11 January 2017
Whilst I had hoped that the majority of the controversy around Trump was to win him the presidency, it seems he’s not settling down now that he’s confirmed as president-elect.
As a leader it is essential to remember that you have two ears and one mouth and to use them in that ratio, but it doesn’t seem that Trump listens at all.
Meryl Streep gave a much lauded speech at the Golden Globes criticising Trump and flagging his apparent mocking of a reporter with arthrogryposis.
All eyes were back on Trump which provided the perfect opportunity to respond with dignity and humility, to apologise for a past mistake and make amends. However, as predicted by the majority of social media, the response was a disparaging comment about Streep and an attempted justification of the ‘mocking’:
“Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him “groveling” when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!”
Is that an appropriate response to a call for empathy and respect?
Of course, that is not the only instance of Trump’s social networking skills proving to be less than social. He recently tweeted about Arnold Schwarzenegger saying:
“Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary.”
Ironically, his goading backfired with Schwarzenegger responding with dignity and respect saying: “There’s nothing more important than the people’s work, @realDonaldTrump. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.”
Whilst you could dismiss social media activity as flippant, spur of the moment posting, it undoubtedly shines a light on the president-elect’s personality. His tweets are his own, without the help of a PR team; these are his gut reactions and an insight into his way of thinking. Trump has taken to Twitter too many times to air his grievances; I remember my Gran saying that you should never wash your dirty laundry in public – that certainly applies here!
When you’re at the helm of one of the world’s most powerful countries, you can’t afford to make these gut reactions so publicly. Obama gave a masterclass in dignified leadership in his final speech as president last night – something that Trump should have stopped to take notice and learn from.
I also can’t help feeling Trump lacks the humility necessary to be a leader. He is very quick to take the credit for the slightest thing while disassociating himself and blaming others when things go wrong.