How to NOT do business like Trump

Unless you’ve spent the last year stuck in a cave (in which case, welcome back), we are all knee-deep in the US Presidential campaign, which makes it quite impossible to avoid seeing Trump’s orange, bloated face 47 times a day.

Week after week, from scandalous tweets to verbally abusive attacks on women or journalists, analysts have been saying “that’s it NOW he’s gone too far”. And while we’re all (mostly) wishing that it were true, so far, Trump hasn’t (yet) crashed.

The reasons for which his behaviour have not so far deterred his supporters are many and require another article in itself. However  it’s safe to say that ANYONE else on the planet using such tactics in a business context would most likely find themselves at Centrelink within the next 24 hours.

So, with that in mind, here is a list a Trump-like tactics TO NEVER use in business:


DON’T BURN BRIDGES

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You’re p***** off, someone has rubbed you the wrong way, we get it. Sometimes it can be hard to resist the urge to just grab that torch and set the bridge on fire, or basically, say something irreparable.

The problem with burning bridges is that if you ever do decide to go back, you’ll have to build another bridge, so might as well leave the first one alone, it’ll be less work further down the line.

The reason why professional networking has become so important in recent times is because it’s useful. Businesses aren’t self-sufficient entities living by themselves on far away tropical islands, they work in interconnection with other businesses that may be close or far away. You never know when you might need someone’s help again.

 


LOSE THE EGO

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In a work environment nothing will get you more hated than egomania. Whether you’re running your business or an employee, collaboration is key to any human enterprise.

In this day and age, we love to create a hype around extremely charismatic people, CEOs included, I mean look at Elon Musk…

However, this kind of over-interest in high profile businessmen also serves as free PR for said companies. The goal remains the perennity of the company itself through a common vision.

So unless you are Elon Musk, no one wants to work with overinflated egos. Not even your mum likes it. So, ditch it.

There is nothing more demoralising than feeling overshadowed, people are much more motivated if they feel they are on even ground, it creates a more collaborative environment and ultimately more positive outcomes.

 


BE ETHICAL

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Whether you work for a company that’s been around for 2 years or for 20, it is absolutely vital that you define ethical boundaries and perhaps most importantly, that you stick to them.

It can be very unsettling to realise your values and your company’s values are not aligned. Ethics lie at the very heart of our individuality. They define us, and therefore any ethics-related issue in a professional context can be a very prickly topic.

Racism, sexism and discrimination in general are still rampant in professional environments even in developed countries. So, you know, don’t be that guy.

 


ACCEPT CRITICISM / TAKE THE MORAL HIGH GROUND

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You know that stingy feeling you get when someone criticizes you or your work? And the tight red ball of fury that gets lodged in your throat immediately after? Well, you should try really, really hard to fight very instinct you have of letting that ball out of your mouth.

Tough, right? Yes, but necessary. While it is a perfectly normal human reaction, as a professional adult, you owe it to yourself and your team members to try and remain objective.

The way most people react to criticism is either by defending themselves or attacking the criticizer which is usually interpreted as a sign of weakness. So no matter whether the criticism made is valid or not, you will never help yourself by having an emotional reaction.

 


OFFER REALISTIC SOLUTIONS

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No matter what your position is within your organisation, there will always be moments when you will be asked for insight. Problem-solving is at the heart of every organisation.

What differentiates people within a professional environment is how they approach problem-solving: do you sit back and wait for other people to offer solutions? Do you ignore the problem entirely? Do you get overwhelmed by it?

Or do you provide pragmatic solutions that can be implemented straight away within the boundaries of the constraints you are given (financial or operational)…

Of course, we’re not all equal in that respect, some people think faster than others. However you should never stop trying to find solutions. And when you feel like you’re losing perspective, follow Don Draper’s wise advice:

Just think about it, deeply, and then forget it. An idea will… Jump up in your face.

 

 

Laura Vielzeuf

Laura Vielzeuf

Head of Operations at Sherpa

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