Authentic Leadership - The missing “link” of the 3rd Presidential Clinton-Trump Debates

A view of the Clinton-Trump debates through the keyhole of Leadership

Are there any tips in Leadership Training for us here? Yes there are, and many…but in the category of “what NOT to do as leaders”… Read more…

Personal note: This document is not conveying my political views, it is written from the standpoint of soft skill analysis, in particular Leadership Skills.

Well, thank God these debates are over! For me, as a leader and as a trainer of leaders, watching Donald Trump was highly frustrating but extremely educational of

 The What Not in Leadership!

When looking at these debates through the eyes of Leadership Conduct, which is a key aspect of Authentic Leadership, there is a shock factor when we consider Trump’s conduct.

Unfortunately, Trump seems to be enslaved by the old (and foul) method of “divide and conquer”, which uses fear tactics, personal attacks and demagoguery of the worst kind as its main weapons.   A method used by many so called leaders in history, who, eventually ended up as victims of their own practices (for example McCarthyism).

With over 25 years of professional experience in Leadership Training, I have found that the least trusted and most dangerous people, in any circle, are those who “make a career” of tearing others apart (in this way building themselves as saviors, as they “save us all” from the wrath that would otherwise befall us, if we didn’t hid their word). You could call them “Prophets of Rage”, and we have all seen them come and go.

Leadership Training Tips derived from the debates

A.L is abbreviation for Authentic Leadership:

·         A.L is humble and has good manners

·         A.L collaborates and builds trust through collaborative communication strategy

·         A.L does not threaten or use scare tactics to dominate others

·         A.L is never argumentative in a childish manner

·         A.L upholds high standards and respect towards all people, which is evident in their style of speech.

·         A.L is exact in response, and addresses questions without creating smoke screens to avoid the truth, by using low level demagoguery

·         A.L considers issues and facts

·         A.L does not levy personal insults and does not engage in juvenile name-calling

·         A.L upholds the truth without fear or favor

·         A.L accepts democratic procedures

·         A.L is gracious when found at fault and issues prompt and felt apology

·         A.L does not portray itself as savior but rather as a team leader that depends on the skills of many

It is important to understand that Trump represents many people, some of which have the best of intentions. But, Trump also represents very low standards, which are totally unacceptable and cannot be considered as Authentic Leadership.  

Primal Consideration in Leadership Training - Indepth WHAT vs Shallow WHAT/WHO analysis

Let me take the opportunity to introduce a different way of thinking...

Ask yourself “WHAT does a person represent?” Not “WHAT are they saying?” or "WHO are they?"

When you consider this small change of WH questions, you will then be open to a huge territory of new perceptions, which, initially, your mind may have not been alert to.

Here are some distinctions between these two methods of thinking:

Considering the indepth WHAT, it is impersonal, yet extremely important where deeper motives are concerned. So, for example, a person can represent true Care, and when you’ll hear them, you will get the feeling that the person really cares. Another person may claim they Care, but when you hear them speak, you get the feeling they only represent themselves and their ego, and disguise it with Care.  

When you ask the question “WHAT is speaking out of the person” not only “WHAT are they saying ”, you are considering the Story Behind the Story, what is their real motive? What is their real value? What is their true concern? What is really moving them & what motivates them?  When you think according to this kind of WHAT, you become much more in tune with true feelings and true values. 

When considering the Shallow WHAT & WHO (which is how we have all been trained to think at school) you become influenced by their personality, notoriety and sound bites, which is often a smoke screen and a distraction to the deeper meaning of WHAT.

It could be explained that the indepth WHAT represents True Character, while the Shallow WHAT & WHO represents Exterior Personality.

The first principle of Authentic Leadership is the character of the leader. To be the president of the U.S you have to deal with a multitude of territories and it isn’t possible for one person to know everything. Therefore, their true character is of critical importance, evidenced, firstly, by what comes out of their mouth in their ability to delegate, to choose the right people, to trust & be trusted, to lead a team, to inspire, to make tough decisions, to stay cool under pressure and many other aspects. A character that portrays oneself as “God’s answer to the problems of the Universe” is extremely dangerous.

Given these considerations, it is my professional opinion  that Donald Trump did not even make it out of the gate in the race for the White House!

Again…this does not reflect my political view!

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Eli Harari

The Thinking Coach™