Does Donald Trump have the necessary character to be a successful President?

In the
past week a number of people asked me when I was going to blog about the
President-elect of America. I wasn’t sure what I would say; whether it
would be relevant for readers of this weekly missive or whether I even
wanted to say anything.

 

I was
shocked as (almost) everybody else when the results rolled in last
Wednesday (Australian time). I had arranged to meet up with two friends
at a Fitzroy pub, fully anticipating we would be cracking a bottle of
champagne, in honour of the first woman President of America being
elected. Instead we watched the television, not quite knowing what to
say, as the map of America was swamped with red states. I learned later
that my 15 year old daughter was crying at home as the result from the
other side of the Pacific became clear.

 

As one
tweet succinctly put it:

 

The
American people elected Hillary Clinton. The American Electoral College
system elected Donald Trump.

 

What
can recruiters take from what has happened?

 

I am no
political or economic expert, despite being very interested in both, so
I’ll stick to what I know most about: hiring practices.

 

President-elect Trump has now been hired. He will take up his position
on 20 January 2017.

 

Given
Mr Trump’s complete lack of public service experience, the voting public
clearly didn’t think that lack of experience was a bad thing. In fact,
the “I’ll drain the swamp” line seems to have been a key line from his
campaign speeches that resonated with millions of voters.

 

As
recruiters well know, a lack of experience doesn’t necessarily discount
a person from a job; as long as they have the character necessary to
build the skills upon.

 

So what
character traits are required of the American President?

 

Not
being an American or a student of American Presidents, I read about a
dozen articles that came up in my online search for ‘what makes a great
President’. Some articles had a long list, others had a short list. I
then selected the traits that were mentioned most frequently; it’s
completely unscientific but in keeping with the principles I learned
from the book

The Wisdom of Crowds
.

 

These
five most-frequently mentioned traits were:

 

1.
Integrity

2.
Influencing/connectedness/persuasiveness

3.
Calmness

4.
Intelligence

5.
Judgement and decision making

 

How
does Mr Trump rate on each of these traits on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1
being low, 5 being high)?

 

Integrity (1/5):  
Mr Trump has a seemingly endless list of ‘integrity’

issues
, to put it politely.
He
seems to take pleasure in treating women as objects to do with as he
pleases. His attitude towards underage girls is especially vile, from
any person, let alone a President.

 

Influencing/connectedness/persuasiveness (4/5  ):
Mr Trump

convinced
nearly 61 million Americans to vote for him despite his
many, many campaign hiccups. Whether he can be just as persuasive with
his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill remains to be seen.

 

Calmness (2/5):  
The first couple of Presidential debates

showed
Mr Trump was not naturally a calm man. It didn’t take much to
get him worked up, unlike Hillary Clinton who showed herself to be a
much calmer person under the spotlight of a Presidential debate. A man
who believes that tearing up the NATO alliance and leaving allies to
fend for themselves is a good thing for the USA, could not easily be
mistaken for a calm person.

 

Intelligence (3/5):  
Mr
Trump’s IQ or academic results have never been released publicly but as
this

article
estimates, it’s reasonable to say Mr Trump is of
above-average intelligence but a long way short of the 156

IQ score
of Bill Clinton.
 
If I
was an American, I would hope my President had substantially above
average intelligence as it’s, to state the obvious, an above average
job.

 

Judgement and decision making (1/5):  
For a
man whose transition team includes his daughter, a proposed Secretary of
Education and Vice-President-elect who both believe the Earth is less
than 6,000 years old as well as his own pronouncements such as ‘Putin is
a stronger leader than Barack Obama” or “China is a currency
manipulator” or “Climate change is a hoax”, it appears Mr Trump does not
value, or use, facts or objective information in a way most world
leaders do.

 

Despite
the many question marks surrounding Mr Trump’s suitability to be leader
of the free world, he will assume that role in nine weeks’ time.

2 Comments

  1. cookimonster on 18/11/2016 at 12:19 am

    I'm not sure she would have rated much better on those criteria. From a recruitment process – the whole thing FAILED miserably. Seriously if you ended up with those two as the final shortlist, you'd be firing the agency 🙂 it is more about the global western disconnect of 'politicians' and the uprising from the public. Hilary is a career politician and therefore was going to find it tough – they just don't get it.

  2. Ross Clennett on 18/11/2016 at 3:59 am

    Well, it's clear Hillary would rate higher than Trump. But the electorate made it clear they weren't voting for Trump on character grounds – they connected with his rhetoric. Also a woman's flaws, in public life, are always magnified and marked more harshly than a man's flaws. Hillary v Bill is a clear example.

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