What Is Trump’s Leadership Style

My short analysis of Trump’s leadership style is that: he isn’t currently a leader.

By my definition, the intention of leadership is to support and optimize ongoing transformative experience in the group they lead – experience that is naturally unlimited and remarkable. Also, as one of my fundamental principles: transformative experiences occur in complete cyclesWhen a complete natural cycle is resisted, limited often frustrating experiences occur and can become the norm potentially turning into desperation and in the extreme, even hopelessness in the group.

Thus, the issues that I look at relative to Trump as leader are, a) the level of his awareness and support of the naturally transformative cycle, and b) how he handles resistance in the cycle whenever and wherever it shows up.

So, the foundation for my analysis of Trump’s leadership style is twofold: first, he shows little awareness and support of the natural cycle, and second, since he isn’t supporting it, he is often resisting it. I suggest that based on his style, Trump is actually a manager rather than a leader, and his fundamental management philosophy seems to be, get the most you can out of a given system for your own benefit. His history would seem to validate that as his approach to systems management.

Since there is no leadership above him (other than the electorate), the “most powerful person” on the planet is now a person who essentially manipulates existing systems for the benefit of a privileged few and based on what I have seen so far, he is very good at it.

Unfortunately for Americans, having that kind of a manager as the President will tend to create limitations and repetition rather than supporting transformation. The American people have freedom and exploration in their DNA – and that includes all of those immigrants, past and present, who have had the courage and spirit to leave their homes to come to America in search of like minds and possibility.

While most managers have a vision that extends beyond the set of systems they manage, and they work those systems in accord with that vision, Trump seems to have little vision beyond what the system can do for him. As a result, he builds walls and bans immigrants to protect the system he thinks he now controls – walls and bans that feel claustrophobic to many of his highly spirited and open-minded fellow citizens. And he does so in the name of fear, something that most everyone agrees, is not the basis for inspired guidance and leadership.

Putting a self-serving manager in the top leadership role of a country composed of trail-blazing, creative, intelligent people who value freedom above all else is going to result in some dramatic resistance to the natural cycle. Americans want a president who reflects their brave and expansive culture, and my hope is that the next time around, we get a true leader to head our team.

In the mean time, what can we do as individuals and communities faced with a manager who is unaware or afraid of the unlimited possibilities that his team sees – a team that has the courage and willingness to step into the unknown that comes with the interplay of unlimited thinking? In other words, what does a high powered visionary team do with management that can’t see beyond itself? Check out my next blog for my thoughts on that.

  1. Kristin LortieKristin Lortie02-02-2017

    Great post Ted. I am very interested in your next blog answering your last question!

    • tedcasetedcase02-02-2017

      Thanks Kristin – challenging times!

  2. Jessica BotteschJessica Bottesch02-02-2017

    They rise up in peaceful, creative resistance! Just a guess – looking forward to reading your answer next week.

  3. Chad BakerChad Baker02-04-2017

    I always thought good leaders (of adults) were ones that were able to appeal to people’s inner motives, in order to nudge them in the direction that satisfies the goal of the most common good.

    I’m curious to know your perspective on how a good leader, is to best make unpopular choices. Because, I believe informed masses typically make the best calls, once you remove the radicals. But, not always. How does a good leader form and trust him/herself to set a direction that you know won’t have strong foundational support?

    • tedcasetedcase02-05-2017

      Thanks for your thoughtful question Chad. I don’t have a short answer so will address it in a blog in the next week or two.

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