The Trump Method of Management….Stinks
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Title:The Trump Method of Management….Stinks
I’m not going to get into politics. It’s bad for business, and it’s too polarizing. But I will discuss something I’ve learned over the past 20 years of recruiting in Real Estate and Construction. The Trump method of management does not work. Now I realize that most of the people in my network are Trump supporters, so I will tread lightly. I invite a discussion about this because I deeply believe my point here to be real and true. Aside from our politics, do you believe as I do that managing your team by yelling, screaming, lying, cheating, back stabbing, pitting, intimidating and threatening does – not – work?
Before he was even on the political landscape, I disliked what I heard about Trump’s management style. These were stories I heard from construction management and real estate professionals that had worked directly for him, and construction company owners who had built for him. He led by using fear. He managed people with anger and unpredictability. He was dismissive, arrogant, bullying, and volatile. As it has been a long time since he’s actually built in NYC, these were testimonies from years and years ago, though I don’t believe much has changed with his approach to managing people, whether it was in his show business dealings or in government.
I think about not just him as it relates to this subject from time to time, but about our industry as a whole (Construction & Real Estate), because that method of management is not unique to Trump. It is widely used in this industry, and others. In fact, it’s pretty fair to say that there are bad managers in almost every industry. I don’t blame trump for this approach to business being still popular in NYC real estate for instance. There are plenty of developers and owners who love not to pay their contractors, who swim in lawsuits while reaping the benefits of interest on high balances, who bully their stakeholders, consultants and vendors into taking pennies on the dollar. It turns out some of these ‘big wigs’ don’t even pay the lawyers they hire to defend them from lawsuits by vendors who they also didn’t pay. Ironic. No I don’t blame Trump for creating this atmosphere, as it is likely NYC Real Estate (and his father) who created his own Trump Management Method.
It is high profile ‘managers’ like Trump, though, who have excused this behavior for decades. Now I still talk to people who don’t mind working for jerks. If the paycheck is there, then they can handle it – mostly because they’ve handled it before. But do these willing victims ever say that it motivates them more to be spoken to like they are children? Do these hard working professionals every say that watching the boss have a tantrum and throw office supplies across the office is a motivator for them? Do these gentlemen and gentlewomen of our industry say that they actually like being singled out and humiliated in front of other employees? No. They don’t. If a manager who manages with fear and anger has a productive and profitable team or company, it is because those working professionals in that company have done a great job in spite of being treated poorly.
I’m a headhunter. I like getting resumes. It makes my day to see an inbox full of resumes. And who are these people who send their resumes, connect on linkedin, message me through Facebook and Twitter? 50% of them (this is a conservative estimate) are people who DO NOT LIKE THEIR BOSS. So yes, bad managers do motivate their employees…..to jump ship.
Let’s close the introduction of this topic in a more linear way…. Here are 5 REASONS THE TRUMP MANAGEMENT METHOD STINKS (written for the Trump Management Method Using Boss)
- Instilling FEAR in your employees does not create an atmosphere of accountability – it creates an atmosphere of FEAR, where information is withheld because of trepidation about the consequences of sharing bad news, and where employees never learn autonomy because they are too scared to be responsible and decisive.
- YELLING at your employees does not motivate them to work harder. You have not beat them into submission. They are not talking BACK to you because they are talking BEHIND your back. That bad energy needs to go somewhere – you unleash it on your employees, and they unleash it on your vendors, your clients, your stakeholders, and their families. You want to make toxic soup – yell at your people some more. Don’t blame your employees for bad moral, blame yourself.
- Having your managers pitted against each other to see who comes out on top is not a genius way of getting people to work harder. The best and most productive offices on the planet are successful because of COLLABORATION not in-fighting, petty competition and back-stabbing.
- Volatility of personality does not ‘keep them guessing’ and ‘keep them on their toes’. It keeps them on monster.com and linkedin jobs. Life is volatile enough, – so no, you are not making the work place more interesting. You can’t rationalize your behavior by saying ‘well at least it’s not boring here’ – because people don’t want drama at the work place, they want drama from Game of Thrones or House of Cards.
- It is morally wrong to be an A-Hole. We are on this planet for a short time. We are here to love, to work, to breathe, to create, to support each other, to empower each other, to reach to new horizons, explore beyond our comfort level, and evolve our species. The Bible, the Torah, the Talmud, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Kojiki – all subscribe to peace and balance in some way or another. That fighting is bad, that stealing is bad, that lying is bad, that violence is bad, are all elements of any organized religion – and even secular philosophy for that matter. We are working from the premise that generally humans are good, and we compel each other to be good, because ‘good’ creates and ‘anger’ destroys, and so now it is your turn to be good too. And if you are not heartened by the change of atmosphere in your company, the smiles on your employees faces, the transparency of information, the collaboration, and the loyalty that will come from this…. Then at least you will thank me when you see your company profits soar in Q4.