THE WHITE HOUSE APPRENTICE

THE WHITE HOUSE APPRENTICE

It’s ironic that this week’s book was about the Enemy!

Last week whilst the US elections occurred, I was reading Ego is the Enemy, a super read (by Ryan Holiday, an American) which alerted us to history and research which suggests that we tone down our ego if we seek success and happiness.

How to get rich cover.jpg

This week’s book blew this belief out of the water; How to get Rich by Donald J. Trump, an assisted autobiography. Written in 2004, the now President-Elect, stated that he was too blunt to be the President! Funnily enough, one of his other books (there are several) touts he is the most supreme leader of the free world!

The one thing which a large percentage of Australians don’t like to admit is that they suffer from ‘tall poppy syndrome’. They are affected by people who unashamedly self-promote. Aka, those who are egotistical. Which is why the whole American election was a Primary school playground discussion topic – which of these two egos (Hilary vs. Donald) do we dislike the most.

Whilst I had my preconceived beliefs, perceptions and thoughts, I attempted to put them aside while reading the book. I actually found it too easy to read as there isn’t much depth; my daughter (9yo) was shocked that an adult book would have two pages in a chapter!

I feel that I’ve researched the personality and behaviour of USA’s next President; understanding what drives him to do and say what he does which offends so many of us.

How to get Rich leverages off the cult following of The Apprentice, a show which I admit I didn’t follow closely like my husband. The final part (VI – which is the shortest), is about this show, however, the remaining five parts are interesting and do offer information to consider.

Lessons worth considering:

·        The sincere gratitude he shared for his family, team of dedicated staff – recognising them for their talents and commitment to the company and his friends

·        Keep the door open to listen to everyone – as long as it’s not a chat fest, be focused and succinct

·        Don’t equivocate (aka beat around the bush)

·        Staff should be able to answer these questions: What do you contribute to the welfare of the organisation? Do you work wholeheartedly? Are you instrumental in keeping it humming and moving forward?

·        Focus on talent, not people’s title

·        Read books every day; set time aside to read and learn

·        Be Passionate – people with passion don’t give up. (A hidden gem in the chapter – Play Golf)

·        Brand yourself and toot your horn – Trump Tower was going to be called Tiffany Tower!

·        Listen to your gut and learn to tap into your unconscious and subconscious (Trump follows Carl Jung)

·        Connect with your audience when you’re speaking publically – and learn to speak confidently: be a storyteller, learn to think on your feet, listen well and enjoy it (he has an 11 point plan to speak publically)

·        Be positive and have faith in yourself – increase the altitude of your attitude (he recommends reading The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale)

·        Learn to negotiate – however I would tone down Trump’s advice

·        Keep meetings brief – really brief.

A chapter is dedicated to his hair.

 

What I question or disagree with:

·        Intertwining leadership and management as the same practice

·        Being too blunt publically about who he doesn’t like and why he doesn’t like certain people and advocating it’s OK to hold a grudge

·        Don’t shake hands, it’s how we spread germs. Bowing, like the Japanese custom, is a better option.

·        Learn from your successes, not from your failures (there are no excuses for failures if you do your homework)

·        Too much emphasis on style, looks and beauty - relating to success and the decision maker of gaining attention. (There’s a chapter dedicated to the art of his hair!)

·        Advising on being your own financial adviser, getting a prenuptial agreement and maximising the power you have with being wealthy

·        Valuing wealth and associating it to his success when he numbers his wives and names his beloved buildings.

The love of his life ... buildings.

The part which gained my attention was Trump’s ‘A week in the life’. An hourly recount of activities, conversations, movements and character accounts. Trump lives and works in the same building and identifies how he uses his time to maintain his success. It is all about communication: innumerable phone calls, meetings (either one or a three minute in duration), letter/email reading and longer meetings = playing golf. I suspect that Trump spends his time on the ‘Tell’ end of the communication continuum opposed to the ‘Ask’ end.

I was surprised to learn that that Trump attempted a career change in 2000, running for US President and quickly decided that he preferred running his business. As we embark on a new journey, it will be intriguing to see Trumps change of role as the Apprentice in the White House.

I feel better informed and plan to read another Trump themed book in my ‘52 book, 52 week challenge’ – it’s important to know who you’re dealing with and get inside the head of someone whose influence will have a massive impact in and on our world.

What are your thoughts about Trump? What have you read recently which gives you better insight? I've now read 20 books in 20 weeks and I am better informed and better positioned to do what I do best - consult on leadership development and performance. Let's connect if you're interested, to increase your performance.

I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!

Leadership Performance Improvement Strategy

Golfing at the Sandhurst Golf Club in the outskirts of Melbourne. Can you spot what I'm doing incorrectly?

 I play golf. I'm not great; I'm not in the league of the great Jason Day! (Great #golf)

So, when I have the opportunity, I ask my Golf Coach (aka husband) to play a round of golf with me to enable him to observe my every move! I'm fueled by feedback - anything to improve my enjoyment of the game.

How many times have you played and wondered why you keep making the same errors?  Oh, it's so frustrating! When you play golf, in particular when you tee off, there are twenty plus considerations to ensure you're ready to hit the ball. So, by the 9th tee, I was finally getting my swing right although you'll see something wrong in my photo.  Can you spot it?

Likewise, when you lead, communicate and  be visible to your colleagues, team and clients, you need to be conscious of the consistency in the messages you are conveying - whether they are verbal or non-verbal. Any inconsistencies will be spotted and keep the grapevine and social media airwaves busy.

In my golf, a slight adjustment to the placement of my arms made a huge difference to the direction of my ball ... it went straight! The 'golf coach' reminded me three times until I was consciously aware of the required change.

We all need a leadership performance improvement strategy if we are to increase our effectiveness in our game - that game being any aspect of your business and the roles you place in life.

I specialize in leadership performance and recently I challenge my client to change her approach  to her 'Monday Morning Message'  - rather than email we've moved to the 21st Century and created videos - short, sharp, simple and stating her intent for her week. Bam! What a difference it made - people were actually watching the message and commenting.

Today is the day to consider what your Leadership Performance Improvement Strategy consists of - is it your meetings, your one-on-ones, your 'small talk' or how you provide feedback?

Drop me a line and let me know what you're focusing on. I'll hold you accountable!

When it's freezing ...

I live on a golf estate, where there is generally a lot of green - as far as the eye can see. At the moment, it's white. And white means it's freezing - way too cold to run, walk or anything that requires stepping outside. 

So, rather than roll over I jumped up and got a jump start on the day. Working from home it's easy to be distracted with domesticity - so I tackled the kitchen, breakfast, school lunches, tidied the house and even my office is ready for the week - all done while the household snoozed. 

When it's freezing or at times when you are prevented from completing your intended task/project it's so important to have your work list of what's need to be achieved - your prioritised contingency plan. 

Being a sole trader and a previous corporate office operator, I know how important time and dead-lines are - I know can immediately pick up and tackle a different project which requires several tackle point strategies:

RESEARCH: Most projects require some form of exploration to arrive at the data to create components of the project. Dig, dig and dig to find the data you need.

READ: No matter what we're working on, there is generally someone who has written about the subject matter. Reading for 30 minutes a day about your speciality can fuel your brain with ideas and thoughts. 

RING: Humans are social beings - we're meant to communicate. I always have a list of people who I want to connect with to help me achieve my business project goals - whilst it's easy to email, message or tweet them, a conversation is powerful.

REST: Take the opportunity to slow down and care for yourself - it won't be freezing for long! 

As the 'white' continues to cover the landscape, get smart with your time; then make time to venture out when the sun pops out.

What's happening in your village?

With all that is happening in the world today, it's easy to forget what's occurring in your own village. We are pushed to global matters by our fingertips, discussions consume our need to change and involve innovative and creative strategy - always considering our future in the big wide world.

After two weeks of family holiday in New Zealand it was lovely to return to my 'village' and settle back into the neighbourhood. My kids were delighted to be home to their stuff and friends and it didn't take long for hubby to get into the gardening and chat to all the passing neighbours.

I went for a run and checked out what had changed in a matter of 14 days: houses for sale, trees blossoming, littered poo bags (whinge!) and a 100+ golfers in a rainbow of colours!

Basking in all this familiarity I reflected on a speech made by a friend at the ceremony of his newspapers 135th Anniversary (NZs oldest) - local news is paramount and trumps global news …people appreciate knowing what's taking place around them - it helps them feel connected.

I believe that we're losing our sense of village life - some people I know don't know their neighbours' names, let alone if they are away or just quiet!  They tell me they're too busy or that they don't see them. Hmmm, excuses I say! 

So, what's happening in your village - where you live - where you belong? How connected are you with your social and community role in life?  And, what are you doing to help communicate and connect with the folk in your village?