Donald Trump has been in office for a hundred days, and don’t we know it? The Muslim ban, the wall, the over promotion of his family, the reliance of the detestable Bannon, Spicer (the PR guy who’s responsible for more PR cock-ups than the brand he’s supposed to be protecting), it’s been aired to death.
The other message that’s getting a lot of traction is Trump’s admission that the job is a lot harder than he expected. It’s laughable, isn’t it? What was it about the job title, President of the USA, Commander in Chief, Leader of a Global Superpower, that made it sound easy?
And yet, there’s something in the unguarded naivety of this remark that is rather wonderful. Sometimes jobs aren’t easy; new jobs hardly ever are. Jobs change, become harder than they were before, sometimes we find ourselves required to do something so hard we either have to learn incredibly quickly, fake it until we’re rumbled, or admit we need help.
It’s difficult to admit that we’re out of our depth, especially these days where employment is less secure. Self employment means we have to market our services as if we’re the best, just to get customers to hire us. But I would guess that many of us feel things aren’t as easy as we’d hoped or expected, at least some of the time. If we didn’t, we’d be treading water, stagnating in familiar tasks which for ambitious people who want to grow and develop, is pretty boring.
This is the first post on my new website. I have worked in dispute resolution for many years, and am expanding into Life Coaching. The skills are similar – remaining non-judgemental, not advising but facilitating an enquiry into what the client wants, how they would like to get there and what help they might seek along the way; letting the client, as the expert in their own life, lead the way rather than imposing my own bogus solution – so I am not feeling so far out of my depth as I might if I were new to this stuff. But still, there is a lot that is new. There is more acknowledgement of psychology, more opportunity to vary the style; there’s having just one client at a time with a whole life they want to look at, rather than two or three people who mainly want to resolve an argument; there’s bringing them into my home for sessions rather than neutral meeting rooms in bland hotels, which raises a whole other set of issues – when did I last clean the husks of flies from the corner by the radiator, do other people notice the piles of oddments that I’ve got so used to they’ve become invisible? So yeah, not out of my depth perhaps, but definitely standing on tiptoes.
I wouldn’t say it is easier or harder than what I’ve done before, just that I’m learning, trying things out, making mistakes, seeking feedback, and admitting that I’m not the expert, and perhaps, given that all the best jobs allow for infinite capability, I never will be.
I’m glad Trump is big enough to sideline Bannon, to accept Obamacare isn’t so bad after all, that NATO is worth hanging onto and that the job is harder than expected. He’s got a long way to go, I think we can all agree, before he’s someone to trust, but telling the world he thought it would be easier is one thing (yes, just the one so far) we can admire.