Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: South Florida CEOs try to evaluate the nation’s top CEO: President Donald Trump
This week’s question to the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: If President Donald Trump were an employee in your company, how would you evaluate his performance in his first 100 days?
Confusing and lacking direction. If you were to try to judge performance based on campaign promises, then Trump is off to a bad start. There seems to be a lack of cohesion to his cabinet and policies that is troubling. It is very hard to judge someone when you don’t know what they stand for and therein lies the concern.
Steven N. Adkins, president and CEO, Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
If he worked as a leader in our company, I would evaluate his ability to attract the right people and build a highly collaborative team that rally together around a unified mission. I would also evaluate his ability to accurately assess the current state of affairs and prioritize the various projects and initiatives.
Ron Antevy, president and CEO, e-Builder
Donald Trump would not be an employee of Progressive Behavioral Science as he would not have passed our rigorous interview and screening process. But, if he somehow slipped in, his performance his first 100 days would be termination for cause.
Maria Arizmendi, behavior analyst and president, Progressive Behavioral Science
It was during the dark depths of the Great Depression that the genesis of the first 100 days benchmark started with President Franklin Roosevelt as he advanced a historic agenda. I do not believe that we are in dire time…. Are we in a critical time? Yes, just not dire. The president of the United States of America is considered one of — if not the — most powerful positions in the world, with a multitrillion dollar nation and the leader of a global superpower. I do not believe that the 100-day mark is a fair timetable to judge the performance of any new CEO or president. It is the time for a new president to “get their feet wet,” to understand the players on all sides, and to see the limitations as well as its possibilities.
Noah Breakstone, founder and managing partner, BTI Partners
I wouldn’t. Being president is probably the world’s most difficult job. There is a steep learning curve, particularly for someone like the president who has no significant prior experience in government office. I hope and expect that President Trump will be a quick study.
Bowman Brown, partner and chairman of the Executive Committee and the Financial Services Practice Group of Shutts & Bowen
Next question! Just kidding. Let me say one only thing that I like about Trump. He tries… I mean, you can agree or not with his ideas (in my case, I don’t think that I agree with many), but you can’t deny that he tries, and tries, and tries. That perseverance is something that millennials should be looking at and learning from.
Ismael El-Qudsi, CEO, Internet República/SocialPubli.com
I would evaluate President Trump’s performance as being less than average for his first 100 days in office. He over-promised as a candidate. He is under-delivering as president. He made huge promises in immigration, healthcare, taxes, etc. without first understanding the law. As a result, he took a number of missteps like signing executive orders that are unconstitutional or have no weight.
Patricia Elizee, managing partner, Elizee Law Firm
This question sounds like an interesting plot twist to an episode of “The Apprentice.” I’ll stick to what I know best — cruising.
Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
I would say it is a work in progress and that he is learning on the job. There is potential for him as a change agent to drive things forward.
Jeffrey Freimark, president and CEO, Miami Jewish Health
I would advise him that there is always room for improvement, as in any new position with a learning curve. I would also advise him that face-to-face discussions about issues of critical importance are preferable to tweeting. Lastly, I would also counsel him privately in the hope that he can maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses for maximum positive impact.
James Haj, president and CEO, The Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade County
I don’t think it’s my place to make such an evaluation. What I can say, however, is that I report to a Board of Trustees who evaluate my work throughout the year; and every employee at every company in South Florida reports to someone who evaluates their work. The president of the United States reports to each and every citizen of this great nation, and it is up to the people, speaking collectively, to evaluate him.
George Hanbury, president and CEO, Nova Southeastern University
Effective leadership cannot be evaluated in 100 days. Six months? Nine months? One year? Appropriate. How many key team members are superstars now, but would have been rated poorly after 100 days? And vice versa.
Bob Hohenstein, president and CEO, Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition
Evaluating employee performance should be carried out on an on-going basis and encompass all areas of their work ethic and achievements. It’s important to have long and short term goals, and have a plan to ensure we are on track to achieving these goals. This evaluation would also entail a conversation between the employee and myself to identify areas that need improvement. I would evaluate President Trump in that same manner.
Arden Karson, senior managing director, CBRE
President Trump’s acknowledgment that the job is a lot harder than he anticipated was a good admission. It showed a sign of genuineness and humility that is going to be necessary to bridge the divide between parties and create the compromises that we need to move our country forward.
David Martin, president and co-founder, Terra
The 100-day mark is an arbitrary milestone, but it’s enough time to evaluate whether someone is a good fit for their role. Do they understand their job responsibilities, do we envision the person growing within the company, do they work well within our team. President Trump has shown an ability to be decisive, but like many politicians, he would be well served to become more accepting of opposing points of view. As a business leader, it’s important to surround yourself with people who are willing to challenge your conventions and bring new skills to the company. My father always taught me the importance of humility, urgency and constant preparation, and I think those are important principles for anyone in public service.
Aabad Melwani, president, Rickenbacker Marina and managing principal, Marina PARC
Like any employee on a new job, the first 100 days are for learning about your new environment (government), building trust and rapport with colleagues (Congress), demonstrating your value (accomplishments), and establishing your priorities (legislative agenda). Using this criteria, I’d rate him “Below Expectations.”
Kevin V. Michael, co-founder and managing partner, Invizio, LLC
Unfortunately, I am not part of the inner circle of the White House and I am not intimately involved on what they’ve accomplished behind closed doors, so this is hard to answer. However, I know what we do at Broward College. We are always evaluating our outcomes, sometimes as frequently as weekly, so we always are learning what we need to do to improve for our students. We have weekly calls with our leaders to see what they’ve accomplished, share best practices, and compare their strategies to the overall goals of the College to ensure we always are aligned and on the right track. We evaluate the outcomes aligned to the goals that were originally set. Did we accomplish them? If not, I would ask the employee to review the strategies used and what s/he would consider if another opportunity was given.
Avis Proctor, vice president of academic affairs and president, North Campus at Broward College
I appreciate the energy he’s brought to the position and the effort to think differently. There’s a lot of pressure to perform during the first 100 days, but it can take months to understand any new business — and that’s even more true for the largest “corporation” in the world, the U.S. Government. The first 100 days might be best spent listening, learning and evaluating, and I actually think he’s begun to recognize that, and realize the enormity of the task ahead.
Matthew Rieger, president and CEO, Housing Trust Group
We maintain a very thoughtful, measured corporate culture. So right about now, he and I would be sitting down to have a long chat.
Jackie Soffer, co-chairman and CEO, Turnberry Associates
Just as I tell my kids every day, it is important to play well with others. Being president of the United States is not an easy job and building a team that can work together will make things run smoother for President Trump. I think a more inclusive approach would benefit everyone.