I’m not the first, nor will I be the last, to invest a moment of time analysing the leadership style of the new president of the US, Donald Trump.
When working with leaders of organisations we typically use a 360° instrument to raise the leader’s awareness of their behaviour.
So let’s use a highly reliable and recognisable instrument, the Circumplex from Human Synergistics to guide our analysis of President Trump’s leadership style. There are 12 styles in the Circumplex but in President Trump’s case let’s cut to the chase and use his very own words to illuminate the 3 styles that he relies upon.
First is the Power style. Defined as a leader who wants to control everything and believes in force. A leader who has little confidence in people and seldom admits mistakes. So, over to you Mr President: “I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words”; “… when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything…”
Second is the Oppositional style. Defined as a leader who opposes others’ ideas, looks for their mistakes and is critical of others. President Trump, ‘what have you got to say about this?’ “Any negative polls are fake news”, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S manufacturing non-competitive”
I’ve left his most used and favourite style till last, the Competitive style. Defined as a leader who competes rather than cooperates, has a strong need to win and is constantly comparing self to others. President Trump, as you so often prefer, I’ll let you have the final word on this matter: “we are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration”; “Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault”; “I will be so good at military your head will spin”; “America first, America first”; “I’m a man, and VERY strong”
Sorry Mr President, not quite the last word. All of the above are actual quotes from Donald Trump. You just can’t make this stuff up and I think our analysis of his leadership style is well and truly complete.
It is important to not only observe the behaviours of leaders in organisations but to also listen to what they say. Ideally with both their words and actions constructively aligned – authenticity.
About the Author: Des is a Master Facilitator and Coach, and Principal at IECL. To read more about Des click here