By Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think“
Love him or hate him, one thing’s for sure: all entrepreneurs can all learn a few things about success and leadership from Donald Trump. While The Donald continues to make headlines for his aggressive campaign to clinch the GOP nomination in the race to the White House, politics aside, it’s easy to see why Trump is a natural born leader and huge business success.
Trump’s thought process, attitude and no holds barred style is a learning lesson for everyone in business. Here are five examples:
A great word to distinguish world-class performers from average people is confidence. Trump is the epitome of believing in oneself, so much so that it’s almost a fault. Do you think you could really tell Donald Trump that something is impossible or that he won’t succeed? Never! Most entrepreneurs sell themselves short and don’t reach their full potential because they lack the belief in themselves and their abilities. This one small shift in thinking has the potential to catapult you to a new level of success. Keep track of the words you say. You’ll be surprised how many times in one day you say phrases like “I can’t” and “That’s impossible.”
When Donald Trump was $9 billion dollars in debt in the early 1990s, did you really believe he was washed up for good? There’s an old saying among world class performers: “A bet against a champion is a bad bet.” Most people quickly become demoralized by setbacks and defeat, and quickly sink back into their comfort zones. The greatest entrepreneurs know that large-scale success is based on a series of comebacks. Amateurs often make the mistake of counting the pros out when things get tough. Champions like Donald Trump don’t understand what giving up is. Champions continue to fail again and again, yet keep coming back for more. As Trump said, “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
Not addicted to the approval of others.
Approval addiction stems from believing, “I won’t be loved or accepted unless others approve of my behavior.” It’s conformity at all costs. In business, it can hold back the most talented entrepreneur from success because it’s an outer frame of reference which values the opinions of others above their own. Donald Trump is the ultimate example of not worrying about what other people think, and it’s one of many reasons he’s so successful. Remember, you are responsible to your employees, customers and associates to be honest, sincere and to act with integrity. But you are not responsible for their attitudes or behavior towards you. Hopefully they like you because it’s nicer that way, but if not, it’s not your problem.
Determined to win.
As simple as it sounds, many times the only thing that separates winners from losers is pure determination. While the winning difference may be slight, the thought process that makes the difference is huge. Amateurs spend a substantial amount of time negotiating the price of victory. The most successful performers like Donald Trump have made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory. Champions are the warriors of the world. Their outstanding preparation makes them unstoppable and ferocious on any performance field. To them it’s not winning that’s everything, but wanting to win that is.
Embrace conflict for growth.
Most people will do almost anything to avoid conflict. It’s safe to say that Donald Trump welcomes it, and so do most world-class performers. In fact, they embrace it. The great ones like Trump see conflict not as a threat, but as an opportunity to gain a three-dimensional perspective on a problem. Champions see conflict as a healthy function of checks and balances in an organization. Business leaders who suppress conflict are too tightly bound to allow opportunities for growth. When you welcome and embrace conflict, you are destined to evolve exponentially.
Donald Trump said, “I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” I couldn’t agree more. No matter what you think of Donald Trump, there are many lessons to be learned from his leadership style and bold approach to life and business.
Steve Siebold is author of “177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class: The Thought Processes, Habits and Philosophies of the Great Ones” and “How Rich People Think“, and a consultant to Fortune 500 sales and management teams on mental toughness and critical thinking.