Before he was president, Donald Trump was known primarily for his success and clout in the world of business. It has thus come as a surprise that many of the leaders of some of the world’s largest companies don’t think too highly of how he has been managing the White House.
This month, CNBC polled its Global CFO Council, which is made up of chief executives from well-known companies like Facebook, Yahoo, Starbucks, United Airlines, AT&T, Ford, Unilever, MasterCard, Cisco, Marriott, Levi Strauss, Wells Fargo, Target, UPS, and DuPont. Part of its quarterly survey was a question about Trump.
“If you had to describe President Donald Trump’s management style in one word, what would it be?”
Thirty-nine chief financial officers anonymously answered the survey. The outcome, as CNBC noted, wasn’t pretty. Out of the 35 who answered the question, only four gave responses that were either positive or could somehow be taken as positive. These answers were “directive,” “business-style,” “unconventional,” and “fluid.”
The rest of the one-word responses about Donald Trump’s presidential leadership style were negative or leaning towards negative. The most popular word given, which was mentioned by four business leaders, was “chaotic.” One respondent answered “chaos.”
The majority of answers seemed to describe President Trump’s ego and tendency for early-morning Twitter outbursts. The business leaders called Trump “arrogant,” “self-absorbed,” “narcissistic,” “erratic,” “unpredictable,” “disjointed,” and “reckless.”
We asked CFOs to describe Trump’s management style, and it’s not pretty: https://t.co/wSmBzFR26y pic.twitter.com/YsmuoCxFFT
Other terms used by the global CFOs to describe the way Trump has been managing the country were “authoritarian,” “clueless,” “confusing,” “dictatorial,” “hubristic,” “incompetent,” and “terrible.”
One business leader was unable to describe Trump’s management style in one word. “There are no words,” the CFO wrote instead.
The sentiments in CNBC’s survey reflect the criticism management experts heaped upon Donald Trump in the early days of his presidency. In February, the New York Times asked several such experts for an assessment of Trump’s first weeks at the White House. The evaluation, which was solely from the viewpoint of management and organizational behavior, resulted in a unanimous verdict.
“Thus far, the Trump administration is a textbook case of how not to run a complex organization like the executive branch.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
The quarterly survey conducted by CNBC also revealed that less than half of the CFOs polled were confident in overseas cash repatriation and in the possibility that corporate tax reform will be done this year. Only around 40% of respondents thought that Obamacare reform will become law by the end of 2017 and less than 20% believed that Trump will have built his wall by 2018.
CNBC’s Global CFO Council includes members representing some of the world’s biggest private and public companies. Collectively, the CFOs in the council manage more than $4 trillion across various sectors. CNBC’s quarterly poll was conducted between June 2 and 16.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2017
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/Getty Images]