Trump (& Sessions) vs. Comey: Does A Mission End With The Absence Of A Leader?
(Before you read this post: This post is not responsible for the constant shifting, clashing versions, and various iterations of the same story by the administration. There’s just no way to keep up.)
This week, President Trump abruptly fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey while the bureau was in the middle of an investigation into whether there was collusion between Trump’s campaign staff and Russia leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
In his official letter to Comey making the firing effective, Trump stated that in doing so he was working off of the recommendations of both the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, which suggested new leadership was needed at the FBI.
Sessions being involved entails another ethical quagmire, as he had recused himself from any investigations surrounding Russia, but has now, as evidenced in the his letter to the president, recommended the firing of the head of the organization investigating any Russian connection.
In any case, many in Washington D.C and across the country, both Democrat and Republican alike, question the peculiar timing of Comey’s firing. The ethical foundation of the firing is shaky in the eyes of many who question the optics of a president firing the leader of an organization investigating that same president. One can’t help but draw comparisons back in the era of President Nixon and the “Saturday Night Massacre.”
Since the firing, there has been a never-ending defense of both sides of this issue. Some state that the president has every right to fire Comey as it falls under the purview of his executive authority while others state there are glaring ethical lapses.
Those who stand against Trump’s decision state he’s trying to shut down the Russia investigation, while his supporters outline that, regardless of who the head (and face) of the FBI is, the investigation will continue.
Did Trump really fire Comey for the continuing the investigation into collusion with Russia? We’ll see what happens and what comes out. For our purposes here, it doesn’t matter.
The takeaway from this situation for us is understanding a leader’s role and involvement in the work that’s being done by the entity they lead.
Your leader may be the face of your organization or group, but how much do they truly drive what is being done?
Is everything that is being done solely driven by them?
For your purposes, in your life or work, if your leader were no longer around, how much of your work would continue — or cease for that matter?
Aside from the immediate work, how much of the culture that leader helped build is ingrained and would remain intact after their exit?
Politics aside, if the Russia investigation is the reason the president fired Comey, it seems foolish to think that firing the head of an organization would stall the work of the workforce behind that representative head of the entity.