Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, and the contrasts of leadership in the 21st century – 2

Posted in macroeconomics, social networking and business by Timothy Platt on November 19, 2017

This is my 27th installment to what has become an ongoing series of postings in which I seek to address politics in the United States as it has become, starting with the nominations process leading up to the 2016 presidential elections. See my series: Donald Trump and the Stress testing of the American System of Government, as can be found at Social Networking and Business 2, posting 244 and loosely following.

This can also be considered to represent my 56th installment to an ongoing series that I have been offering here concerning Xi Jinping and his still emerging and expanding leadership role in China. See China and Its Transition Imperatives, as it can be found at Macroeconomics and Business and its Page 2 continuation, as postings 154 and loosely following.

I began a comparative discussion of Xi Jinping and Donald Trump and their respective understandings of leadership in Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, and the contrasts of leadership in the 21st century – 1, with a brief and in-effect summarizing statement addressing this for Xi. I have been offering supporting background to what I offered there throughout the China series that I connect this posting to.

If I were to further and more tersely summarize even Part 1’s paucity of detail in this leadership diptych, it would be to say that Xi Jinping displays a seemingly endless ambition, coupled with an acute ability to both create and capitalize upon opportunity to achieve his goals. And he has the shrewd intelligence and the drive and determination needed to do that, unburdened by anything like excessive conscience to hold him back.

That said, and with my Trump series as a source of carefully considered supportive evidence, I begin this posting with a corresponding summary statement regarding Donald Trump, and certainly as he seeks to lead and govern as the 45th president of the United States. And I begin offering this summary by citing a basic point of observation that I have made in both job search and career development contexts, and in personnel and Human Resources contexts too. Self-evaluations rarely offer any real value in employee performance evaluations. The best employees with real skills and expertly meaningful professional experience rarely if ever rate themselves at the top of their performance evaluations; they know enough to see and remember where they could have done better – and where they have learned from that. And they know that there is always room for improvement. And the worst employees at any given business rarely know enough of what they are doing and of what they should be doing to be able to offer any meaningful response there. So they frequently assume that since they were hired and since they are still working at a business, they must be doing a great job there. They are in fact more likely to give themselves more top marks on the performance evaluation form questions that they answer, than the best and most skilled of their colleagues would. And this brings me to Donald Trump and his ongoing flow of self-evaluation praise. Donald Trump is tremendous as president – the very best ever. If you don’t believe me, just ask him, or rather just listen to a few of his self-evaluations for yourself, about how tremendously well he is doing (and even when he has proven unable to convince a US Congress that is led by members of his own political party to pass and enact even just one significant piece of legislation and in what is now over 300 days of his having held office, and when he has alienated essentially all of the traditional allies of the United States, and hopelessly divided our nation and over seemingly every single issue that he has spoken or tweeted about!)

To keep my supporting evidence for that as found in my Trump-related series up to date here, the House of Representatives did very recently pass a “tax reform” bill and pass it on to the Senate. But the House bill was filled with what are sometimes called poison pills, as far as the Senate is concerned and with objection from that coming from more than enough Republican senators to essentially guarantee that this fail to pass and be enacted into law too. I have to add that at Trump’s request, senators who are still supportive of him have added a significant amount of poison of their own to their touted version of this piece of legislature. And Trump lacks the vision or understanding to realize how this will impact on any possible success in his getting tax reform passed that is to his liking. And he lacks the leadership skills or ability to do anything about that, even if he were to come to realize where this legislative effort is headed.

And with that in-the-news background material update in place, I turn to the set of issues that I would really focus upon here: how easily and fully Donald Trump can be manipulated and particularly by national leaders whose interests gravely diverge from what would be best for, or even just good for the United States. And in keeping with my above summary statement regarding Xi, I note here that he has been particularly adept at manipulating Donald Trump for that.

I back up those assertions with some recent news stories of note. And my first is:

Trump, Aiming to Coax Xi Jinping, Bets on Flattery.

Donald Trump assumes that if he flatters others, they will simply go along with anything that he says. But if we have seen one irrefutable fact coming out of his recent visit to Asian nations, and repeatedly, it is that if their leaders flatter him and give him a good time, appearing to really appreciate him, then Trump will do precisely what they want him to do. And with that I offer:

Trump’s ‘Tremendous Success’ Abroad Is Overstated.

This is a fact check news piece that speaks for itself from the succinct cogency of its title. And with that news piece noted I offer:

Trump Declares ‘America First’ Policy a Success After Asia Trip.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump’s “America First” policy has in large part made the United States more irrelevant where he has pursued that goal, than anything else. And with that stated, I offer:

Vietnam, in a Bind, Tries to Chart a Path Between U.S. and China,
Seeing U.S. in Retreat Under Trump, Japan and China Move to Mend Ties and
Trans-Pacific Trade Partners Are Moving On, Without the U.S.

I simply add here that president Trump’s “America First” policy has had this type of negative impact for the United States, globally. It is not just the Trans-Pacific Trade Partners and their treaty-based open trade system that have continued on without the United States – and with Xi Jinping and his China taking the leadership role that the US would have been expected to assume for that. The Paris Climate Accord has also continued on, as a globally reaching effort to more effectively limit adverse climate change from human pollution. And yes, even with their environmental disaster of a track record and their still-over reliance on coal fired electrical power, Xi and China are taking a leading role there too – and with the United States left out and on the sidelines of any decisions reached or actions taken.

And with that, I turn back to reconsider my comments as offered above, regarding workplace performance self-evaluations. The only people who can legitimately proclaim Trump’s successes to date as president to be tremendous and the best ever, are Vladimir Putin and his colleagues, who arguably put in a great deal of effort to suborn the 2016 US presidential elections to put Trump in the White House in the first place.

Should I prefer to have Xi or someone like him to be president of the United States? Should I prefer to see China having to deal with a Donald Trump as their supreme leader? Personally, I see both as offering genuine cause for concern that either is in high office and anywhere, and effectively uncontrolled and uncontrollable in that. So I end this two posting, series joining sequence at a point where I do in fact view these two men in the same way. Meanwhile, we have to deal with both in office and at the same time and with each helping to bring out the worst in the other.

And meanwhile, I am certain to continue adding new installments to both Donald Trump and the Stress testing of the American System of Government, as can be found at Social Networking and Business 2, posting 244 and loosely following, and to China and Its Transition Imperatives, as can be found at Macroeconomics and Business and its Page 2 continuation, as postings 154 and loosely following.

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