As I sit at my desk, pondering the events of yesterday, I am thinking about what is next. Now that we have a President that most didn’t like, where do we go from here? Concerning the divide in the country my son asked me how can the divide be fixed? Great question, and I have been thinking about it all day. I would have written the same message if HRC had won.
I even discussed the election in my leadership class. At first I asked the students to reflect on what happened last night. It began to get a little heated, so I asked them, “it is done, now what does the new President need to do to move the country forward?” Our topic for today was being a transformational leader. So, with the great divide in our country today, how can this President create a shared vision that unifies and brings our citizens to a consensus? The students had a hard time getting beyond the narrative created in the media, but for us to move forward it is time to end the narrative of hatred, and demonizing the other, and create an narrative of forgiveness and consensus.
To describe what I think needs to be done, I am going to apply my dynamic realization model to this event.Picture a cube with the words Dynamic Realization on top. Also, visualize Trust on the bottom of the cube. On the front of the cube is a quadrant. The top left quadrant says Servanthood. The top right has the word authentic. The bottom left has the word reflective. And the bottom right has the word transparent.The right side of the cube has several words: Entreprenuerial Thinking, Innovation, vision, agility, commitment, and resilience.
I have chosen a cube to reflect a three dimension open system. Trust as the foundation for the model. The front of the cube is what the leader needs to become. The top of the cube is the result, dynamic realization. The right side is what the leader must do to create a dynamic, alive, organization that is high performing (for Trump, fill in country).
The leader must be reflective. This means that a leader must be thoughtful, self-aware, and aware of others around them. Trump needs to think through what he did during the election and reassure those around him who are afraid. And people, there are those around us, our friends of color, LGBT, women, and Muslims who are afraid right now. They are afraid not just because of Trump but the many people who voted for him. We need to recognize that and deal with it.
The leader must be transparent and authentic. A leader must have a true north, and act consistently with that truth north. A good leader will not be afraid to be honest when they know what to do and when they do not. Trump has said many things, and many of those things will never occur, but he needs to bring the right people around him that will help him be authentic and transparent if he truly wants to be a President for all Americans.
A leader must be a servant. In our Democracy the President was hired by the people to serve the people. Trump must learn what that means. He has been a top down CEO for a long time, and has fired many people. Now he needs to figure out how to serve and remove barriers for all Americans. As he becomes the leader all America needs, he then has a job to create a climate of trust. Everything about his Presidency will prosper or fail by his ability to create trust. In my model trust is the foundation of the cube. In other words, if he doesn’t work on mending fences and creating relationships of trust, his Presidency will be a huge failure.
To bring this divided country together it will take thinking differently than we have in the past. This will require entrepreneurial thinking. In other words, having the ability to see the current situation, but not stop there, have the ability to see a better way. He needs to infuse this hope within the country. To accomplish this we will need to be more innovative than we ever have been in the past.
The vision Trump presented during the election only represented one side of the equation. He will need to create a vision that can be shared with more people than a certain portion of our population. This means a new vision, one that can be communicated and presented in a manner that more than just one portion of our community can accept. Our social contract in this country means that none of us get everything we want. We compromise and come to consensus. If Trump ever expects to be good President he needs to hear “the other.”
Agility means creating systems that can adjust and continuously improve. This means creating diverse systems that are inclusive with many voices improving the many systems like immigration, taxes, and the economy. All of which needs improvement.
To accomplish this will take commitment. I just heard two of my colleagues in the hallway say they are confused, sick, and did not get any sleep last night. They represent the half of the country that did not vote for Trump. So Mr. Trump, you need to create some kind of consensus that American’s can commit to.
And by the way Mr. Trump, you need to demonstrate resilience, and help our country persevere. Resilience is necessary for us to deal with the many divisive issues facing this country.
My message to a President Trump: You need to do some work on yourself. Your business persona will not work running a country. You need to learn to be a true servant leader. You need to think about what you did and what you need to do to change and be the leader all Americans need. You need to be transparent and apologize for some of the language you used during the election. If you can be an authentic leader, then start doing it.
Mr. Trump you have a lot of work to do to create trust between you and America. The people that voted for you don’t trust you, and the people that voted against you don’t trust you. So you got your work cut out for you.
And to the American people, do what Hillary said, give him a chance. Maybe, just maybe he’ll surprise us. And, to all the hate mongers on both sides, knock it off. Stay off social media. Start posting pictures of animals and your children. We need to be nice to each other. It is time to stop hating one another and start loving.
And that is my thought for the day!