Hey Everyone! Thanks for stopping by! We’re back after taking some time away from writing to focus on family, health and career. In the meantime, now that the U.S. is in the midst of significant leadership change, we wanted to take this opportunity to assess what kind of leadership style we might expect from the President-elect.
To begin, we will first take a brief look at the reaction to the election, as much of the world continues to work diligently to comprehend the reasoning behind those who voted for the new President-elect. However, as the protests continue nationwide, many are still having difficulty accepting the outcome. Why?
It was clear that even though she would have made history as the first female U.S. President, Hillary Clinton struggled with keeping a positive image, in addition to the apparent lack of trust she received from a great majority. What is perplexing for a great deal who still find it difficult to understand, is the logic behind casting a vote for the current President-elect, or that he was or should have EVER been an option to begin with. In fact, a great deal of people are confused as to why this candidate, (described by Leon Wieseltier in a recent Washington Post article entitled, Stay Angry, as a practitioner in the “politics of panic”[Wieseltier, 2016]) was not disqualified after he spewed the first racist remark during the campaign.
What we have observed and noted along with the President-elect’s noxious behavior, is that as a leader in the business arena, and during the election process, it appears that two prominent components fueled the motivating forces which drove the bulldozer campaign: ego and vanity. How will those characteristics be integrated as effective leadership skills to motivate a nation to stand enthusiastically behind an individual like this in the office of the Presidency? Also, we question whether those factors raised concerns of those supporting his camp, as well as what justified overlooking those qualities to give supporters confidence in an individual that appeared to upset and insult a variety of races like the TV character Archie Bunker from All in the Family. With all the toxic behavior that was disclosed during the campaign, we contemplate what would motivate balanced, civilized, educated people to support the leadership skills of an off the wall candidate with a growing list of uncivil behavior?
As if the harmful rhetoric didn’t give an indication as to the kind of leadership style we should expect, one merely need take a look around at those who surrounded him. During the campaign, his team consisted of individuals, that to many, seemed to be part of a brute squad, a term coined from the popular film the Princess Bride. In the film, these squads were created to help leaders instill and perpetuate fear, hatred, and division among the people as a means to control them. Is this a leadership style we can expect more of from the new administration? Was this taken into consideration by the voters or what the full ramifications would entail in the outcome of that choice? These are some of the questions we are considering as part of the assessment process.
In our investigation, we must also look closer at some of the reasons why Hillary struck out and lost the important states required to win the electoral college, in spite of the fact that she won the popular vote by the time all the ballots had been collected. Some experts believe a key component to her losing was attributed to her team’s inability to comprehend the positive impact that embracing and uniting leadership with the Sanders movement would have. That could have been a significant step to help unify a divided party. Many believe that in addition to adapting some of the movement’s policies, had they brought on one of the prominent figures from Bernie’s campaign as her running mate, it would have sent a strong message that affirmed to the party, the DNC was working in partnership to support both sides. This may have been a better productive strategy that could have led to a more successful outcome.
Had they considered the impact of selecting Tim Kaine, rather than recruiting someone from the Sanders camp – many agree that tactic would have been a positive move supporters could accept. However, the strategy they chose sent a clear message that many of the constituents already suspected, that the Hillary brand was not hearing, nor open to listening to ALL the citizens in her party. In the meantime, that weakness opened a clear path that enabled the sly sharks of her opponent’s camp, to seize the opportunity and go in for the kill.
In the business arena, an effective leader understands the importance of consumer feedback. The President-elect’s team collected information, listened and addressed the grievances of his supporters, then used that data to create a frenzy by playing to the heightened emotions and fears of the populace. In the publication entitled, The Value of Strategic Management (Berry, 2014), our research work reveals that great leaders look for strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats when devising plans to achieve a goal. This is one very effective strategy, that when given the chance to implement, can work like a great white shark devouring everything in its path.
Further information to assess, is how a citizen, without any experience in civil service, or holding a government position, who has an alleged 75 lawsuits pending against him, would or could qualify for the office of Presidency. Moreover, we must consider in our evaluation, how voters supported their candidate cognizant he’s avoided paying taxes for nearly two decades. Even without accountability for the poisonous behavior he displayed, and lack of transparency in many arenas, now citizens are asked to consider giving the President-elect a chance to succeed, especially without feeling motivated to grant him that opportunity.
What is most unsettling to consider in all this, are the many who no longer feel safe in this country because of the boundaries that he and his campaign crossed like: (a) the toxic rhetoric and behavior displayed from the campaign; (b) the disrespect he showed to a variety of individuals including a disabled reporter; and (c) the flippant, derogatory and inflammatory attitude he displayed towards the women brave enough to come forward to testify against him. In short, that uncouth and venomous leadership style continues to disrupt many communities. How could it not? Many are concerned and frightened from the behavior of his leadership skills. After all, if citizens will tolerate blatant misconduct from their Commander in Chief, what is to prevent supporters from engaging in similar behavior? (There are reports that this is already occurring).
Regardless of the how or why, the fact remains, the voters have spoken and now citizens are focused on finding a way to come together to heal and unite this country in the after math of a reckless and destructive campaign. However, in order to hit the “reset” button as citizens are being asked, with the possibility of embracing a let bygones be bygones, attitude or, let’s take the high road and start from scratch mentality, a few changes in leadership style are required.
First and foremost, if the President-elect is authentically interested in beginning the healing process, as any great leader would, he would arrange a press conference to offer a genuine heartfelt apology to all those who feel a deep pain and hurt from the toxic behavior and rhetoric he engaged in. We present this maneuver as a leadership skill tactic that may allow those who have been deeply scarred to feel safe and perhaps believe that there is hope moving forward in a positive direction. After all, with forgiveness, hard work, and education, people are capable of change. Like the character, Edmund, in C.S. Lewis’ popular series, The Chronicles of Narnia. When we first meet him in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Edmund embarks down a path of hurtful, mindless behavior due to misguided anger and the deep grief he felt from an absent father. However, once he became aware of the consequences of his hurtful behavior, audiences witnessed a positive change. If the President-elect’s actions and deeds reveal he is capable of building bridges and trust with those who are suffering from his behavior – actions which in fact revealed a lack of emotional intelligence – perhaps many citizens would be more eager to hit their internal reset buttons and begin to work in partnership with the President-elect to build trust and help unite the nation.
In order to help ensure this possibility, however, we recommend leadership skills that are consistent with unifying behavior from the new administration while revealing a genuine interest to move the country forward in a constructive direction. Otherwise, many concerned citizens fear facing a reality with a dire need to protect themselves from a regime that emerges of an uncontrolled individual driven by ego and toxic leadership skills. In other words, citizens may be confronted with a reality reminiscent of an era similar to when early explorers arrived from Europe to claim a new world for themselves. Rather than show appreciation and gratitude, the explorers nabbed the riches, then slaughtered their generous hosts who welcomed them with open arms.
One thing is for certain when conducting any kind of evaluation: that the dark side of history is never forgotten, so it can be avoided. Equally important is that citizens embrace optimism as a strength needed to call on history’s newest heroes in order to keep the energy moving forward in a positive direction. If not, a great majority of citizens are concerned they may witness the beginning of a leadership style that slowly converts this great nation from a democracy into one that resembles a dictatorship.
It is pretty clear that now more than ever, the entire nation needs to work diligently to pull from the wells of their own internal “leader,” (the teacher within) to find ways to go beyond the pain to: (a) break down communication barriers; (b) apply deep active listening skills to truly hear and understand each other’s differences; and (c) most significantly, realize it’s time to learn how to validate each other as fellow citizens, whether we can agree on anything or not. This is one kind of strategy that may help begin the healing process within our wounded families, communities, and nation as a whole. That is, after all, what seems to be at the core of this election.
In contemplating all the information presented in our assessment as to the kind of leadership we can expect from the new administration, we have come to the following conclusion: it is up to the President-elect to decide how he wishes to be remembered in history, as a zero – a tyrannical racist and bigot that incites hatred and division; or or a hero – the kind of leader that will motivate the masses with effective leadership skills that include some of the following virtues: (a) courage, (b) impartiality, (c) empathy, (d) fair judgment, (e) enthusiasm, (f) humility, and (g) imaginative innovation (Glanz, 2002). Only time will tell. In the meantime, regardless of the kind of leader he chooses to be, it is up to every citizen to become more mindful and compassionate with each other and keep working on becoming better versions of ourselves, to set a positive tone.
That wraps our evaluation at this time. Thanks for checking out our blog. We’ll keep posting new articles as often as we can, however, due to our busy schedule, it may not be as often as we posted in the past.
That’s all for now, until next time, keep working on evolving into a better version of you!
“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
Berry, M. A. (2014). The Value of Strategic Management. USA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Glanz, J. (2002). Finding your leadership style. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision and Curriculam Development (ASCD).
Wieseltier, L. (2016, November 11). Stay angry. That’s the only way to uphold principles in Trump’s America. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/11/11/stay-angry-thats-the-only-way-to-uphold-principles-in-trumps-america/?utm_term=.6ccc384b7e08