When you look at Donald J. Trump there’s one thing that is always consistent: he’s extreme.
He’s so extreme in his positions, and statements, that he shocks the political landscape. People are constantly talking about how extreme his actions are.
It’s not “control immigration” it’s “shut the border.”
It’s not “healthcare reform” it’s “Obamacare is horrible.”
Almost anything that comes out of Trump’s mouth is extreme. He loves and advisor and has “full confidence” in them like Ruddy Giuliani or he’s tossing them on the street like John Bolton.
There is no question Donald Trump is not a normal politician.
But deep in his leadership style are lessons for our businesses. Let’s peel back the layers and see a few things Donald Trump has taught us about how to make our businesses better.
These lessons apply whether you agree with Trump’s policies and style or not.
Lesson 1: Extreme Gets Attention
One thing is for sure: the media, and most Americans, are always talking about Donald Trump. I don’t remember any President getting so much discussion on a daily basis. Just the week I was standing in a car rental line and everyone was talking about Trump.
It seems that whatever has happened in the world Donald Trump has taken to Twitter and make a statement on it. Not only has he made a statement he has, generally, made an extreme statement.
Trump rarely talks about considering an action, or balancing interests.
He’s made a conclusion and usually it’s a conclusion that that is a bit extreme. It seems that a great many of his positions are not favored by a majority of Americans. Yet he takes the position and goes to the extreme.
In our businesses we can learn from this too. While we don’t want to offend others we do want to look to take advantage of the attention of being in the extreme. We should strive to be the best in class at what we do. We should make offerings other don’t have.
Quite simply we should be known for how we Do Business Differently(™).
Lesson 2: Extreme Builds Fans
Whether you are one of them, or not, Trump has a lot of fans. He throws amazingly large rallies where thousands of attendees wait hours to see him speak.
Because he is so extreme and takes strong positions those that agree with him feel embolded. They feel heard through him. They support him because he is the conduit for their messages.
And so while Trump’s extreme positions offend many they also galvanize a lot of people. The people that do like what Trump says like it a lot.
In business we need buyers. At the end of the day our good or services need to be sold to someone.
You can try to collect a lot of luke warm customers and have them buy your product. This is what most politicians do. It’s also how cable companies generally work.
Or you can collect a smaller set of buyers who really are empassioned about your mission and growth. This is what many niche businesses do. Think of Harley Davidson. While only a small percentage of the world own motorcycles the buyers of a Harley connect on the extreme uniqueness of the brand.
Lesson 3: Taking Positions Gets Trust
Another thing Trump does well is garner trust. You may not like what Trump is doing but you can usually trust him to do it.
If Trump says he’s going to do something he’s going to find a way.
Take the border wall as an example. In the course of getting his border wall build Trump has hit issues with Congressional funding, courts and getting popular support. Yet there are portions of the wall being built right now.
Many politicians earn a reputation of not being able to be trusted. Their soundbites, over the years, conradict each other. Politicians are also noted for changing their votes on issues to not match their campaign promises.
The Americans that support Trump trust him to do what he says he will do. And that keeps them motivated to support him.
We can learn a lot for our businesses from this. We should be doing what we need to do to get trust.
If we can learn to communicate who we are and why our business is the best at something – then actually deliver – we can capitalize on that trust from our customers.
Lesson 4: Even If You Are Wrong Being Extreme Is Hard To Ignore
Any fact checker will tell you Trump has been wrong in his statements. A lot.
But is Trump ever ignored? No.
No matter what is happening you can trust President Trump to make another extreme statement. You can trust that next Tweet to come out.
Trump has weathered many political storms because he just keeps going. He remains extreme and entrenched.
For our businesses this lesson is very important. We are going to have hard times. We are going to have times where we are passed over for projects or opportunities. But if we keep going we will be impossible to ignore.
Many of my clients didn’t hire me the first time they considered me. They went with a different speaker or lawyer. I kept working hard and delivering great value for those that were my customers. Then, based on that steadiness, many of those that didn’t hire me the first time (usually on price) came back.
Stand in your value and don’t change just because a storm is brewing.
Lesson 5: Your Marketing Can Be Improved With Passion
Those that follow Trump love his passion.
You can see him standing on stages, as the orange in his face turns to red and his yellow hair blows in the wind, that he is passionate about whatever he is speaking about.
Passion transfers. When you are passionate your customers get excited too. They may not even fully understand what you are passionate about but they love the care.
While you can’t fake passion if you truly care it will be known. Customers love to do business with those that care about them and their issues.
How can you convey the passion you have for your business?
Take-away 1: You Have To Find Your Style
Now I know Trump’s style isn’t for everyone. Nothing is saying you have to act like he does (we couldn’t survive as a country if everyone acted that way).
But you should find your style. And stand in it completely.
The lesson of Trump is to double-down on what you truly are. Figure out what you offer – and why – and showcase it with pride.
Take-away 2: Sound Bites Are Important
Within all of the aspects we discussed of Trump in these lessons is a truth that Trump is a master of soundbites. He’s great at putting a lot in short Tweets. He repeats statements over and over at his events so they can be edited into short clips.
More and more short catchy phrases that capture concepts are key. This may not be new – marketing taglines and slogans have long been important in business – but the imporantance of it is growing.
I am working with a partner to do work in the self-defense area with a focus on planning for possible situations before they happen. While we are launching this new combined effort I told her one of our first missions is to figure out how to get what we offer into a soundbite that we can use again and again.
Today soundbites are a super important part of business messaging.
What To Do Now
Now is the time to go back and learn from what Donald Trump has shown us.
Like his politics or not he’s a master at what he does. And there’s some really powerful lessons in there for our businesses.
And if you are against Trump you can use a lot of his lessons to rally the support to defeat him.
By: The Our Shawn McBride, is the business nerd and long-time business attorney that focuses on changes of ownership in businesses. He works with business owners that know their business is about more than themselves to get ready for their future through keynotes, training and personalized solutions. In furtherance of this he hosts The Future Done Right(TM) Show where he collects, digests and gives lessons and insights on The Future of Business. If you want regular content on the future of business subscribe to get new blog posts from us here.
You’ll quickly notice his unusual suits which he uses open the conversation of how businesses should Do Business Differently™.
The Our Shawn is based in DeLand, Florida (between Orlando, Florida and Daytona Beach, Florida) and Dallas, Texas where he keeps offices. You can also find Shawn on webinars or traveling nationally or internationally for speaking engagements.
Check me out at: www.planningdoneright.com
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