Born in 1946, Donald Trump is the 45th and current President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America. Before entering the turbulent political arena, he was an entrepreneur and a television personality. A straight talker with no air of pretense around him, he has dazzled and shocked the world simultaneously with what many people regard as his unconventional style of leadership. Here are eight leadership lessons from ‘The Donald’:
- Tell Your Own Story: One thing that you are going to notice almost instantly is that he never keeps quiet, especially when he is under attack. From calling Ted Cruz’ Lying Ted’ to branding Senator Elizabeth Warren’ Pocahontas’ and referring to Joe Biden as ‘Sleepy Joe, Donald Trump will never allow his enemies to dominate the media waves with their version of the stories. He will go to any length to defend himself. If anyone can be referred to as the master of blowing your own trumpet, then it is Donald Trump. He knows the media is another tool, and he will never allow others to shape the narrative.
- Do Not Apologize: Some people believe that a gentleman has to apologize when wrong or even right in some cases. Well, that does not work with Donald Trump. The American Chief Executive likes to reflect strength at all times, explaining why he sees any form of apology as a kind of weakness. Hence, you will never see him apologize to anyone. For someone who takes how his followers see him seriously, that is understandable. He will instead justify his actions.
- Blow Up Anecdotes: It is one thing to use anecdotes, but it is entirely to blow them up by using stories or illustrations to amplify the problems or issues on the ground. This is done when you want to make sure you are pushing your agenda or interest. Trump is a master when it comes to this technique of leadership.
- Turn Criticism Around: Trump knows that with leadership comes a lot of criticism, and he cannot stop the bile. However, what he knows is to turn around the criticism so that it will be in its favor – talk of using the stones thrown at you to build a mansion. He deflects criticism by calling attention to another issue or puts the critic in a tight spot by raising a different matter that will leave the person defensive.
- Use Exaggeration: One thing that makes Trump such an influential leader is that he knows that humans are emotional beings. He does not only deliberately exaggerate to rile up his base, but he also uses words that will trigger emotional responses in people. He does this all the time, but he uses the technique to maximal effect during campaign seasons when he needs to mobilize as many voters as possible.
- Throw in Some Controversy: As a former television personality, Trump believes that there is nothing like bad publicity. He thinks that any publicity is good publicity. That explains why he would stir up the birth issue against Barack Obama or question Warren’s heritage. He knows the media will not be able to resist it, and once again, his name will be in the mouths of everyone.
- Take It Personal While Carving Your Niche: Whenever Trump is involved in a debate or is seen tackling an opponent, he does not play the gentleman. He ensures that he takes everything personally and that is why he lashes out at the personal features or qualities of others. The goal is to rubbish their viewpoints or neutralize their opinions while strengthening his narrative simultaneously. Trump grabs every opportunity to get this done.
- Keep Your Circle Small and the Wall High: Right from the earliest days of his presidency, Trump showed clearly that he was not scared to hire and fire. This trait made him popular on his reality television show long before he became a politician. As a leader, you must surround yourself only with a team of loyal people. If anyone on your team shows the slightest hint of disloyalty, do not hesitate to fire them and replace them without delay. This way, Trump ensures that he keeps his circle very small while maintaining the wall to be as high as possible.
Even though some see Trump’s leadership style as being too high-handed or even controversial, what is certain is that it has worked for him over the years. Even his critics agree that he is a capable and competent leader who makes for a very formidable opponent. A tremendous vindication of Trump’s leadership style was when he declared he would be President of the United States and went ahead to defeat Hillary Clinton. He was never given a chance in the first instance, but he emerged as the winner with a blend of his leadership styles.