[October 23, 2017] Controversy comes from many sources and in a variety of forms. All of us, in particular leaders, swim in the sea of controversy our entire professional lives. But it is up to us to navigate those waters in such a way that enhances our relationships (social, political, economic, educational) with all others – not just with future stakeholders. Controversy is not always a bad thing; it is through controversy that folks wake up and smell the coffee to find solutions. Today’s Reading List Update is on a book that navigates the leadership of U.S. President Donald Trump to explain his leadership principles.
The Art of the Donald: Lessons from America’s Philosopher-in-Chief, Christopher Bedford, 2017
Author Christopher Bedford lays out the formula that helped make Donald Trump the president of the United States – a person who neither held a political office nor a position in the U.S. military. How did such a person achieve the most powerful position in the world by traveling such a non-traditional route? Whether you are a big fan of or disgruntled voter of Trump, this book explains the leadership principles he used to great success in business and to become president. For those of us who also studied past-president Barack Obama, the contrasts are stark and worthy of further review.
Donald Trump breaks the mold in politics and that makes him controversial – from the Republican never-Trumpers to pink-hatted Democrats to the socialist antifa, as well as media and political experts, they all got it wrong about Trump and fail to understand how he “connects” to the people across the ideological spectrum. Much like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, Trump has an ability to get people believe they are important.
Bedford breaks his book into 30 rules that explain how Trump – as a senior leader – is in charge. I especially like how Bedford shows the defects of Trump and how, as president (and president) used those to his advantage. My favorite rules are “Go Straight to the People Piwer Comes From” (Rule# 1) and “The Difference Loyalty Makes” (Rule# 11). In Rule 1, Bedford writes that figuring out who you actually need to talk to is one of life’s most essential skills. How true!