A Modest Appraisal of Trump’s Leadership
I haven't written anything about Donald Trump for months but I listen and I learn. He may be a suitable as a tycoon, or mogul, or despot but I have less hope today that his time as president will end well. It does not wash to tell me he is better than Hillary would have been. An authentic appraisal of Trump as presidential leader does not rely upon comparison to anyone else. Rather a rating of leadership fitness for office as US President is made against the finest standard we can cite. I can offer four measurements.
1. Trump has not considered what it is like to be on the other side of him. He is not interested in climate change - not weather patterns, but altering his impact on others. The climate of a room changes when he enters it. Expected? Sure. But people become apprehensive, suspicious and silent rather than confident, optimistic, and involved. Optimum performance by others will only be possible when Trump's opinion does not shut down discussion. He can only correct this when he masters his insecurity and defensiveness.
2. Trump is not protecting his team from how he feels. Rather when he has a bad hair day, feeling annoyed, irritated, resentful, jealous, distrustful, those around him experience it, and over time do not want to work for him. The employee attrition rate is high. He could regulate his disposition if he became more self-aware.
3. Trump blames others. What he should do is to take responsibility for his actions and move forward. Beyond that when someone else drops the ball, as the Chief, he could own responsibility, and therefore build the loyalty he so desires. Instead what happens at the WH is that someone else takes blame and soon that person is gone. This is not team building. The size of the team remains the same but merely with new additions, who soon experience what predecessors did.
4. Trump sinks to the lowest common denominator. He cannot take personal shots. He does not refuse them. He retaliates. Trump does not know where to find the high road. When the dialogue sinks to a low level, Trump wallows in it. His ratings would soar if he could refuse to retaliate. Thereby be would actually refute his critics.
He worries me because he so much power is available to him.
(I attribute some insights to Daniel Goleman's book Emotional Intelligence.)