Donald Trump is not a typical businessman. The discussion about his poor character and lack of qualifications is being generalized into a meme that goes “no business person could ever be a good president.” It is driving me nuts. (More)

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I am in no way defending Trump as presidential material. He is an embarrassment. He is also a con man who campaigned with slogans that some people fell for. But, he is not a typical business leader. He doesn’t give two hoots about the details and does not select competent people to work for him. He is a bully and a fraud.

I worked in corporate America for 35+ years. I have met and worked with CEO’s who were Rhodes Scholars and who did not finish college. I have seen selfish autocrats who resemble Trump but I have seen far more leaders who selected competent subordinates and understood the value of consensus and hearing divergent points of view. Almost to a person they understood the details of their businesses. The idea that a CEO gets to act however he or she decides on a whim is not true for most organizations at all. No good board of directors would stand for that kind of nonsense.

I think it is a shame that Trump’s disordered personality and gibberish is giving too many Americans the idea that he is somehow representative of all business leaders. I know many ethical leaders who reflect carefully on the decisions they make. I know business leaders who took climate change seriously long before most average citizens did. I know business leaders who had subsidized on-site day care in the early 1990s before it was a popular topic because “they are all our children.” I know business leaders, bankers, who did not issue sub-prime mortgages because they didn’t think they represented a good way to do business.

I am not saying that every business leader is an angel but they are not all schmucks like Trump either. I can imagine a few of them who would make excellent politicians. I don’t want to write the whole lot of them off just because of Trump. Character matters. Policies matter. Studying the details matters. Working collaboratively (maybe only with your own party for a while) matters. Relationships matter. A steady temperament matters. Intelligence matters.

Nancy Pelosi was being kind when she called the AHCA process amateur hour. Trump just thought he could bully and tweet his way to a victory. On the Apprentice he would have been fired.


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