One of the many skill sets you need as president is how to fire people. In many ways. Sometimes with effusive praise, especially if they’ve taken a bullet for you. Sometimes with concerned humanitarianism, if the fired subordinate has been a crazy fool. Sometimes with crisp formality if it was really a mess that necessitated the firing.

So the fact that Trump accepted Manafort’s resignation in a rather gracious and classic way – fairly standard presidential boilerplate stuff – means he is accumulating a skill set which may perhaps be useful come late January. Manafort’s resignation/firing come as news about possible undisclosed payments by Ukranian clients with links to Putin had been weighing uncomfortably on the Trump campaign. In the middle of a bumpy few weeks thanks to a string of other controversies.

Manafort was apparently brought in to manage a possibly contested convention with Ted Cruz. But Manafort’s ambitions went far beyond that, and Lewandowski’s exit had something to do with those ambitions. Even if Lewandowski’s credibility in the eyes of Ivanka and Eric and Don Jr. was already eroded.

So far we’ve seen a fair bit of campaign manager Kellyanne Conway in the media, explaining Trump’s newly changed approach to the campaign. We’ve seen less of campaign CEO Steve Bannon, and it’s too early to tell how much he’s helped Trump focus his message in his latest speeches.

Will Trump fire Bannon in a few weeks? Likely not, if the focus and energy of the latest appearances continues. And critics of the turbulence in the Trump campaign should remember that a rebellion often feeds on itself. This is not a year for smooth-sailing campaigns.

A thought experiment: imagine that Jeb Bush won the nomination, and that much of his team of advisors were familiar faces from his brother’s campaign. Imagine that no-one was fired, or hired from say sometime last fall. A well-oiled, low-key machine quietly humming along to victory in the nomination process, and presiding over a seamless GOP convention where every speaker was experienced, not too cautious, and fit just right with Jeb’s message of an immigration-tolerant, trade-friendly, common core-boosting GOP.

Should I stop now? Did we pass absurd before finishing even the first sentence of said thought-experiment? To expect no turbulence in the Trump campaign’s structure is like sailing into a perfect storm while relaxing in sun-chairs on the deck. Trump’s campaign is different. It does not have an easy, knowable set of precedents to refer to. Despite many critics helpfully offering some from mid-20th century Germany and Italy, for example.

That means adjusting tactics in the middle of the firestorms that the media whips up because Trump does indeed provoke them. Because he questions established norms and truths, sometimes in dangerous and divisive ways. But he usually stirs trouble where there already is trouble, or frustration.

So in the middle of this turbulence, style does matter. A sense of strength and steadiness in how one responds to the controversies one faces, or creates, is something people look for in a president. That does not mean blind voter faith in institutions. That’s long gone, and Hillary is living proof that you can sell yourself as madam steady as hard as you want, but any politician with a lengthy political record is invariably guilty until proven innocent in much of the public’s eye, in 2016.

Trump has indeed discovered that firing someone when you’re the GOP nominee has to be handled far differently than on reality TV. Whether he fires Bannon or not at some point, it’s a lesson he needs to keep handy for as long as he’s in politics.