The president's press conference this morning was simply amazing. The man actually believes what he's saying even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.
Members of his own party are running from any "accomplishment" associated with his administration and Congress in hopes they can save themselves from a country that has awakened and is sick and tired of their shenanigans. The lights are on in the kitchen and the roaches are starting to scatter.
So the president gets an A for standing up for his beliefs but obviously gets an F for the beliefs. I knew I was in for a treat when my "Before I got here" meter exploded when the president used the phrase for the 15th time. Done. And pictures have surfaced of the president reading answers off flat screens in the back of the room. Nothing like a scripted press conference to instill confidence in a fatigued nation.
Let's look at the president's remarks today from the point of view of a business owner. You have a loyal employee who has been working for you for years. Great guy, very nice family man and a hard worker. Not the most able communicator but you know where things stood at any point in time. The guy doesn't have a filter and hits you right between the eyes with the truth.
Due to several unexpected and unforeseen events there have been issues in this loyal employee's division. The business is faltering. As the business owner, you decide it's time to make a change.
The interview process is interesting to say the least. A wide range of applicants with various skill sets apply for the job. Two are very experienced veterans in the industry but have different views of how to take your division to the next level. The third is new, very scholarly with little practical experience in the industry. But he blows you away in the interview. Promises and platitudes made you feel better -- maybe it was time to take a risk. Maybe it was time to hire outside the industry, someone young and full of hope. Note -- this wouldn't happen in the real world, but stick with me here.
You explain in intimate detail the problems this division is facing. You look this potential hire directly in the eyes and ask if he fully understands what he's about to get into. He answers with a cool confidence that almost makes you feel bad for having to ask that question.
So you take a risk and hire the newbie. For the first 12 months he focuses on everything but the critical issues that his predecessor was having problems with. You give him some latitude, hoping that he knows what he's doing.
At the 19-month point, you finally sit him down to ask why things haven't improved. The answer? Things were in worse shape than what he thought. It's not his fault the division hasn't turned around; it's his predecessor's fault. He then again proceeds to focus on everything but the critical issues afflicting the division.
As a business owner I would fire someone with this mentality but I wouldn't have hired him in the first place. The lack of accountability and the constant excuse matrix is a sure sign of a poor hire. Unfortunately, politics and Washington don't run like businesses. They run on other people's money and don't have to worry about payroll at the end of the month.
Firing Line: Nothing short of a miracle is going to turn around this economy. But one thing that will not work is constantly blaming someone else and putting in place policies that are certain to exasperate the situation. Time to stand up and take responsibility. It's your ship, skipper. Command it.
Matthew "Whiz" Buckley is a partner at
a provider of options education and practical applications for options traders of all levels. He is also the founder of Strike Fighter Financial LLC, a business-consulting firm specializing in leadership development, risk management and strategic planning for Fortune 500 companies and related organizations. Buckley flew the F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy. He's a graduate of TOPGUN, has close to 400 carrier landings and flew 44 combat sorties over southern Iraq. After leaving active duty, he served as a managing director at a Wall Street volatility arbitrage options firm and was a founder and the CEO of a financial media company. He is an internationally recognized speaker and combined his experiences in the military and corporate America in his book "From Sea Level to C Level."