I write about the things that matter to me. All opinions are my own.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

What Donald Trump Is Doing Wrong

If you have worked in or near Washington, D.C. for any length of time you have at some point been exposed to the Hillary Clinton method of leadership.

And while we can talk about the bad stuff, I don't really want to do that right now.

The point is, there are things that she did well, and did extraordinarily well. She looked and sounded like a President. She projected strength and resolve. She embodied the idea that women are people first, not sexual objects. She talked about empowering women and children. And she could, in any situation, somehow figure out how to say the right thing.

In addition, she built a strong and resilient network of loyal, intelligent, thoughtful, innovative and above all knowledgeable people. 

The strengths that Hillary Clinton brought to the table were so strong, in fact, that I think it is fair to say not a single person here believed she would actually lose the election.

When you consider the amount of negative baggage associated with her, this is an unbelievable accomplishment. It is a testament to many things, but not least to the power of her personal brand and her understanding of what we think a President should look, act and sound like.

This is where I think President-elect Trump is running into some problems. What worked for him on the campaign trail--that scrappy, combative, individualistic, do-it-my-way braggadocio--is not going to work for him in Washington. 

It may work in the rest of the country, but he has to do well with the people here.

They say that when you take on a new job, you should first observe the culture for a period of time before taking any action. Trump unfortunately has taken lots of action without appearing to consult with the ordinary people who actually work here.

I understand that he believes D.C. is dysfunctional, politics-ridden, and poorly performing--that we need to "drain the swamp." I applaud that.

Yet no matter what kind of entity you are leading, whether it's a small work team or a nation, you can't make the people who work for you feel badly about themselves. You can't disregard their expertise, publicly and privately. It's arrogant, it's misguided, and it comes off as dictatorial to a nation that has gone through eight years of President Obama heavily wielding the executive pen.

It's great that our President-elect wants to turn this country around. It's great that he wants to see us winning. We need that.

But like a very good boss told me once, very accurately, as a leader you have to bring people along--not disrespect them. Not step on their heads as you promote how very brilliant you are.

If he wants to be a successful President, our President-elect should study Hillary Clinton.
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All opinions my own.