Anthony Scaramucci seems to have powers that were formerly under the domain of chief of staff Reince Priebus.
The chief of staff may no longer control his own staff.
New White House communications director Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci raised eyebrows over the weekend when he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he would take “dramatic action” to “pare down the staff” if leaks from the Trump administration continued. Such decisions are typically under the control of Reince Priebus, President Trump’s beleaguered chief of staff, who reportedly has a contentious relationship with the former Wall Street financier.
Indeed, the Mooch enjoys a special position in this White House. Unlike most previous communication directors, he reports directly to the President, not the chief of staff. The awkwardness probably intensified when Politico reported Monday that Scaramucci was being lined up to eventually succeed Priebus.
Anthony Scaramucci: "I'm a businessperson so I will take dramatic action to stop those leaks." pic.twitter.com/SSWI3ODWij
— Axios (@axios) July 23, 2017
The situation Priebus faces is one that can confront even non-politicos in organizations with confused hierarchies and lines of authority. That said, if you do find yourself in a standoff with a new hire encroaching on your responsibilities, management experts say that you should first ask yourself why this is the case. Your response “depends on whether the individual brought on board has the endorsement of the big boss, who’s intentionally brought on a disruptive force,” says New York executive coach Roy Cohen.
If the newcomer does have the encouragement of a higher authority, Cohen says there’s little you can do. “You may just be working with someone who believes conflict creates a better environment, not necessarily for good morale but for more creative ideas,”says the author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.”
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In the event that lines are more blurred, it may be wise to confront the individual directly. Talk to them “not in an arrogant or snippy way, but just say you’ve noticed this and this, and that’s not how you operate,” says Debra Benton, co-author of “The Leadership Mind Switch.”
And do so the first time you feel your authority is being challenged instead of waiting. “If it happens a second or third time, you’re going to be miffed,” says Benton. “But you’ve never said you don’t want it to happen. If you don’t speak up, you’re just sanctioning things.”
The benefit of being in an established position lies in that you’ve had time to make allies, and if the newbie is still difficult, it might be time to make use of your friendships. Cohen suggests finding out if the person is rubbing your co-workers the wrong way too, and then going to see your boss about it. “There’s always greater strength in numbers,” he says.
You might even choose not to be sneaky about it, and invite the person to sit in on your chat with the boss too. “Say you’re welcome to join the conversation,” recommends Benton, who adds that the talk shouldn’t be focused on personal grievances but instead on how you can work better. “Tell them the person is breaking the one rule you have at work: not letting someone inhibit you from doing a good job.”
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