This week the UK has a visitor – and the response to his arrival has been…mixed.
Donald Trump was greeted by our Prime Minister Theresa May with all the formality and pomp his role as President of the USA would warrant – but the public welcome includes placards, protests and an enormous, orange baby-Trump blimp floating over London.
The response doesn’t seem to have phased the POTUS – in fact, if headlines are to be believed – he insists that the people of the UK like him very much. Is this a case of selective hearing, self-delusion, or a confidence in his own abilities as a leader that transcends the now and sees a brighter future, when he’ll win the respect of all his naysayers?
Can a leader who has lost the respect of those he leads ever win it back?
It comes down to the question of what makes a great leader – and whether charisma is enough to bolster you through the negative responses to your difficult decisions. No matter whether you’re leading a nation or a small business, the responsibility is the same – your choices and actions impact on the people you lead – and you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
But if you displease most of the people, most of the time, and the response is overwhelmingly critical, is it a sign of strength to stand by your will and plough ahead, or does a leader need to stop and listen to his people, and change his tack?
Donald Trump is many things – but his supporters insist that he’s a man who sticks to his word – who makes a promise and battles to deliver on it (even if that promise is something he can’t actually deliver on, he maintains his insistence in every speech and tweet!) and insist that alone is reason to respect him…but is respect earned by sticking to your word, or by responding to feedback and taking on board the response to your actions?
What do you respect more?
Is it commitment to a promise – or is it adaptability?
Leadership walks a fine line between the two camps – and until you are in that position, it’s impossible to know what kind of leader you will truly be. The reality of the job is a world apart from anything you might imagine – and we’re sure that Donald Trump is faced with a lot of challenges he never anticipated when he stepped from head of his own brand to his role in political leadership.
For any other leaders faced with difficult transitions, we offer a programme which can support you through the planning, process and aftermath of complex situations – from managing the difficult conversations to restructuring a new team, all of the emotional responses, and the business planning and support such situations need.