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What Can We Learn About Leading Change From Donald Trump?

What Can We Learn About Leading Change From Donald Trump?

by John F Kelly, Executive Coach and Training Facilitator, FXL Ireland

What can we learn about leading change from President Trump? To listen to much of the world’s media the short answer is “Not a lot”, or we might even learn how not to be the leader of the free world.

OK, it is too early to identify a discernable leadership style or approach in office, however, I believe leaders in any sector or organisation can learn at least one lesson from how Donald Trump got elected as President.

Classic leadership descriptors such as laying out the vision, being of service, acting with humility, equanimity to others, even tangible goals and strategies were in many ways absent or seriously deficient in the campaign speeches, and yet he still did enough to get elected.

The key to his success has got to be his ability to really connect with the heart-felt emotions and deeply held hurts of a sufficient number of voters to have him elected.

Whether it was antiestablishment feelings or disillusionment with the present political system or a growing economy that still seemed to be leaving many adrift, Donald Trump connected with these people in a way that allowed his many other, let’s say “Non-mainstream leadership views” to be forgotten or forgiven.

The lesson from President Trump has got to be that organisational plans and visions and goals and strategies may count for nothing, if the leader fails to connect with the deep emotions, values and hopes of the people she or he is called to lead.

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