The man whose victory seemed unimaginable was suddenly President-elect of the United States of America. President-elect Donald Trump has started to constitute his new government and outline his policies, crushing the hopes of those who argued that exaggerated pre-election rhetoric would be tempered by post-election reality.
“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”1
On November 9th 2016, America and the world woke up still shell-shocked and in disbelief about the results of the previous day’s US election. The man whose victory seemed unimaginable was suddenly President-elect of the United States of America. Nobody had really seen it coming, and few were ready to believe it – supporters and opponents alike. But by now reality has started to set in, with the Electoral College confirming Trump’s victory. The President-elect has started to constitute his new government and outline his policies, crushing the hopes of those who argued that exaggerated pre-election rhetoric would be tempered by post-election reality. As it is, Donald Trump simply continues to be himself exactly the way we know him from the campaign: issuing statements that reflect the rather simplistic and therefore often worrisome worldview of which we have already had a preview in an 1981 interview in People magazine when he said “Man is the most vicious of all animals, and life is a series of battles ending in victory or defeat.”2
So, who is the man whose unbridled and often offensive and unfounded rhetoric elicits blind devotion from a significant part of the US population, and who has already managed, a month before being sworn in as president, to offend one of the world’s leading powers? And what can we expect of him once on the national stage, with the reigns of power firmly in his hand and subject to all kinds of pressures, external and internal? Who is the man whose every single decision will carry far-reaching consequences for millions of people?
The best person to answer these questions is Donald Trump himself: “One thing about television, it brings out personality. People are able to watch me in action. They hear my voice and see my eyes. There’s nothing I can hide. That’s me. Television brings out your flaws, your weaknesses, your strengths, and your truths.”3 With these words in mind, we will examine in this article how Donald Trump communicates, what it discloses about his deep-seated drivers and motivation and what the world can expect to see from him in the coming months and years.
About the Author
Dr. Katharina Balazs is associate professor of management at the European School of Management (ESCP Europe) in Paris, France, and executive coach with the INSEAD Global Leadership Center in France and Singapore. Katharina’s expertise is in leadership, focussing on women leaders, leadership communication, power and influence, high performance teams and organisational change.
*Disclaimer: The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of The European Business Review.
5. Kohut, H., The Analysis of the Self, New York: International Universities Press, 1971
6. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Association, 2013
7. What Donald Trump supporters need to know, but are too infatuated to find out, https://books.google.fr/books?id=AuGbDQAAQBAJ&dq=“I+was+a+great+student.+I+was+good+at+everything%22+trump&hl=fr&source=gbs_navlinks_s
8. Kohut, H., The Analysis of the Self, New York: International Universities Press, 1971
9. Blair, G.: The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a President, Simon & Schuster, 2001
12. CNN, 28.11.2016