Trump’s presidency was an utter disaster from a leadership perspective which had led to nothing short of chaos. For managers aspiring to be great leaders, Trump’s leadership is the perfect example of what NOT to do when you are in a position of leadership.
Not Having a Strategic Plan
Every leader should have a strategic plan which is a guide to your company goals and the roadmap of how to reach your destination. A strategic plan helps you determine where to invest company resources, both human and financial, and decide what is tangential to your goals, so that you don’t venture off-track along the way. Once you have set clear and unambiguous strategic goals for your company, you will be better able to communicate to your staff and customers where you are headed and make sure everyone on your team stays on the same page.
Before the presidential elections, Donald Trump campaigned on a handful of policy priorities, yet he failed to establish a clear path of action to make good on any of those fervent promises. Instead of staying laser-focused on this goals, his policies and focus wavered so much that it left his staff in a constant state of disarray. With no clear objectives, Trump’s advisors were left with no choice but to create policies based on his tweets and remarks, rather than his ideology and philosophy. As a leader, you should know that without a clear plan in sight, you will be hard pressed to achieve anything meaningful.
Not Showing Accountability for Your Actions
Humans are prone to errors, including the best of leaders, but good leadership is all about recovering from those mistakes and getting back on your feet after each downfall. Trump was no stranger to rubbing people the wrong way and his snide remarks and childish Tweets caused grievances to a lot of people.
However, the least he could have done was to apologize immediately to people every time he put his foot in his mouth. While an apology wouldn’t have completely healed the wounds inflicted by his words, a sincere act of contrition would at least have assuaged public’s anger towards him. A smart leaders would have been quick to take responsibility for this errors and apologized on the spot, as is seen with CEOs and great leaders of the past.
As a leader, your point of view may be different from your team and you may not eye to eye with your subordinates at every issue, but it is your job to at least exhibit the willingness to consider other perspectives. Even though you are the leader, accountability starts with you. If your teammates see you owning up to your mistakes and misjudgments, they will be far more willing to respect you in the future.
Not Knowing your Business Environment
It is absolutely essential for a leader to stay in tune with their industry, competition, and the global environment in which they are steering their company forward. If you want your company to gain an edge in a competitive arena, you need to be constantly on your toes. For instance, tension exists between the three branches of law laid out in the U.S. constitution and Bill of Right, and the U.S. president only runs one of the three branches. A true leader is able to overcome friction between the different branches of federal government by helping to nurture positive relationships, keeping open lines of communication, and ensuring that other stakeholders understand the vision and the direction.
Trump’s continued childish whining and personal attacks against his rivals, competitors, and even his own staff reflects on how less he knew of the universe in which he operated. Unless a leader does their due diligence and understand the issues at hand and the challenges they are facing, they cannot be expected to make any real progress.
Even the best of leaders make mistakes when they make uninformed decisions. If you don’t have accurate information, it is better to stay silent instead of making things up and deceiving your subordinates. If you try to pass off inaccurate information as the truth, no one will believe you and you will lose your credibility.
Verdict: If you truly want to be a great leader, follow in the footsteps of Trump to learn everything you should NEVER do.