This nation is in great peril. How can we expect the great and talented to step forward and offer to shoulder the burden of leadership when the price we ask them to pay becomes so great? Even those who despise Trump must marvel at the price he and his family are being ask to pay. As a collective population, we are our own enemy engaged in the destruction of the institutions and the fibers that have long held us together. If we succeed in our destructive efforts, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Yet, in spite of the pain inflicted on him and his family, I’m on the side of those who expect “huge” things to happen under the Trump umbrella. I don’t, however, expect the ride to be a smooth one. There will be no soaring to new heights without some brutally damaging, downward bumps especially in the early days of his administration. We are about to experience BIG changes and that doesn’t happen without initial and painful downward spikes in virtually every aspect of government’s impact on us. If you are a proponent of the book, The Language of Excellence, you understand the change curve.
We change to make things better -- to move to a higher level of benefit or performance. That is why Trump won the Presidency. Unfortunately, we know that progress toward those goals is never achieved in a straight-line fashion. Change, especially big change, results in an immediate decline in performance or delivered benefit counter to our expectation of improvement. It is only over time that that the change curve can be turn upward and the goal eventually reached.
For the downward spike in performance to be reversed, incoming members of the new administration must reacquire the job knowledge “that walked out the door” with the change in the administration. Knowledge alone, however, is not enough. Like an athlete building muscle memory, the newcomers have to become fully competent incumbents for whom making sound decisions becomes almost habit.
In business, we explain the change curve’s performance this way. To reverse the downward spike and reach the goal of higher performance requires KASH—new knowledge which combined with the right attitude leads to building new skills which over time become habit.
During favorable circumstances, we benefit from push and pull forces that shorten the downward spike. Today, we don’t have many forces encouraging success. Rather than a favorable press for example, it is pushing down—a negative force deepening the likely downward plunge in an almost “I told you so” effort to prove that the voters made the wrong choice. Luckily, we do have an incoming president, who like the god Atlas, is trying to push up on the curve with all his might. But he does so without a lot of help. His fellow Republicans are not carrying an honest share of the load. For them, it is his burden. They “put in an appearance” but only to share the glory of success, and they act with enough caution to avoid blame if Atlas falters. It has been said a thousand ways —victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone.
I’m pulling for Atlas. I want “huge” changes. I only hope his (Trump’s) shoulders are strong enough to keep this shaky nation aloft.