Surprising Lesson From Trump
Drop your phones, keyboards, whatever you use to send nasty-grams. I AM NOT WRITING A POLITICAL ARTICLE HERE. I am not endorsing Trump. I am not not endorsing Trump.
Today we are talking about leadership — not politics. (I do have some ideas about Trump too…but you’ll have to ask.)
One of the most interesting things about the Trump campaign is that many of his supporters are willing to overlook (and even deny) his more controversial statements. They are focused on the man, the personality, the outsider status, the general direction he wants to go; they are not super interested in the details of his message.
Many Trump supporters believe that Trump doesn’t really mean much of the really nasty things he says. When asked if about Trump’s ideas about Muslims, Mexican Walls and women, they say things like, “He doesn’t really mean that.” And furthermore, they don’t agree with those opinions. In spite of the fact that Trump has well-documented and REALLY controversial opinions, a large number of his supporters neither agree with the Trump’s ideas nor accept that Trump himself believes them. Get it? That’s big news. They support Trump even though they don’t support his ideas.
Trump supporters say yes he is brash, yes he is loud and yes he is unafraid to say what he thinks, AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT HIM. He wants to make America Great Again, they say. That’s what we like. They like him and his BIG ideas; the specifics of his plan aren’t important.
Your team needs to understand, and, more importantly, FEEL what that purpose is and feel like they are an important part of a team who will fulfill that purpose.
What does this have to do with leadership, you ask? Excellent question. The Trump story has a lot to do with leadership, because it proves an old adage: People follow people who have a plan. Okay, maybe that’s not an old adage, but what I mean is that effective leaders, leaders who can actually persuade people to follow have a vision and they communicate clearly what that vision is. Make America Great Again. Short, simple, to the point. Trump supporters like it and that’s enough. They’ll shake out the nitty gritty later.
Our take away? Sometimes as leaders we just need a really simple and clear vision & set of values, and that our ideas might be less important than our image. And second, we need to make sure our teams really understand this vision.
Your team needs to understand, and, more importantly, FEEL what that purpose is and feel like they are an important part of a team who will fulfill that purpose. They need buy-in. Your team needs to believe that together they are going somewhere they believe in. Do they care exactly how they get to that somewhere? Not really, if you look at the Donald Trump phenomena. Do they want their leader to have bold ideas communicated in a bold, unapologetic manner? Yes, that’s what they want. Your followers will fill in the details later. As long as they have an understanding and belief in the purpose, the rest is white noise which they can interpret to fit their own world view.
So your job as a leader is to identify your core values, communicate those core values unapologetically and without fear, and make your team feel like they are an important part of the push forward. Channel your inner Donald Trump. Find what you believe in. Share what you believe in. Live what you believe in.
I’m Brad Montgomery, and if you’re looking for a leadership expert and someone to remind your group of their boundless potential and capacity for success, give me a call. Together we can get your team to where they want to be. Brad Montgomery. Speaking to the People Side of Business.
PS. Don’t get me wrong. In the end, our ideas do matter. The details DO matter. And Trump is going to have to prove that he not only has a plan for the details, and that it is a good plan. But for now, apparently, the Idea of Trump is more important than any of his ideas.
Brad Montgomery is a business speaker who speaks across the country and around the world. (He’s also a motivational speaker…which is a word he hates. When we chat we’ll explain.) to discuss how to bring Brad to fire up your meeting or event. 303.691.0726