On Leadership: After Comey fallout, will Trump shake up his staff?

Following last week’s stunning events — President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, his shifting rationale for the historic episode, the political chaos that ensued — some are reporting that Trump is considering a big West Wing shake-up. Axios’s Mike Allen reported that Trump was considering a “huge reboot” of his senior staff, including names that range from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus …
 
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Is President Trump thinking about a West Wing shake-up? (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) Following last week’s stunning events — President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, his shifting rationale for the historic episode, the political chaos that ensued — some are reporting that Trump is considering a big West Wing shake-up. Axios’s Mike Allen reported that Trump was considering a “huge reboot” of his senior staff, including names that range from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to press secretary Sean Spicer. Trump’s deliberations over replacing staff have come up before, but in the wake of last week’s startling events, and the White House’s lack of preparation for the magnitude of the fallout, they have added weight. If he does follow through, a huge challenge awaits. One obstacle, notes Allen, will be “finding people who would have real clout with a president not prone to enforced order.” Another: If he does go ahead, his inner circle will largely be made up of mid-30s family members without governing experience, Allen writes. “So while the fighting and leaking might ease, the problems may not because it’s the president, not the staff, calling the shots.” The Post’s Philip Rucker also reports on talk of an impending shake-up. “Trump has been stewing all week, aggrieved by sharp media scrutiny of his decision to fire Comey and of his and his aides’ ever-shifting explanations, and has been quick to blame his staff,” Rucker reported. He has lashed out in particular about the communications office, and “has spoken candidly with advisers about a broad shake-up that could include demotions or dismissals.” But if he does go forward with a revamp, the biggest challenge could be not who he will replace people with, but whether the man at the top is able to change with them. Axios asked David Gergen, a senior adviser to four presidents, what Trump would need to do in a White House re-org, who noted two reasons why an effective shake-up could be troublesome. For one, there is the need to find a “Jim Baker” figure respected on both sides of the aisle, someone to whom “the President will actually listen seriously and take into account the views of that person,” Gergen told Axios. Those figures are increasingly rare. Then, Gergen said, Trump must be willing to change, too. “When you’re trying to reorganize any organization, corporation, the White House, the person who leads the group [i.e. Trump himself] has to be the first person to change.” Trump’s instincts and behavior so far show little evidence of him doing so. For more from The Post’s Philip Rucker, read here.
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More on leadership in Washington:  *Inside Trump’s anger and impatience — and his sudden decision to fire Comey (The Washington Post) *How Trump gets his fake news (Politico) *What’s next for Comey? Probably not a ‘normal job‘ (The New York Times) *Why Trump expected only applause when he told Comey, ‘You’re Fired’ (The Washington Post) *Who has Trump’s ear? Often rich, white Republican men (Politico) *White House ‘systems failed‘ with Comey firing, but Trump pushed the buttons (The Washington Post) More on leadership in business and elsewhere:  *The never-ending performance review (The Wall Street Journal) *Macron won from a precarious place: The middle. Governing there could be harder (The Washington Post) *Why my company serves free breakfast to all employees (Harvard Business Review) *Apple’s new headquarters is a sign of tech’s boom, bravado (The Wall Street Journal) *At college commencement speeches in 2017, it’s a no-Trump zone on campus (USA Today) *White men run one of America’s most diverse companies (Bloomberg)
 
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