Prideful Incompetence

Dear President Trump,

Well, here we all are with the government officially shutdown. There are obviously significant differences between the camps that aren’t easily bridged, but I don’t think we are shutdown because of them. No, I think the shutdown is because of prideful incompetence. Maybe this is part of some grand plan to further compromise the government, but what keeps washing over us time and again are massive doses of incompetence from a president who doesn’t seem the least concerned about the obvious problems and instead insists he’s the best thing since sliced bread. We’ve had situation after situation where you have been unwilling (unable?) to step up, call time, and force a reset of the conversations. You are apparently utterly incapable of tracking or understanding the issues properly, holding onto a solid idea or plan, finding common ground, or seeing past your own nose. You appear to have no moral or ethical compass guiding you and you do not seem to understand that a central tenant of leadership is striving to bring out the best in those around you.

This morning I took a basic life support training class for work and one of the most central issues they emphasized was effective teamwork. We learned three aspects of effective team dynamics: 1) role clarity, such that people know their roles and responsibilities as well as their limitations; 2) what to communicate, including sharing knowledge, summarizing, and reevaluating, and 3) communicating effectively with clear, respectfully delivered messages that each person repeats back to ensure they understand what they are to do. We watched a video clip of deliberately poor team dynamics where the leader didn’t lead, people talked over each other, errors were not corrected, and the poor victim was not cared for properly in the midst of the acrimonious chaos. It looked and felt eerily like what we’ve been seeing leading up to the shutdown and what is still going on as each faction works to spin the blame just so. What a god-awful mess. And here we are with you, our prideful incompetent non-leader, standing amidst the wreckage alternately looking bewildered and smug with that “who me?” expression on your face.

May we be safe from our disastrously poor leader.
May we be happy to step up, call time, and reset.
May we insist on healthy, respectful communication.
May we invest in bringing out the very best in all of us.

Tracy Simpson

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