The Election Demonstrates Marketing Not Leadership

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Over the last six months I have had numerous leaders ask me “If you believe partnership is the new leadership then how do you explain Trump’s leadership success?”

I agree that Trump’s approach is not about partnership. He doesn’t focus on building relationships, investing in people or following nearly anything I teach to leaders in my books or speeches.

The error is in the assumption that the election is a demonstration of leadership – it’s not.

The Election demonstrates Marketing not Leadership.

Love him or hate him – what Trump has been is a good marketer.

So here is a quick three steps to marketing we can all learn from.

  1. He’s gained a lot of attention. That is the first thing you need to do to build a brand & stand out. The killer to a candidate or business for that matter is obscurity – remaining unknown.
  1. He’s differentiated himself through his positions & comments from all of his rivals. You may not like his approach or agree with his ideas but you can’t argue that he sounds the same as everyone else or that he is forgettable.
  1. He has created a message that answers – “What’s in it for me?” – Make America Great Again is a message that benefits the listener & resonates. Trump has been masterful at taking all topics & often crazy statements and quickly linking it to – that’s how we will Make America Great Again.

So to be clear – Trump hasn’t demonstrated great leadership. The Election demonstrates Marketing not Leadership.

But we can learn some keys to marketing from his election success no matter who you will be voting for come November.

Comments

  1. Just to be clear, by the definition of your post, none of the other 21ish candidates have demonstrated more leadership than Trump.

    Trump has done much more than marketing. He has lead millions of new voters into the ballot box and his message alone, putting the United States interest above all other nations is by definition “Leadership”.

    Standing alone when everyone is afraid to say what they are thinking is also “leadership.” As I’ve heard you say before, “when what you think is the same as what you say, and what you say is the same as what you do, that is congruency”. Congruency too is “leadership.”

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