"Thank you Rex, for your service to this country. And thank you for the decades of leadership you gave to Exxon. You have nothing to hang your head for sir. Enjoy the rest of your life. You have certainly earned it."
I was wondering how this was going to work out. Take a guy out of one of the biggest companies in the world - actually running one of the biggest companies in the world, and put him in a government job for which he has no training or background. Then have him report to another guy, who ran his own company, and is now in a job for which he had no training or background. At the end of the day, you have a CEO working for another CEO.
The hiring (and subsequent firing) of Rex Tillerson reminded me of one of my ventures shortly I stopped working in corporate America. I have worked in lay ministries for years, but always wanted to work as a paid staff member of a church. After I left IBM and, was going to enjoy retirement, a church opportunity presented itself. I was being considered for an executive director position at a large church close to where I lived. There was only one catch. The church council wanted me to "rope in" the senior pastor. Seems he did not play well with others.
What I found out shortly after starting was simply this. As talented as the senior pastor was (gave a heck of a sermon), he was also a megalomaniac. It did not take long before the honeymoon was over, and he and I were crossing swords. Finally, it came to a head. The senior pastor went in front of the council and said "It is him or me! If it is me, the attendance in this church will suffer!" Knowing that nothing good was going to come out of this, I abruptly resigned. As much as I loved my job and wanted to make it work, I could not get control this Senior Pastor.
Why do I tell this story. About a week after I left, I had coffee with a friend who was also a executive director at a large church. He looked at me and said he would not have taken the job working with that senior pastor. It was no win situation. There was no way this power hungry pastor was going to share power with anyone.
Back to Tillerson. He is a good man with a good reputation. But the guy he was working for (our President) has hired and fired hundreds, maybe thousands of people in his career. The President, without talking to Tillerson much, expected him to always be on the same page. Tillerson, since he was not talked to, thought he had more autonomy than he had. I dare say Rex had zero for a job description. Tillerson and Trump also did not see eye-to-eye on the Iran deal, talks with the Norks, global warming, and even tariffs. Bottom line - I am amazed Rex lasted as long as he did.
My feeling about working for the President in private life or in public life is this - expect one day to get fired. Working for President Trump is not a career move, it is just an event. And the event might last for a while, or might just last a few days.
As Rex fades off into the sunset, what do I think of him? I think he is a patriot. He tried to do a good job in a post he has zero training for. Plus, the Deep State is alive and well in the State Department. So, thank you Rex, for your service to this country. And thank you for the decades of leadership you gave to Exxon. You have nothing to hang your head for sir. Enjoy the rest of your life. You have certainly earned it.