Friday, February 3, 2017

President Trump, I've Got a Couple of Suggestions

We see what we want to see, many times missing what we need to see. It’s our filters, our perceptions of truth and reality.

When I look at Trump, I see a ruthless business person, rather than professional non-compromising politician. Trump has taken the office of President of the United States with a mindset of a C.E.O. He wants to turn a perceived failed “company” into a profitable one. If we look at the United States of America as another Trump business deal, then consider this.

Trump’s “Board of Directors” is made up of three parties - Congress, the Supreme Court and the Citizens of the United States of America. All parties being human bring different levels of education, perspective, belief, hopes, dreams, moral values as well a huge melting pot of diversity. They are not all the same (as much as we may wish they were). I do not consider his cabinet to be a part of the
Board of Directors because Trump chooses his cabinet and cabinet members serve at his will. In organizations, the Board of Directors choose the C.E.O. and the C.E.O. serves according to the collective will of the Board of Directors.

The relationship between Trump and
Board of Directors is a deep mix of: love-hate; preferring Trump to be ________ versus expecting Trump to be _________; fully trusting to fully distrusting.

As with any leader of any organization or team, trust and credibility are essential. They are the currency of leadership. Trust is the linchpin in Trump's relationship with Americans. I like Charles Feltman, The Thin Book of Trust. Feltman writes there are four dimensions to trust: sincerity, reliability, competency and compassion. To live and to behave well in all four of these dimensions requires humility. Jim Collins, Good to Great, writes fifth level leaders have fierce resolve and humility. This is where Trump fails at trust. His lack of humility prevents him from being:

- sincere (apologies are loaded with sarcasm and failed ownership) “I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not.” (Response to 2005 Access Hollywood video clip with Billy Bush on what he thought of women.)

- reliable (failed promises) “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely and I would love to do that.” May 2014 interview with an Irish Television Station.

- competency (weak political experience, questionable intellect, thin temperament, poor people skills) Trump is seen as a Twitter Cry-Bully, which is highly un-C.E.O. and very un-Presidential.

- compassion (lack of love for fellow human beings) Evidence includes Trump’s executive order on immigration ban, a quart low on compassion as well as his executive order to go ahead and expedite the Dakota pipeline dismissing Native American tribes. Trump's disbelief in scientific consensus over climate change, the rise of nationalism, the threat of a renewed arms race between the U.S. and Russia  has moved the Nuclear Doomsday Clock  2.5 minutes closer to midnight, closest it's been in 64 years! Note: The Doomsday Clock members are atomic scientists of which 18 are Nobel laureates.

But the ultimate trust and credibility killer is misinformation, alternative facts and untruths that seem to not only be the norm with Trump and his administration, but given a pass by Trump supporters. There are universal truths that cut across opinion, desire, culture, race and status. If you are are not open to universal truths, which can be inconvenient truths, then you perpetuate ignorance and suffering.

I offer a couple of solutions and ways for Trump to gain trust, shore up integrity and build credibility.

Joel Barker, futurist, author and educator created the Implications Wheel back in the 1970s. It is a type of mind map. I find this tool to be powerful in helping individuals and organizations to look at facts, evidence, universal truths and implications of any situation, product, service or pending change for insight to possible future outcomes. Powerful, thoughtful questions are at the root of discovery and better outcomes. The Implications Wheel helps ask powerful "what if..." questions.

Another tool to consider is Michael Michalko's THINKPAK a 56 brainstorming card deck. You begin by writing down a subject or challenge. Then you systematically go through cards, 3 through 47 in order of: substitute; combine; adapt; modify or magnify; put it to some other use; eliminate; reverse or rearrange. Every card has challenging questions to consider related to the principle topic of the card. Another approach is to draw randomly from the cards. Cards 48 through 56 are ways to evaluate what you learn.

Finally, Edward DeBono's Six Thinking Hats is another tool for creative, thoughtful, purposeful thinking. DeBono's method is to look at a problem or situation from six different points of view including: the facts (white hat); emotion (red hat); negative ramifications (black hat); positive ramifications (yellow hat); brainstorming (green hat); action steps (blue hat). 

All three of these tools move thinking away from the way we've always thought to stimulate the imagination, to generate ideas and to understand possible outcomes. These constructive, thoughtful, insightful tools have saved individuals and organizations missteps, money, embarrassment and shame. They force cognitive dissonance and critical thinking. Used effectively and deliberately, I believe any of these tools could prevent a war. In fact, I believe they could have stopped the United States from invading Iraq.

What if Trump and ALL of cabinet used the Implications Wheel, THINKPAK or Six Thinking Hats regularly? It could foster understanding leading to fewer protests. These tools could help him to see what he needs to see. It might help him find a doable, workable, affordable alternative to Obamacare. It might help him roll back the Nuclear Doomsday Clock several minutes. It could help him to figure out how to build a bridge rather than a wall between America and Mexico. It might even help Trump to use Twitter in a better way. 


Norrie Wake said...

Dave, thanks for the thoughtful suggestions and observations. ESTP was my thought about Trump which has helped me to understand this man. I think Obama is an INTJ hence the horrible jarring sensation between the two. As I understand ESTPs, they live in the moment, see problems, solve problems and move on to the next problem. Quality control is for the other fellow.

I found your CEO analysis very helpful.

I hope you get a lot of feedback.

Norrie Wake

JWE said...

Hi Dave

Thanks for the analysis on our President. Great also to see Norrie's comments!

John Ey