ORIGINALLY coined by management authors Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, the “ready, fire, aim” management principle was further popularized in the best-selling book of the same title, by Michael Masterson.

Also called “bias-for-action,” the principle advocates doing something even before one is certain of the full consequences (and just making adjustments along the way), rather than spending countless hours agonizing over all the details before execution. The contention is that even with the consequential mistakes, more will be learned along the way, and also it allows one to have a leg up over the competition.

In a number of cases, this principle seems to have worked for businesses. Just look at the competitive landscape in the food and entertainment industry, for example. Any number of new ventures come up almost on a daily basis, and just as many fail.

But those who are there earlier have a bigger chance of dominating their competition, over the ones who come later.

Enter Donald Trump. Ever proud of his business background and management pedigree, he is attempting to apply the principle to his own way of running the United States of America. But how has he done so far? Unfortunately, not very well.

Trump wants to be seen to be doing something rather than nothing. He seems to think that the “bias-for-action” principle works just as well in state governance, as it does in the business world. The problem is, it often doesn’t.

The key difference is that mistakes are allowed in business, up to a certain extent. As long as the trajectory is upwards and onwards, investors are often forgiving if organizations make mistakes from time to time, as long as over time the successes outweigh the failures.

Not so in running a country, and especially in one that is the leader of the free world. Diplomacy is often a matter of form, as much as substance, and there are cards that cannot be shown to the wrong parties.

So far, Trump has been failing miserably in this game of governance. And the sooner he realizes that “ready, fire, aim” is not the best way to govern a country, the better it will be for America and for the free world.

(http://asbbforeignexchange.blogspot.com & http://twitter.com/asbbatuhan)