Preventing Presidential Derailment

"Risks Ahead" Caution Roadsign

Do you know the 10 early warning signs?

Patrick Sanaghan, Kathleen Gaval, Steve Riccio, and Steve Titus review the early signs of a derailing president in this paper informed by decades of experience from university presidents and professionals who work closely with them.

Presidential derailments (defined by Stephen Trachtenberg as an exit in less than three years) are occurring with greater frequency—and the early signs that a presidency is off the rails are remarkably similar across dozens of cases. This paper will review those signs, as well as advice for new presidents and four steps to take if the early warning signs appear.

 


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