Leadership lessons from Trump and Clinton

trump__clintonI woke up to the news of Donald Trumps presidency yesterday. I’m still in shock whilst writing this. We are indeed living in interesting times with the Brexit vote earlier this year and now Trump winning by a significant margin.

The question I keep asking myself is how can someone who vocalises his racist, misogynists and homophobic views appeal to so many people? What made the electorate bet on him despite the terrible things he has said and done? What lessons can we take from this? How has he managed to galvanise such a large group of people to support him? Why do some many people think Hilary is untrustworthy and dishonest.

There is nothing I admire about the man but I think there is a lot we can learn from the Hilary verses trump election.

Below are 3 lessons

•    Authenticity and connection
Listening to a few radio programmes this morning, the key theme that kept coming up with was authenticity – with Donald Trump, what you see is what you get.    Hilary despite being a fantastic candidate on paper failed to connect. In fact, in another interview, is was said that Hilary described herself as the most “One of the most unknown, well-known people’ and this may well have cost her the biggest job in the land.
The words authenticity were not used in describing her.  People simply did not trust her and Trump capitalised on this.
The lesson is –
“Be willing to let go of who YOU think  you should be in order to be who you are. This was the core message in Brene Brown TED Talk – the power of vulnerability.
Be yourself. Bring your whole self to work, warts and all. You can still be a leader. The people you lead will respect you for that. Have the courage to be imperfect, this is how you’ll connect with people.

•    Entrepreneurial spirit
Another reason why people said they voted for Trump was because he is a business man. People admire people who have achieved economic success and their ability to create something out of nothing. It is not about qualifications (business or otherwise) if it were, Clinton would have won this election.  Leaders of today need to be able to demonstrate their ability to create value and get things done. They need to show that they have the entrepreneurial spirit and the business acumen to lead.

The lesson is –
Nurture your entrepreneurial ability no matter where you find yourself. it’s a skill that is now valued the world over. Start that side business and give it your all even if you fail it is not the end of the whole. In fact, Trump failed several times and nobody talks about that.

•    Resilience and self-belief
A tough skin, self-belief and a can-do attitude can get you far – it can take you very far indeed. In Trump’s case, what started off as a joke ended up in the white house because there is immense power in believing in one’s self. As it turns out it doesn’t even matter whether what you are trying to achieve is positive or negative, all that matters is that you think you can!
The size of his ego and self-belief meant that he keeps going when most people would have given up. The man simply doesn’t give up and doesn’t seem to care much what people think about him. We give so much value to what people think about us and that keeps us from doing what we really need to do to keep growing and thriving.

The lesson here is this – Do what you need to do and believe in yourself. What other people think is their own business.

We need more purpose-driven leaders to bring their positive vision and values to life. They tools and skills are there, let’s use them otherwise narcissist like Trump will keep ruling the world!

What lessons have you learnt from Trump or Hilary?

 

(Image courtesy of wikimedia)

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