Gen John Kelly, Chief of Staff (White House), fired the first salvo on Monday ousting Anthony Scaramucci, the White House Communications Director, while giving a taste of his military medicine – ” Discipline, Order, and Responsibility” – embedded in all Service Personnel.
Discipline, Order, and Responsibility form the chief qualities that every military service person undergoes as part of primary and basic training following recruitment. This probably is what Gen Kelly’s way of imparting his first lesson to his staff even while attempting to bring about a cultural transformation in the functional/operational aspect of White House.
Gen Kelly’s action also spells his self belief/confidence, clear focus on results, and courage of conviction displayed in terms of the three Cardinal traits/strengths of any military leader that he has been showered with in service. Never let a flaw go uncorrected is what he urges probably through this action.
It is also quite obvious that “Communication, Commitment, and Teamwork” constituting the three main pillars in the decision-making process of operational and policy programs suffered heavily during the first six months of Donald Trump’s presidency leading to faulty executions and it will again be interesting to follow the events in the days to come to mark whether the gap between the management of White House organization and what it can achieve in terms of effecting the President’s policies can be bridged.
What worked in war time (military) may not mean much in the modern world of today where ‘economy, growth, wages, technology, unemployment, education, health and such factors’ play a larger role in relations between people, between nations, and between regions while assuming greater significance.
Everybody knows what is happening in the White House ; but what each individual’s role is, what/how each individual can contribute, and what needs to be injected into the team are what will really shape the working culture of White House as an organization.
Three aspects stand out as significant for the team; for the organization; and for the nation as a whole in the process of implementation – “sense of pride, sense of service, and sense of trust”.
1. Sense of Pride : By being a cohesive unit effecting the policies and programs of the President/Government, the White House can create an identity aligned with national pride. Particularly at a time when the policies emphasize the key component of ‘immigration’, it is extremely important to create a sense of pride in the team, organization and general populace with positive emotions and experiences in quality of life. A key priority to achieve this end lies in creating a strong impression of a highly unified team of White House striving hard to promote the constructive programs benefiting the society.
2. Sense of Service : Politics is about service to people. The group that shapes and gives identity/value to policies will hold the leading role in pursuing this service. White House staff/organization is central to this activity. Inculcation of the sense of service through search, evaluation, and cooperation by every staff member in giving shape to the policies will benefit the nation, and communicating how to earn the support and respect of people is imperative to make them happen in reality. Just as in military “when and where there is no system, they create a system”, this group should begin to create a system for engagement. This is probably what the Chief of Staff is focusing on.
3. Sense of Trust : For highly effective operations of the White House, the Chief of Staff shall derive full support and trust of not just the President but also from those under his command without any risk of failure to the policies of the President/Government. It effectively boils down to relationship building. In a world where tech advancement is phenomenal, the trust between people get impacted the most. Leaks, hacking, non-cooperation, failure to observe the chain of command, free wheeling in remarks, – all these complexities of the concept of Trust need to be dealt with. US military proudly states, “together we are Army Strong” and Gen John Kelly will possibly be drawn to this dictum no matter what the circumstances are for completion of his tasks. His first action on Monday reinforces his firm belief in rational reasoning for ‘togetherness’.
Gen John Kelly, true to his military style is on course to lay the foundation for the success of everyone, everything, and everyway.
“ Dieu avec nous “
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 – 11. 19 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” End justifies the means”.