Leadership Lessons from Donald Trump

Dr. Relly Nadler:
Stan Silverman is a speaker, advisor, and weekly nationally syndicated columnist in 43 Business Journals and publications across the U.S., Stan Silverman shares his insight and helps businesses and organizations achieve success. Spending decades as a CEO and board member of global corporations has given him a unique perspective on leadership in the c-suite and expertise on how to set the right tone at the top, establish the right culture and achieve results.

Stan will hare his leadership insights from President Trump. Four years of the presidency of Donald Trump has provided a treasure trove of lessons on leadership. Some people judge Trump favorably because he fulfilled some of his campaign promises. Stan will go beyond these and consider more fundamental areas where he has fallen short – Trump’s leadership traits, character, and values.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: I’m really curious about today’s show, curious and excited. Stan Silverman, who, is the author of Be Different – The Key to Business and Career Success, is going to be back on today talking Lessons Learned from our current President, Donald Trump. Stan is an amazing thought leader in the area of business and leadership.

I adore Stan. I don’t get to see enough of him. I follow his blogs, which I love. I never would have guessed so long ago, I can’t even remember how long ago it was, but early, early in my career I was a partner at a company called Computer Sciences Corporation. Their focus was on improving systems technology and change. I was fortunate enough to sit down with the CEO of a large company that was focused on such change. They had specifically put Stan in that position.

He has had experience as a leader himself. He was five years as the CEO and a director on numerous boards. He was working for and observing both great, and not so great, leaders. Which is a gentle way of saying that many of us have come into contact with toxic leaders.

But, working for and observing these leaders, he has learned a lot. He has taken this life experience and he has created something wonderful. He has provided a framework for identifying key traits in effective leaders who stand out above the crowd and leaders you may never want to emulate. We forget about those leaders because somehow, they disappear from the media. We just assume they have gone about their business. A lot of these folks reinvent themselves and they will come back time and time again with different hats.

So, Stan’s framework is very important for us to pay attention to.

What are some key traits of an effective leader, beyond just achieving results? That is the magic that Stan shares every day in his posts.

Today, we are very fortunate. Stan is going to share some leadership insights from his observations of President Trump over the past four years of his presidency. As Stan says, he has provided a treasure trove of lessons on leadership.

Some people judge Trump favorably because he fulfilled some of his campaign promises. We know that you watch the right channel on television, or you read the right news blogs and you are going to feel like you’ve gotten everything you need from this President.

On the other hand, there are other people who watch different news shows and read different blogs and feel otherwise.

Stan is going to go beyond these, and he is going to consider more fundamental areas of leadership where Trump has demonstrated leadership character traits that have fallen short of what we think of as a good leader. We are going to talk about Trump’s leadership traits, character and values. Both positives and not so great.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Stan, your blog of October 19th in the Philadelphia Business Journal was about Donald Trump’s leadership traits. So, share a little bit about why you decided this – I mean the election is tomorrow for folks who are live here. Tell us a little bit about how you decided to talk about Trump as a leader.

Stan Silverman: Yeah, sure, Relly.

First of all, I want to thank you and Cathy for inviting me, again, to your show. It is always a lot of fun to participate with you during our time together. So, again, thank you. Thank you, Cathy for that gracious and kind introduction before the break, certainly appreciated.

So, the article that I wrote, which was Lessons Learned from Trump’s Leadership Style, it really drew a huge audience. The article was published in the Philadelphia Business Journal and I post all my articles on LinkedIn. As of this morning, that article drew over six thousand readers, which is by far the most I get within a two-week period of time. Obviously, his leadership style and the things he has done are very interesting to people.

The reason I wrote it is because I just wanted to share the lessons that he’s taught us, some good lessons, some bad lessons. I think this is very important for future leaders as they grow in their careers and move up the ladder to know how to act, how to become effective, what to do so that you are not effective. Nobody wants to be ineffective, obviously. So, that is why I wrote the article.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Stan, let me just interject something here. I don’t know how many of you have been with Relly and I for thirteen years, but you may recall that we did a very similar show on Obama and Obama’s leadership.

I just want to keep in mind that this is not a political statement. That is not what we are about. We are not about politics. We are not about influencing anyone’s vote or their decisions about their party. Let me just process that.

What I find very interesting about your post was the attention it drew and all you were trying to talk about, as I recall, are the teachable moments. That is what we are focused on.

So, getting into the meat of the discussion today. Why did you decide to even write about Trump as a leader?

Stan Silverman: Because as leader of the United States, the effectiveness of the President is very important to lead our citizens, to lead our country. You can do that effectively or you can do that not so effectively as it turns out. Obviously, he is pretty effective with half the people. The other half he is not so effective.

By the way, my comments today will not touch upon ideology or politics. I am going to be very careful; I was very careful in my article not to mention that because I think it detracts from the message I’m trying to convey with respect to leadership.

So, I am not going to get into politics or ideology because that is for somebody else. That’s not for me.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Perfect.

That’s why I wanted to state that as well because Relly and I do not want to, in any way shape or form, use this as a forum for politics or ideology. So, thanks for that, Stan.

Stan Silverman: I don’t want that either.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: What are some of these key traits of an effective leader? Relly, I’m going to treat you as an interviewee at the same time from an EI standpoint because one of the things that I thought about Stan’s post was how deeply these traits are connected to the behavior of what we are calling truly emotionally brilliant people. Being brilliant in the moment.

That is where we seem to see some of these, I’ll just call them deviations in that behavior of an effective leader.

Dr. Relly Nadler: So, Stan, let’s jump into what are the key traits of an effective leader. I’ll be glad to comment also. What do you see?

Stan Silverman: Well there is just a huge list of them, but I am just going to limit it to the areas I covered in my article or else we would be here for hours.

So, what does an effective leader do? Well, first of all, they do what they say they are going to do. They achieve what they promise, they achieve goals. That’s why people select them as CEO of a company or the President of the United States.

That is an extremely important trait. They keep their employees and those they serve safe. They create a sense of unity among those they lead. They possess emotional intelligence; I think later on we will get into that in great detail given you interest in it and my interest in it. They value their credibility and they show empathy.

To me, those are the ones I want to focus on today because I focus on how President Trump has performed his job and has led the country with respect to those traits and characteristics.

Listen to the complete interview, above.

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