Donald Trump and Trump Organization Abstract This paper gives a brief overview of Donald Trump and his style of management that led him to almost bankruptcy and back to the top of his game. Donald Trump’s management styles have made him rich, powerful, famous, and known throughout the world. This paper will discuss some of those leadership styles he employs with his empire. Donald Trump is not only one of the world’s richest men, but one of its most recognizable. Despite a privileged upbringing, he did not inherit anything, and went on to fame and fortune thanks to his business accomplishments and natural instincts.
He is an American business executive, entrepreneur, television and radio personality, and author. He is CEO of the Trump Organization, a US-based real-estate developer, and founder of Trump Entertainment, which operates several casinos. “Donald John Trump, born on June, 14 1946, in Queens, New York, is the fourth of five children of Frederick C. and Mary Macleod Trump” (A;E Television, 1996-2012, n. p. ). His father was a builder and real estate developer who specialized in constructing and operating middle-income apartments in Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn.
Donald Trump states in his book “The art of the deal”: “The most important influence on me, growing up, was my father, Fred Trump. I learned a lot from him. I learned about toughness in a very tough business, I learned about motivating people, and I learned about competence and efficiency: get in, get it done, get it done right, and get out” (Trump, 1987, p. 65). In Donald Trump’s childhood years, he was drawn to business, was never intimidated by his father. He stood up to him and his father respected that. Their relationship was more of a businesslike one than anything else.
In elementary school, Donald was very assertive and aggressive; he even punched the music teacher because he thought the teacher knew nothing about music. Back then he made his opinions known in a forceful way. The difference now is that he uses his brain instead of his fists. He was somewhat of a leader in his neighborhood as a kid, and today he is a leader of a successful organization. People either like him a lot, or they can’t stand him. When Donald Trump turned thirteen, he was sent to military school. He stayed through his senior year and learned a lot about discipline; how to channel his aggression into achievement.
After graduating in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and concentration in finance, he joined his father’s real estate business. Starting in Trump Organization, he initially focused the way his father preferred to do business. By 1971, Trump began his own business in property development and hotel industry. Though his ventures were very successful, by 1989, the recession left Donald Trump unable to meet loan payments. In 1991 and into 1992, some of his businesses were forced to enter bankruptcy protection. By 1994, Trump had restructured financing and reduced his personal debts significantly.
Finally by 2004, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts announce restructuring of its debts and re-emerged from bankruptcy in 2005. Since 2003, Trump diversified into other areas of business with lucrative success. He is executive producer and host of the NBC reality show “The Apprentice” which he is known for saying “You’re fired”. With success in television and real estate he since has ventured into other products such as Trump Financial, Trump Restaurants, Trump Signature Collections, Trump Golf, Trump Magazines, Miss Universe Organization, and World Wrestling Entertainment. The Donald” as he is so nicknamed, is popular for his extravagant, arrogant, cocky personality. “Part of his business tactics is media exposure. He stands out from others as he speaks his mind and will refuse your handshakes as he sees it as a barbaric gesture to hand out germs. He criticizes other publicly and exploits his “know it all” intellect. He is a consummate self-promoter who understand the power of branding. The name “Trump” always appears in the name of his buildings” (Allen, 2012. n. p. ). His way to success shows in whatever he touches or tries to attain.
Projects even as big as Donald Trump’s comes from teams of experts who put their knowledge together and aim for the best. He is a stickler on perfection and details in every project he takes on. The phrase “good enough” does not fit in his organization. When an employee told me, “I think it’s good enough” in reference to an unfinished project, I fired him. Good enough? ” ……….. ”I want people who want more than good enough. I want employees who want great and will go the extra mile for the very best. I don’t want to have to tell them, I want them to do it on their own” (Osbourne, 2009, n. . ) Donald Trump deals with employee’s daily and dealing with the wrong people he takes an approach that obviously works for him. In one of his books he outlines four tips that he uses in dealing with the firing of people. First, he doesn’t ignore their problems in performance. Trump talks with them sooner than later to help them get back on track. Getting great work out of employees’ is a good sign of a strong leader. Second, he looks at underperformers to see if they can improve with more training, coaching, the equipment they use, or finding other tasks they are good at.
Third, if he believes that improvement is possible, he meets with that employee and gives them objectives that are both timed and measurable through results. Finally, before dismissing an employee he discusses the situation with an objective advisor. Whoever works for Donald Trump knows he is a fast-paced worker and he expects those around him to keep up. They have to be able to adjust to his style. According to Donald Trump’s secretary, Norma Foerderer, “Donald instills in you the desire to do more and more and more, and you want to please him” (Kessler, 2006, n. p. ).
She goes on to say that he does not criticize unless you do something stupid but he also allows his employees to expand. Ideas are welcome and he lets you run with them to see what can be done with it. His zest for life and success is contagious. Donald is a bossy in the real sense and his leadership style seems to be the same but his employees find him as a coach with the ability to delegate work with ease and confidence. He is very optimistic and posses a high level of self-confidence in executing tasks. He gets into his tasks with energy, vision, and the desire to complete right regardless of the challenges or obstacles.
Donald Trump has earned a reputation as an optimist as a businessman. It shows in his building of Trump International Hotel and Casinos and when he was facing financial situations in 2004. He was able to re-structure and come out ahead. When we look at his behavior as a manager, his Big Five personality traits can be viewed as a person who is an extrovert. This can be seen in his initiatives in getting involved and promoting public events such as Miss Universe competition. He encourages the participants to contribute strongly in public events.
Trump can be seen in many Apprentice programs of having a lesser degree of agreeableness. He insists on detailed explanations and proof of concept before making any acknowledgement. He is not satisfied with interim results and insists on the final accomplishments. Donald Trump has a high level of conscientiousness. He is a person with dependable guidance and vision, persistent and achievement oriented. He emphasized this in his book “Trump 101”: “Results are what matter; the rest is style” (Mclver, Trump, 2007, p. 132. ). His is open to experience and can be seen in his career.
He ventured into new fields of business when some were not performing as he expected. During his experiences in business he was also open to failures. It showed in his initial venture that failed during his 2004 bankruptcy period. Since then, he diversified by adding more businesses to his portfolio. Donald Trump’s leadership styles have made him rich, powerful, famous, very well known worldwide. He shows more than one-way how to manage employees and it includes many characteristics. One that stands out is his need for power, showing in every business and piece of real estate he owns.
Every casino, building, golf course, book, and show has his name on it. Reading his books we can describe his management and leadership styles go hand in hand. He use a few styles based on the situation and outcome he desires. We can describe his leaderships as autocratic, charismatic, transformational and situational. He uses his power and bossy attitude successfully in his career by taking full control of his decisions. Although he values input from a select few on his teams, the final decision comes from him and whatever he says never gets contested.
Donald inspires lots of interest within the teams and possesses the verbal fluency that can build relationships between many parties. When he speaks, people listen. He has the ability to express and sell his ideas to people. He produces books and people buy them to understand the real business and key to success. Many people try to follow his way and that makes him a leader with millions of followers. Without charisma, his ability to build relationships, sells the big picture, his wealth, and reputation wouldn’t be what it is today. He shows this in the “The Apprentice” when he makes motivational speeches.
We can also say Donald Trump has situational leadership as well. Situational leaders have the ability to switch back and forth between four styles based on needs by the followers and the situation itself. The four styles are: 1. Directing – Leaders make the decisions and communication is one-way. 2. Coaching – Leaders involve employees in offering ideas but leader still makes decisions. 3. Supporting – Leader allows employees to have an increase in say of decisions but provides guidance and coordination. 4. Delegating – Leader allows those capable to perform on their own and make their own decisions.
We see this style when he requires opinions and inputs of a select few from his team, but he still makes the decision. He also encourages people to go the extra mile for the very best. Donald does allow them to do things on their own and does delegate with ease and confidence. In “The Apprentice” we see him coach the participants as the episodes keep moving. In front of the camera, we see Donald show his tough and bully boss side, but on the opposite side, some of his employees argue that he is a merciful leader and always follows values.
Trump’s thoughtful side manifested itself when Foerderer began having a problem with her eyes a year ago and had to stay at home. Trump has called her every week and sends her baskets of gourmet food. When Trump bought Mar-a-Lago, he retained several 70-year-old gardeners who could barely pull weeds but had worked loyally for Marjorie Merriweather Post, who built the estate in 1927. When the air conditioning at the home of Donald’s Palm Beach butler Tony Senecal gave out, Trump had it replaced. When Senecal had heart problems, Trump insisted he stay at Mar-a-Lago to recuperate. (Kessler, 2006, n. . ). This is just one example of his merciful side within his organization. Donald’s characteristics of values, skills, and abilities make him a great leader, though it is unconventional, he makes smart business decisions. As a great leader, he uses these styles at the appropriate time. During an interview ran by MSNBC with Donald Trump, he summarized his top lessons of management to a group of students at Wharton school. These lessons which come out of one of Donald’s books ‘Think big and kick ass” is summarized into ten lessons: 1. Work hard – “…Don gives this more than the usual lip service.
He basically said that everyone he know that made a lot of money and was ultra successful, worked 7 days a week” (Halligan, 2008, n. p. ). If you want to succeed in business you have to work many hours and most of Donald’s friends that have reached lofty career goals are workaholics. 2. Love what you do – Find your passion and don’t quit on it. Don’t chase the hot industries in place of an industry that you love even if that industry is not doing that well. The message from Donald Trump was that your passion for that imperfect industry will rise above the fray and you will end up in that top 1% of those industries earners. . Know what you do – Become the expert in that particular industry you are in. Not just the surface of that industry but all aspects that into it. This gives you the powerful knowledge needed to communicate with all levels about that particular product, process, or whatever it may be. The more detailed you are the more you can explain the future dynamics to potential investors. 4. Luck – Donald Trump says and read this in other books of his, “The harder I work, the luckier I get” (Halligan, 2008, n. p. ). 5. Education – Though it is expensive it becomes a huge advantage.
Education is expensive in the short term but will gain big dividends in the long haul. 6. Management – Be smarter than the people you hire not the other way around. 7. Persistence – Donald credits himself and his success but also the demise of his competitors on being patient and persistent for long periods to wait out the market. He definitely had his ups and downs in real estate when he lost everything and come back from it. 8. Negotiation – When it comes down to important negotiations, they should be done face-to-face.
It gives you a better read on peoples’ body language and where you need to go to make that deal happen. 9. Middlemen – Donald Trump is not a fan of them and feels they do not add value and take lots in return. He tells a story “of how he “goes around” a broker on a billion dollar deal where he was losing a negotiation and flew to Dubai to deal directly with the principal and struck a great deal…” (Halliban, 2008, n. p. ). 10. Marriage – Marry someone who understands about working hard and make sure to get a prenuptial agreement. Donald Trump posses many traits in his life but optimism and self-confidence rives his business. With his traits and behaviors, he can be seen as a results oriented person. Donald is more towards adapting an achievement culture in his workplace. He values competitiveness, aggressiveness, personal initiative and the willingness to work long hours to achieve results. He surrounds himself with highly motivated people who need little to no supervision. Rules and procedures seem limited as they interfere with accomplishment. His methods are used for producing results and when a goal is met, he expects everyone to move on to the next goal.
The down side to this approach is people tend to get burned out and it can create individuals through competition. This competition can lead to dishonest or illegal behavior. References: Allen, S. (2012). Donald Trump-Billionaire real estate tycoon and host of The Apprentice. Retrieved from http://entrepreneurs. about. com/od/famousentrepreneurs/p/donaldtrump. htm A;E Television Networks. (1996-2012). Donald Trump. Biography. Retrieved from http://www. biography. com/people/donald-trump-9511238 Halligan, B. (2008). 10 Management lessons from Donald Trump. Web Blog post] Retrieved from http://blog. hubspot. com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/3367/10-Management-Lessons-From-Donald-Trump. aspx Kessler, D. (2006). The real Donald Trump. Retrieved from http://archive. newsmax. com/archives/articles/2006/11/28/164217. shtml Mclver, M. , Trump, D. (2007). Trump 101: The way to success. Hoboken NJ: John Wiley ; Sons, Inc. Osbourne, D. (2009). Donald Trump on hiring and firing staff. Retrieved from http://www. profitablepersonnel. com/2009/08 Trump, D. (1987). The art of the deal. NY: Random House Publishing Group.