Love him or hate him, Donald J. Trump, Jr. has captivated the national scene every day since his announcement of running for office of the President of the United States in June 2015. And just a day away from the first caucus in the Presidential race, Mr. Trump is dominating the scene. There are many things he says that may make you shake your head in disbelief– but I see a master method to what Mr. Trump is doing. I am not endorsing him here, and this article isn’t about politics, so let’s get past that point right now. I know the mere mention of his name evokes strong feelings either way, but look closely, and you will see a master craftsman at work.
I see seven traits that Mr. Trump displays that make him a super successful leader.
#1) Absolute Belief In Oneself
Mr. Trump has an absolute belief that whatever he is doing is the right thing. This trait is his strongest trait. It reminds me of the reality distortion that Steve Jobs displayed, as well. Trump believes that he has the answer to completely turn the United States around. Watch when someone questions him on his stance, he will easily turn the conversation back around to the person asking the question as if it did not need to be asked.
As a leader, you must believe in yourself 100 percent, no more, no less. More than 100 percent, and you are cocky and arrogant and you will lose the locker room all the time. Less than 100 percent, you will doubt yourself and your abilities and continue to fail. People will pounce on you. Every morning, I read my beliefs and value statements. That is where I start my belief in myself. When I handle any situation, I have trained myself to go in with absolute certainty that I can get the job done. If I don’t think I can, or I might not be able to figure something out, I ask.
#2) Supreme Confidence
Mr. Trump never waivers in his confidence. It’s a super reinforced steel confidence that is never penetrated. Many will argue that it is more arrogance that confidence, but if you were to examine closely the things he has done, you will see that he has a confidence level that many aspire to have in business and life. Even when he was facing the banks and lenders in the early 1990s and it seemed like Trump was done, he had the supreme confidence to face all of them one on one and make deals to safe himself and ultimate turn things around. Many people would have crumbled with the fact of even facing banks and lenders.
Confidence comes with practice. As a youth, I lacked confidence and I was always picked last to participate in sports. I started to practice more. I outworked those around me. I learned to have the stance of a confident person. When I approached any meeting or project, I would learn everything and anything about it. And when you have clarity on what you are doing, you can have that supreme confidence.
#3) Authentic Self
Mr. Trump is touching a core of people because of his authenticity. He speaks what is on his mind and does not BS you or give you lip service. You will know where you stand with him. He might stretch the truth or utilize reality distortion, but Trump is Trump. As far as being an authentic leader, one where you serve others, that is where Trump is not.
As a leader, you must be your authentic you. It’s what makes you unique. So many people question themselves or completely pattern themselves after someone, thus losing their identify. If you do not know what your authentic self looks like, you can start by writing down things. Write down what you believe in, what are your values, what makes you tick. You will start to see a clear picture and it will allow you to see you at your core. Ask yourself, “who am I” in front of the mirror. I guarantee you that you will find that answer!
#4) Thick Skin
So many people think that Trump has a thin skin. But ask yourself this question, do you think he cares what people think? The answer of course is no. I laugh when people call him a baby or a child because they clearly cannot see it. He usually says something off the way, but think about his strategy. After all, he lives in New York City, one of the grittiest and toughest cities in the world. He has to have a thick skin to handle all of the criticism he receives. There is no way he would be able to run his billion dollar business and succeed.
I see so many thin skinned people that it scares me. All you have to do is say one thing, and people get so upset and they crumble. Everyone rants on Facebook at how someone treated them. Thin skinned comes from lacking confidence and belief in yourself. If you fully believed in yourself and had confidence in your ability, then you could handle anything. I was very thin skinned in my early career. One day I realized that in order to move forward, I couldn’t focus on what people said. So I committed to fully believing in myself and knew that I had the ability to get things done or find a way.
#5) Surround Yourself With Top Talent
Trump knows that for him to succeed, he has to be surrounded by the top minds and talent. You hear him in every speech that he is going to surround himself with people who get things done. So many leaders are fearful of surrounding themselves with people who have huge talent that they fear they will be replaced if the person excels for them.
I used to surround myself with decent talent, not great talent. I paid the price. I was having to hire new people all of the time. And my teams would never lead, always being a mediocre team. I started to hire the top people for their talent and attitude, and things changed quickly. You cannot be fearful of someone who has more talent than you in a particular area. That is the sign of an amazing leader, and one who will always succeed.
Donald Trump is fearless. He takes risks without any second thought. He will seek advice of those around him, and he then makes a decision and sticks to it. Think about this for a minute. Mr. Trump skipped out on a debate in Iowa less than four days before the first caucus. Many think he was nuts, but you have to give him credit. He is taking a huge risk that what he believes is right.
Many of us cannot make decisions. We become paralyzed by fear and do nothing, thinking it will magically go away. We are afraid of what others will think or say. I was fearful in my career and became paralyzed so many times. But you have to take the leap of faith. And this takes practice. You have to start making decisions and stick with them. Some of those decisions will pan out very well, and some will not be great. The key here is to start. This is where so many people fall. They don’t start and then someone else makes the decision. You have to take that leap of faith. After the first leap, it will become easier.
#7) Get It Done!
Getting it done is where Mr. Trump excels. It’s because of his absolute belief, supreme confidence, authentic self, thick skin, and fearlessness that he gets things done. He analyses and makes decisions. Think of the Wollman Rink in New York. The city was over budget and struggling to get it done. Trump comes in, creates a plan and gets it done in a record time and under budget. Ask anyone who has worked with Trump and they will attest that when he says it will get done, it will truly get done.
This is where so many people fall short. People put together their perfect plan and revise it so many times that it is far from what they started with. It’s amazing the amount of meetings we attend to plan for something. We meet to meet. We have to get every single person’s input and buy in on a project. Then we revise again. At some point you have to just get it done. I used to plan until I was blue in the face. I wanted it to be perfect. Nothing is ever perfect. You have to start, and you can always revise it as you go. That is what amazes me. You have to adapt sometimes and tweak things until you get there.
You can have all of these traits, or other traits. However, it’s all really about having a full belief and confidence in oneself. That’s where it all starts.