Entrepreneurship is tantamount to leadership. Entrepreneurs draw their energies and inspirations from thought leaders who have stirred the world with their venerated visions and actions. American presidents such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy, Barack Obama and others have been great inspirations for different sects of the society including the entrepreneurs. However, some people also teach us what a leader must not do. Donald Trump is one of them. Since his election as the president of United States, he has largely failed to demonstrate qualities that a real leader must possess. He has outraged the whole world with his autocratic style of leadership and has left millions of Americans feeling betrayed. Nevertheless, here are few lessons that entrepreneurs must learn to not to learn from Trump.
1. The Boss Is Always Right
A king is as good as his advisors. But how can someone advise a man whose favorite catchphrase is ‘You Are Fired’? Donald Trump does not seem to be a person who can listen to someone’s advice. He has been a businessman for last 40 years and is used to doing things out of his own whims and fancies. He does not believe in the judicial system of the country, the army, his campaign team or anybody else for that matter. While it is too early to judge him as the president of USA, lack of belief in his team may not help him go very far. His ignorance will force him to make half-baked decisions that may invite serious threats to the position that America holds in the world order. As an entrepreneur, it is important for you to pick the right advisors, listen to them and value their suggestions. Their advice may help you fill the void of knowledge that may exist in your mind and lead you to the best possible direction.
2. Naivety of Facts
In the age of information, the president of one of the world’s largest economies cannot choose to be ignorant of facts. Donald Trump has always projected an unhealthy disregard for factual information. All that he wants to do is make a point with nothing to back his claims. When posed with serious questions about foreign policies, immigration, healthcare, climate change and the likes, his answers would never reflect his seriousness to the issues. For instance, when he was asked "How do you know that the President of Mexico is purposefully sending criminals to cross into the United States?” he replied that he had spoken to a border guard who told him so. A border guard’s opinion cannot be considered a fact. Similarly, an entrepreneur or a leader must not regard his assumptions and opinions as facts without delving deep into the truth of the matter. Not only will this help them be a better leader but also help them make practical decisions.
3. Being Racist, Odious, and Downright Stupid
Dubbing all Mexican immigrants as drug smugglers, criminals and rapists, and Muslim immigrants as terrorists is not what is expected of a man who leads one of the biggest democracies in the world. Donald Trump’s controversial and hateful positions on different matters could severely damage the foundations on which America stands. For a leader, it is imperative to establish, preserve and nurture strong ethics and values for an organization and do away from making policies and rules that spread hatred, divide, and discriminate.
4. Being a Liar Who Believes They Are Telling the Truth
We cannot live in a world built on promises made by pathological liars such as Donald Trump. In March 2016, POLITICO fact-checked nearly 4.6 hours of Trump’s public statements and deemed over 60 statements made by him as mischaracterizations, exaggerations or simply false. These lies might have helped him secure his place for the highest job in America, but only time will tell how far he will go relying on the lies that people would not buy after a period of time. As an entrepreneur, being truthful is not the quality you can borrow from Trump.
5. Big Dreams, No Plans
A leader is the one who believes in transforming their visions into reality. Selling a dream without having the plan of action is the art that Donald Trump masters. He would give knee-jerk assertions of creating millions of jobs, getting rid of Obamacare, and reducing taxes, but has never come up with realistic plans or viable alternatives to achieve the same. It’s not wrong to sell dreams. But if you do not have the intent of fulfilling those dreams, then today’s happy customers may not remain loyal tomorrow.
6. Can’t Buy Criticisms
A leader cannot escape criticisms. But Donald Trump has an absolutely no buy policy for criticisms as he thinks he is 100% correct at all times. He lives in a headspace where a constructive debate has no place, and everything is either black or white. Recently, in his tweet, he termed media as the enemy of American people. In fact, he has rejected anyone who ever criticized him.
Certainly, not having the tolerability for criticisms and disagreements make a leader too rigid and does not allow them to look at things from someone else’s eyes.
While there could be so many positive things to learn from Donald Trump, the above-mentioned qualities are certainly not for entrepreneurs to get inspired from. Hopefully, Trump will learn some hard lessons before it’s too late and we will get to see a leader who can really make America great again.