Running in Donald Trump’s Shoes

Famed businessman and entertainment mogul, Donald Trump is loved, hated, praised and reviled concurrently on any given day. He can command respect while attracting derision with almost anything he says or does. He is generally known to be incredibly successful but he has seen his share of financial decline and uncertainty. He is an enigma who changes his presentation, mood and disposition with disconcerting irregularity. In short, Donald Trump simultaneously represents everything people in the western world want and much of what we find repugnant. So, how does he do it and why do we care?

What drives “The Donald” and why does he work so hard?

As a behavioural analyst, it is clear to me that Mr. Trump is a highly dominant individual. He has an overwhelming desire to win and he becomes very angry when faced with potential failure or disrespect. Dominance also provides him with a thick skin and an unusually large dollop of courage. It is clear that he is highly individualistic which means that he has an overwhelming desire to take control of essentially every facet of every situation, person, place, or thing he comes into contact with. In order to win, he knows that he must work harder than anyone else and he must never drop his guard. I doubt that many people reading this have worked harder or run faster toward success than Donald Trump.

The traits of dominance and individualism in combination provide him with an intimidating demeanour which he seems to savour. He often softens his overt criticisms with a smile or a joke in order to let his subjects know that he is not done with them yet. If he smiles at them, after tearing their egos to shreds, there is a good chance they will live on to win or fail another day. That indicates that despite his dominant nature he is quite empathetic and deep inside of him beats a kindly heart.

 He appears to have a love of the arts and beautiful people. That trait is generally accompanied by a need for overall harmony in his life and business. When harmony is not present he will be compelled to take charge by reacting with dominance…usually in the form of anger or impatience. If he cannot regain control, he might feel the need to perform a decisive, extreme act…something along the lines of, “You’re fired!”

Why do we care about Donald Trump?

“The Donald” lives a lavish lifestyle and has the ability to do virtually anything he wants to. While the average person is driving a typical automobile, he is riding in the back of a stretch limo. While the average person enjoys a walk in the park, he enjoys building incredible golf courses. While most of us struggle a lifetime to pay off a small mortgage, he trades in billions of dollars of real estate daily. He has all of the things most of us want and he is unabashed about letting the world know about it.

Donald Trump’s “style” is one of strong mindedness, boldness, and self confidence. He could easily be accused of arrogance, but because he has a superior sense-of-self he probably sees himself not as arrogant, but rather cool, in-control and unassailable. In his mind, he is not arrogant…he is instead…poised and confident. He expects respect and when he doesn’t get it, he is quick to correct the situation one way or another.

Who among us would not like to live a life of wealth, free from worries about money or possessions? Which one of us would not like to be able to have what we wanted when we wanted it while surrounded by adoring fans, employees and family members? Who can honestly say they would not want what Donald Trump has? We might not want to be him, but we would like to have what he worked so hard to get.

He has found the secret to success and turned it into a multi-billion dollar empire. He has taken the elements of his personality and turned them into a larger-than-life iconic character. He is “The Donald” and centuries from now, he will be remembered for his many accomplishments and his powerful personality.  Do we really care about him in a meaningful, personal way? Probably not, but we find him fascinating because he is so complex and so darned interesting.

Is Donald Trump a leader?

Anyone who has watched the television show, The Apprentice or the “The Celebrity Apprentice” can easily see that “The Donald’s” contestants, employees, and family members revere and adore him. Some of the most famous and beloved singers, actors, and comedians in the world insist on calling him “Mr. Trump” while fawning over him to gain his favour in the most obsequious ways. He only has to walk into a room and sit down in order to bring everyone to attention. His demeanour is that of a supreme-court judge…the only things missing are the long black robe and a gavel. Is that leadership or is it simple intimidation? It appears to be a little of both, but some of the people who compete on his show have no need to be there other than for exposure and for the opportunity to get to know “The Donald” on a more personal basis. They could leave any time, but they stay despite any scorn he might direct at them.

The non-celebrities who compete go through an even more rigorous trial than the famous folks. The ones who are successful are the ones who are most like Mr. Trump. They are the ones who are smart enough to understand what he wants, what he expects and what it will take to work with him. They are great followers who might, one day become great leaders.

Great leaders lead by example and anyone who can successfully model themselves after Donald Trump stands a good chance of accomplishing some of his achievements.  He might not be a classic “nice guy” but he sets an example for success that is all but unequalled in business history.

If you want success, run a mile in Donald Trump’s shoes!

All the Best

Wayne Kehl

Open honest disclosure: I have never met Donald Trump. My opinions are based on my own observations and research of publicly available information.


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