump must be guilty of something. That is the mentality that we are dealing with.
That is also why government is so ineffective at everything, because they are run by labor unions who make terminations difficult for management. It’s nearly impossible for a school board to fire a school teacher so as a result, we get lots of bad teachers teaching our children a lot of socialist nonsense and they have no fear of losing their jobs because they are protected by the union. The FBI became radicalized and was trying to tilt the election of 2016 in favor of Hillary Clinton and they functioned under a “protected” assumption which was part of the problem. And the people who promised President Trump that they’d do this or that in his administration were expected to perform. When they didn’t Trump has broken the trend of complacency and terminated those guilty of average results. That is a good thing, something that should be celebrated, not chastised.
There has to be consequences for failure and in a capitalist country losing the opportunity to perform is the most obvious reaction to weak links and General Mattis was a weak link in the Trump administration. The panic that the enemies of the president have exhibited were due to that understanding. They want the Trump administration to fail, so they are not inspired to see him remove weaknesses from it. But even worse for them is the fear that such expectations will translate to their own jobs. In General Mattis’ resignation letter he was less than graceful toward the president which then accelerated his exit to the start of the new year instead of waiting until February. Again, it is under the grace of the office that anybody serves, jobs are not entitlements. Why waste two more months of payroll on somebody who is not part of the future? Good management says you don’t, and Trump acted correctly on those principles.
In any successful enterprise there is always a visionary leader who communicates their needs to a large population workforce to be implemented uniformly. Employment is not a democracy—the mob does not rule. Most of the media, especially on television are part of a labor union as well so the foundation concepts of their employment are under a socialist premise that jobs are meant to be created but never managed. Only the union handles matters of structural management—which is the same as saying that nothing is ever managed. Because they are radicals, they feel it is in their own interests to call the Trump administration chaotic and out of control because so many people have been terminated under the current White House. But honestly, I would expect nothing less. Trump is doing exactly what I want to see. I think he was very fair to General Mattis, he gave him a few years and when he failed to produce results, Trump pushed him out the door for someone else to take a shot at success. And there is nothing wrong with that. The labor unions in government don’t like it, nor in the entertainment and news industry, but tough luck. Terminations are a good thing and its good to see that Trump is bringing that practice back to life in government where it should have always been the general practice. Because if the goal is to get good results, punishment is needed for those who don’t deliver. And that is the way of the world.
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