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.
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.
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 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!