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Is there hope for Donald Trump as a leader?

As hard as it is for me to admit, Donald Trump does have some redeemable qualities as a leader. What could those qualities possibly be you ask? Here are three.

We’ve all heard the adage that different times call for different measures. The same can be said for leaders. Different leadership styles are needed at different times. This is why, often times, we will see successful entrepreneurs who have had a great idea, have managed to get it off the ground and move past the start-up phase into the growth stage only to be replaced by a new CEO. The idea guy, the start-up guy, is not necessarily the right leader to take the team through the transition to a large publicly traded organization. Different strengths are appropriate at different times. So, the simple answer to the question, does Donald Trump have any redeemable qualities as a leader?? is…wait for it…Yes. For those of you who really wanted Hillary to win, don't stop reading. Please, this is hard for all of us! The answer is yes because he has characteristics and strengths that seem to be speaking to the public at this moment. Now, what could those qualities possibly be? Though I will admit that I struggled to come up with one of them, I’ve got three. And, whether we like to admit it or not, they are legit.

Redeemable quality #1

There is a great quote that says, “Meet people where they are, not where you would like them to be.” You can have the best ideas in the world but if you cannot get people to hear you, or more importantly understand you, it will not make one bit of difference. Donald Trump clearly understood the mood of the country and he spoke INTO it!!!! On top of that, one of the greatest strengths that Donald Trump has is his ability to speak plainly. During his campaign he said “I know words, I’ve got the best words.” But the truth of the matter is, as can be seen from his quote, he uses really simple words.There is power in that because it allows him to create a feeling of connection with people. The reason many newspapers are written at a grade 7 reading level is because they need people to understand what it is that they are saying. Donald Trump has the power to get people to understand what he is saying. This is something that many leaders need to further develop, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Trump has nailed it.

Redeemable quality #2

Donald Trump is driven. He is not a man that entertains the idea of failure or believes that failure can make us stronger. He is very focused on getting to an end-state regardless of how he gets there. This is vision and there is tremendous power in it if that power is wielded in an appropriate manner. When he doesn’t focus on the how, rather on the importance of the destination, there is a drive and an ability to overcome obstacles that can lead to monumental success. Now, some of these obstacles probably shouldn’t be overcome, but that’s a different story altogether.

Redeemable quality #3

Donald Trump’s third strength is his non-traditionalism. Specifically that his non-traditionalism is alarming. To consider this strength we need to forget whether we agree with him or not and just try to see the potential opportunity. One of the things that Donald Trump said during his campaign - and I think he said it because he didn’t actually have an answer, which is fine - was that he wasn’t going to disclose what he would do about ISIS because you shouldn’t let your enemies know what you are going to do. You must keep them on their toes and not give them a chance to prepare. Even if he said it because he didn’t know how he was going to handle ISIS, there is some power in that answer. America’s traditional allies, relationships that could be counted on in thick or thin, are no longer as comfortable as they once were. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No. Because when we’re not comfortable we don’t get apathetic and when we’re not apathetic we’re a little more vigilant, a little more vested, a little more tuned-in to who we need to be in order to drive the right outcomes. The same goes for the polarized lines we often develop with our enemies. When we believe that enemies are enemies and must always be enemies, we are limiting ourselves.

Now, strengths run amuck are no longer strengths. We can’t ignore that strengths can sometimes be dangerous if there are no checks and balances put in place and if there isn't a consciousness to the potential downsides. That’s where coaching comes into play. Coaching is about identifying your strengths and how they can serve you, but also identifying where they can get you into trouble if you don’t monitor them and you start to believe your own press. Which, as we know, for Donald Trump is a critical issue.

Which leads us to our next question, is Donald Trump coachable? I think so. Here is what I would do if I were Donald Trump’s leadership coach.


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