Three things business leaders could learn from Donald Trump

Take some time off for pleasure, don't hesitate when you need to fire someone and above all, play to win

David FullerFew politicians in recent history have polarized people the way Donald Trump has. Chances are you either love him or hate him. But whatever you think of him, there’s probably something you could learn from the American president.

So what’s Trump doing that most business leaders could learn from?

Let’s start with the obvious and work backwards.

Extracurricular activities

Listening to a news channel, I was told that the Donald was taking a golf day on Saturday. If the self-proclaimed leader of the Western world can take a day off to relax and enjoy himself, why can’t you?

Unfortunately, many owners of small businesses think they can’t take time off because their business will fall apart. Many haven’t taken real holidays in years.

However, Trump just took his family to England for a family holiday!

If you own a business, you could learn from Donald by blocking more time for yourself and your family!

Quick to fire

According to some reports on the administration of the White House, more people have been fired by Trump than any other president in recent history.

While there’s some controversy about some of those firings, the truth is most business owners are too slow to fire employees who aren’t working out for their firms.

In this time of record low unemployment, business leaders are often hesitant to let people go because “a warm body is better than nobody.”

Trump, on the other hand, recognizes that if an employee has different core values, that person probably doesn’t fit in the organization.

While you might have different core values than the Donald, you might benefit from his approach of setting people free.

If you have an organization with a number of employees, a few of them probably aren’t working out. If you’ve done your best to address the underlying issues and you’re both still frustrated, helping them with a plan for a career change can often be the best thing you could do for them.

Playing to win

Complacency affects many small businesses and organizations. As leaders, we’re often too tired, overwhelmed and stuck in the day-to-day operations of our business to strategically think about how we’re going to really achieve our goals.

Trump, on the other hand, is playing to win. Whether it’s in negotiating with North Korea or talking trade with his neighbours, Trump has a goal in mind and is doing his utmost to achieve that goal. He’s playing to win.

Some might argue with Trump’s tactics and his win-at-all-costs attitude. But I’m not talking about his tactics – I’m talking about his mindset.

If we’ve clearly defined what we want to achieve with our company and set our mind to accomplish those goals, we’re more likely be successful. Unfortunately, most of us have rather vague ideas of what success means and very few have defined how we’ll measure our success.

Books have already been written on the pros and cons of Trump’s leadership and most people have their minds made up about the guy. If his foreign policy reopened steel factories in your area and you can now feed your family, you might be a fan. If you were a diehard Hillary Clinton supporter, chances are you’ll never like him.

Yet as aspiring business leaders, we need to be open to ideas that we can incorporate into our organizations from people of differing points of view.

Troy Media columnist David Fuller, MBA, is a certified professional business coach and author who helps business leaders ensure that their companies are successful. David is author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Email comments to dave@profityourselfhealthy.com

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trump, business leaders, lessons

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