Americans are divided—more on that that tomorrow—but I think we all can agree that Donald Trump would be a real dickface to work for. He constantly says and does disruptive things, he throws his staff under the bus and then complains that they don't handle themselves well under there.
But Trump's worst and most consistent quality is one we find in lots of bosses, actually: It's his addiction to chaos and his love for crisis.
This is a terrible way to work, but some bosses like it, for a combination of reasons:
1. They grew up in an alcoholic or otherwise mad household, and to them chaos equals comfort.
2. They want complete control, and they know if they things calm down for too long, their employees will begin to build systems and routines and strategies that threaten their ability to operate by whim.
3. They can't be bothered or are unable to articulate a coherent mission for the organization (or the department) that motivates their people, so they set frequent fires because when shit is on fire everyone is motivated.
4. They are actors at heart, who enjoy playing the hero in a drama. Running a solid, honest business just isn't a fat enough part for them.
5. They don't want to be accountable for consistent thinking and decision-making. Rather than being criticized for their haphazard, self-indulgent and impulsive thinking, they want to be celebrated as one-armed paper-hangers doing a remarkable job, considering.
Over and over and over again they create impossible situations—making dubious promises, imposing ridiculous deadlines, starting unnecessary wars with partners and competitors alike, setting up operatic loyalty tests they know their people will fail, and ultimately creating among their employees the gathering myopic sense that one feels on a ship in a storm, that this boat is the whole world. (It's not.)
Sometimes these folks succeed in business despite the rancor and uncertainty and turnover and wasted time. In business, energy and intensity counts for a lot.
But it doesn't seem to be working well in government.
And we're all about to see how long it can go on.