5 Leadership Lessons Black People Can Learn from Donald Trump

Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 23: Donald Trump listens at the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony at Old Post Office on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

By Lena Fields-Arnold

November 19, 2016

I’ll be one of the first to admit that I am not a fan of Donald Trump, and generally, when it comes to Trump there is usually no middle ground.  People either love him or hate him.  No matter how we feel about him as black people I still think there are some things we can learn from him.

  1. BELIEVE YOUR OWN PRESS-Donald Trump truly believes he is the greatest thing since sliced bread! He is a narcissist of the highest order. But there’s something to be said for possessing just a little bit of that trait. If we were more like Donald Trump we wouldn’t settle in our romantic relationships, we wouldn’t take jobs that are beneath us, we wouldn’t settle for subpar pay, and we would have a winning attitude at ALL TIMES-even when we are losing.
  2. REWARD LOYALTY-We may not like Trumps current selections for his presidential transition team. Okay, admittedly they are a sad lot for the future leaders of our country, but hey at a critical time in Trumps hour of need they stuck by him-and they are being rewarded for it. How many times have we seen the opposite thing happen in black churches and our community at large?  Many pastors are threatened by the very people who support them and relegate them perpetually to servant positions.  Never promoting them to greater levels of leadership because they are afraid of losing power.  Trump’s not worried about that.  He knows he’s the man.
  3. KEEP YOUR FAMILY CLOSE-Trump keeps his family close. So close in fact he wants to give security clearance to his son-in-law. Trump may not value the opinions of the rest of the world, but he seems to value it from his family and openly admits to seeking their advice and wanting their consensus before making major decisions that could impact all their lives. Many people today mistakenly have the idea that their actions and behaviors have no impact on other family members and routinely make decisions that ultimately impact others.  They are brazen and insulting in their statements that they are grown and the rest of us should “mind their own business”-UNTIL THEY NEED OUR HELP! Once upon a time in our culture we respected the wisdom of our elders.  Even when we disagreed with them, we never disrespected them. Trump recognizes that the world may turn on him, but his family always has his back.
  4. BE IN IT TO WIN IT-As far as Trump is concerned “The Odds Are Always in His Favor” so why not shoot for the moon?  The worst that can happen is that he loses, but since Trump considers himself a winner-even when is losing-he is still a winner.  Now I personally am not willing to lose my soul to win a contest, and I am not suggesting that Trump has done that either (wink wink); but we should not give up just because the odds are stacked against us.  Where most of us see obstacles, Trump sees things that just need to get the hell out of his way-and if they won’t move he will figure out how to move them.  Sure having money helps move those things, but I think if Trump was some poor Podunk from the backwoods of Alabama (no offense to the wonderful state of Alabama) he would let nothing stand in the way of reaching his goals.  It wouldn’t hurt the rest of us to have some of this grit and fortitude.
  5. BE FEARLESS– Leigh Buchanan, Editor-at-large for Inc. magazine writes about the characteristics of Trump and notes fearlessness as one of those traits. A key part of that fearlessness is not being afraid to be authentic. “Trump plays footsy with the truth, but he’s forthright about his character,” states Buchanan in her article “6 Key Leadership Traits Pope Francis and Donald Trump Share.” Who can argue that Donald Trump is not afraid to be Donald?  , He’s brazen, brass, and more often than not crass, however he isn’t a brawler in the true sense of the word.  You know what I mean.  He takes his anger and translates it into success, not a fight in the parking lot of Wal-Mart.  The world is his proving ground, not the shadowy underworld of viral video.  My father once told me that the best way to get back at your enemies is to be successful.  It was one of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me and I am willing to bet money Donald Trump’s daddy gave him the same advice.

To be truly successful you have to overcome all your fears. You have to be in it to win it, have a strong sense of family, reward loyalty, and above all believe you are amazing and deserve every success you have. Trumps done that and done it well and I for one think we would do well to get out our pens and our paper and take note.


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