2016 has had its share of shocks, from the deaths of a large number of entertainers like David Bowie, Brexit , the massive swing to the right in Europe and now the prospect, horrifying to many, of the most powerful country in the world being lead by Donald Trump.
Just as Marine le Pen has won sweeping victories in France undermining Francois Hollande’s ineffectual socialist government, Trump is now the protest vote in the US. The problem with protest votes is they’re sometimes like driverless trains. Easy to start, but the devil’s own job to stop. If they run out of control they’re dangerous. You only have to look at history. The French Revolution led to the unseating of the French monarchy, but after that nobody knew when or how to stop. The Reign of Terror (5 September 1793 – 28 July 1794) followed. It was a period of extreme violence incited by conflict between two rival political factions and marked by mass executions of "enemies of the revolution”.
There were great hopes for President Obama when he was elected, but he did not deliver and disappointed the American people. It will be interesting to see how Donald Trump’s personality and leadership style influences his role as America’s President.
Trump has undoubtedly been a successful businessman and the unpopularity of Hilary Clinton did a lot to strengthen his campaign, but he is an ego on stilts. Can he possibly be a good leader?
In the business world, the style of the leadership team contributes significantly to the success or otherwise of a business. Leadership styles have changed in recent times from autocratic and directive style current up to and including the late twentieth century to the rather more participative democratic style now in vogue in many businesses.
There are a number of important qualities in a good leader.
- Vision. They have a clear idea of what they’re going to achieve.
- Courage. They are willing to take risks in the achievement of their goals.
- Integrity. Good leaders are honest in what they do, both internally and externally.
- Planning. They have the ability to look ahead and plan what steps need to be taken to achieve the outcomes they want.
- Focus. Good leaders always focus on the needs of the business, the situation and results required.
- Engagement. They engage and observe the team. They will make sure the team is communicating with each other.
- Linked with this is co-operation. Good leaders get everyone working and pulling together which is essential to success.
- Good leaders listen. They are willing to admit they could be wrong, and recognise they may not have all the answers.
- Create opportunities. A good leader can spot employees with potential and will give them opportunities to prove their potential.
What sort of leader will Trump make? He believes he knows best and some of his proposed solutions are outlandish. Will he listen and take advice? Will he exercise moderation? Time will tell. For all our sakes, I hope so.
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