So. The season finale of ‘America’ has dropped and it’s not the end many of us expected. Say what you will about Trump and Clinton, this election has been beyond entertaining – a Hunger Games for the over-65s. And there’s plenty to learn about business from both candidates.
Here’s our pick of career-related quotes as spoken by each candidate.
On doing business
“The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.”
– Trump, The Art of the Deal, 1987
The Art of the Deal was Trump’s hugely successful ‘autobiography’ of 1987. It’s full of gems, including this statement – basically a ballsy rewording of ‘Fake it ‘til you make it.’
We all know what Trump means: treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen, in business as well as love. It’s sound advice for any sales or deal negotiator, where it’s essential to avoid looking too eager.
Does the book’s ghostwriter, Tim Schwarz, buy into the Trump myth? “[Donald] doesn’t have any core beliefs beyond his own aggrandisement and power,” the author commented last month. That’s a no, then.
“I choose my cards. I play them to the best of my ability. Move on to the the next hand.”
— Clinton, New York Times, November 2012
Clinton stresses the significance of personal resilience, a quality no hopeful businessperson should be without. While it’s important to do your best at any job or application, you must also be able to move on when times get tough.
The most successful, happy people in life are those that have learned to pick themselves up when times get tough. Fell through on your third sell of the week? Keep calm and carry on. Nothing is permanent – including failure.
“How do you define leadership? I mean, leadership is a very strange word because, you know, some people have it, some people don’t and nobody knows why.”
— Trump, Larry King Live, 1999
A fascinating take on leadership ability here. If everyone agreed with the Donald, management workshops would be out of business; after all, you either got it or you don’t.
The debate as to whether leadership is taught or innate goes as far back as business. The general conclusion is a bit of both, with a good education pretty high up the recipe list. The best news? You can always get better at it.
“People can judge me for what I’ve done. And I think when somebody’s out in the public eye, that’s what they do. So I’m fully comfortable with who I am, what I stand for, and what I’ve always stood for.”
– Clinton, PBS NewsHour, June 2014
Hillary’s manifesto of ‘Let them talk’ is something we can all learn from. Anyone who puts themselves in a position of authority, whether it’s the CEO of a company or the manager of a local team, will find themselves the object of co-worker scrutiny – chances are, not all of it good.
It takes a thick skin and a bucket of self-confidence to lead in a work environment. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.
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