Trump election lessons for your business
Democracy makes for bad decisions?
The recent election of Donald Trump was a shock and a disappointment to many of us. The political analysts and commentators, experts and amateurs, will debate it intensely for weeks and intellectually for decades.
But what have we learned for our businesses?
Here are some discussion points that I suggest you can share with your management team, the next time they stray off the topic and insist on talking about the recent election, instead of the business issues of the day.
- Democracy does not always deliver the results you expect or want.
- Be careful of the limited choices that you offer.
- The most popular choice is often not the best choice.
- Leadership needs to listen. But empathy is not enough. Without an effective response to the complaints you will be labelled as weak and ineffective and risk being replaced.
- Stop talking to, and listening to, only the people who agree with you.
- Stop assuming that you can persuade people by logical arguments. Do not write them off as ignorant or irrational. Recognize they are influenced differently from you.
- You cannot persuade your opponents to change by using the influencers and channels of communication that they do not trust.
- Reasons for making a particular choice are volatile, unpredictable and not always subject to explanation or analysis, by the experts or the voters themselves, before or after the fact.
- Plato said it first: “Beware of democracy: ordinary people are too easily influenced by the emotional and deceptive rhetoric of ambitious politicians.”
- Effective leadership has a responsibility to make difficult decisions, explain them satisfactorily, implement them effectively and ensure that any negative consequences are adequately addressed.
Winston Churchill graciously defended democracy after losing his bid for re-election in July of 1945, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
He may have been right about government and we should all exercise our democratic right to vote and defend and protect our democratic institutions.
But in your business, good management is a better idea than taking a vote.
Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson
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