"Hell No! I Don't Want to Be The COO!"
So about six or so years ago, the COO at my company decided that he wanted to move to Blacksburg. He was a VT grad, his wife was a VT grad, they spent most weekends in the fall at VT. You get the picture. And I guess he just decided that he want to move to VT full time, raise his daughter there, etc. I was the VP of a small department at the time and worked directly for him. So when he told me, I was like, "Good for you." I'm all for people having the right work/life balance. He was young and had been with the company for a long time, so he wasn't going to have any financial hardship. Why not leave the rat race and live a bit?
My CEO came to talk with me later. He told me that he was not going to pick a new COO right away. He laughed saying that he already had two people volunteer. I said, oh I can guess. He said guess and I was right. Neither were qualified to be COO. He laughed and asked if I wanted the job and I said "Hell No! I don't want to be the COO." And he asked why. And I was honest. I wasn't qualified either. Sure I was doing well running a small department, but I didn't have any insight into the corporate staff, contracting, accounting, etc. And then I said, "It's also doesn't sound like fun at all. I like trying to solve problem for our customers, I like to travel (I know, LOL!), and being COO doesn't sound fun at all." And needless to say, I never became COO. And I'm still good with that.
So what stirs this random memory? The new nominee for VA Secretary. Look, I totally believe you lied about Trumps weight. I know my height. I know my weight. Trump is like 6in taller than me. He doesn't weight 239 pounds. Amazingly 1 pound below the threshold for being obese. And at the time I was mad that Trump had managed to convince/coerce you, a Naval Officer, to lie. But I let it go. Everyone lies about their weight. And outrage fatigue is real these days folks. But now you've accepted the nomination to be VA Secretary? Seriously? You are NOT qualified. You've never been the CO of a hospital! What do you know about running the second largest department in the federal government? At what point do you have the self awareness to know these are my strengths, these are my weaknesses, and there are some things I'm not qualified to do?
And of course this is just another example of where the Trump administration is lowering the bar for every position in the government. How low does the bar go? Like any bureacracy, the government is dysfunctional at best without it being led by people who either are supremely unqualified or who are put in place to actively sabotage their department from within. And do all of the illegal/unethical/inappropriate things these "senior" leaders do without any pushback from Congress (currently controlled by Republicans) become the new standard of acceptable behavior? Is that the future we have to look forward to?
And isn't that sad?