Obsessive success. That's what I felt after seeing a few documentaries about Trump's life on my French TV.
As it seems that Trump, being a billionaire represents the American dream, I was wondering if he was actually an example to follow.
After analysing many of his actions I put together a few of what could be his business principles.
They frankly shocked me - maybe I'm not the only one - and I went on to take a step back and see what system he actually used and how sustainable it is.
- Never admit that you're wrong
Trump feels he's right all the time.
Even after his Atlantic City Casino was totally bankrupt and the banks were not supporting him anymore, he wasn't ashamed to say that everything was in control.
- Surround yourself with people without conscience
One of the meanest lawyers was Roy Cohn, who previously worked with McCarthy. He was Trump's lawyer and friend for 13 years.
Attacking was the way of doing business, such as when they countersued the federal government for $100 million for damaging the Trump name because Trump wasn't selling apartments to people of colour.
Trump learned from Cohn, and even kept a picture of him in his drawer, pulling it out to intimidate recalcitrant contractors.
- Get publicity for your personal brand - good or not, doesn't matter
It's sad to say, but it tends to be true. A few month after a bad move, most people don't remember what you did, but they remember your name.
Trump cultivated his personal brand to the max. That's why the banks didn't seize his Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic city, because without his name they were worth a lot less.
- Think about yourself first
"Despite losing money every year under Trump’s leadership, the company paid Trump handsomely, including a $5 million bonus in the year the company’s stock plummeted 70 percent." (Source)
Trump is known to make great deals for himself.
Now look, the American dream is social success, I get it. It's the country's identity.
Trump represents the extreme material success and is now leading his country.
If we stop here, it makes sense.
But Trump comes with other qualities such as being hypocritical, proud to be selfish, only judging people by their social success and a long list of similar attributes.
And as he's now the American model, the one people look up to, many will start to behave like him and think it's ok to embrace these nasty qualities.
Trump embodies material success reached by competition
Truth is, the American dream is based on competition. Showing you have a bigger house than your neighbour, a fancier car. Showing in a material way that you're more successful than others.
This is sad, because the opposite of competition, collaboration, is what triggers fulfilling feelings that come from helping each other succeed or sharing.
The good thing is, even though the collaborative state of mind would be seen as ridiculous according to Trump's criteria, our economy tends to use collaboration more and more… look at billion dollar companies like Uber or AirBnB, opening their cars and homes to strangers. So many collaborative projects are being developed all over the world, and this movement is just starting.
Competition is outdated.
Being the first is overrated, it's not fulfilling.
Ask Trump, it is lonely at the top, even in a golden flat.
So stay tough guys, not in a competition kind of way, but by resisting your old pattern and by injecting collaboration into your actions.
It's the only sustainable way for yourself and for everyone to enjoy your American dream.