This is a Short Note.
As you read this piece, more business leaders will continue to express disaffection to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, on how he responded to the racist parade in Charlottesville, Va. Over the last few hours, some members of the President’s Council on American Manufacturing have resigned. They do not want to be associated with an American president who cannot stand against racism, even when it is obvious.
Mr. Trump’s remarks came amid a growing rift between the White House and the business community that has emerged since the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va., and criticism of Mr. Trump’s response to it. Six members in two days have stepped down from the president’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative.
Among those CEOs are Merck CEO Ken Frazier, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank. .
Without wasting space on what Trump believes as a human being, I want to focus on the lessons, from what is happening. The way leaders behave and conduct themselves can affect pipelines for talent in their businesses. Just as Trump is going to find it harder to find top CEOs who can work with him on whatever he wants to do, it is the same way a business leader could struggle when his/her behavior alienates talent.
That people can run away from the President of the United States tells me that in this age of Internet, with eternal memories maintained by Google, there are limitations on the powers of offices. Indeed, people that occupy those offices matter. Today, Trump is the president and people know that. That means, before the eyes of these CEOs, who are leaving him, they see Trump and not just the most powerful office in the world.
So, do not just assume that holding a position is what matters. People will correlate the power of that office with the dignity the person holding it brings to it. Where there are many deviations, few will like to answer the call. When that happens, instead of working with A-Team, you are going to struggle with B-Team.
We continue to learn on the Trump movie which is still playing. But so far, we can agree that your power in any position means nothing unless you, the person, bring honour, decency and valor to it. The men and women that hold offices are ornaments that decorate the seats of power. The seats lose the efficacy if the ornaments are defective. But radiance emerges out of the seat when the ornaments are made with the finest quality.
Your talent problem – not being able to hire and retain the right people- may be a problem you created yourself. The most powerful person in the building could be so powerful that he/she blows all the fuses along the way. Indeed, the effervescence of power only lasts longer with the vivacity of human dignity.