THE GIFT OF SPOTLIGHT

< One thing every leader should learn from President Trump >

It’s an interesting time to be alive; at a time when a drama king occupies the most powerful house on the planet, the White House, and has under his command the finest army and weaponry anywhere on the face of the earth. It is of little doubt that Trump’s presidency is the most interesting thing that’s been happening on earth since its inception on January 20, 2017. Next to every morning, the world wakes up to something startling from him, usually on his Twitter handle. And not even the Great Ones are exempt; his ‘Great Again’ mantra means that he’s particularly impatient with Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi, who both appear to be giving America a run for world’s No.1.

For me, it’s being a long time knowing Trump, through his books. From “Surviving the Top,” through “The Art of the Deal,” to “Great Again,” the man remains consistent. He is that gutsy author, one whose books could pass for crack cocaine; you don’t get to remain the same after sniffing in his ideas, all of them characteristically contrarian; he drives you nuts with highness. That’s on a lighter note, though. I wouldn’t know what you think about Trump, or how exactly you feel about him; this piece is simply about one thing I feel every leader should learn from him.

Every day is someone’s birthday, and February 5, 2019 happened to be Judah Samet’s 81st – a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh who had survived Hitler’s Holocaust decades earlier, and in 2018 a horrific shooting that killed 11 members of his community. That day was also State of the Union, the most important day in the life of a sitting US president. On that day, the POTUS would stand before a joint session of Congress, all of America, and indeed the rest of the world, to announce the strength of the American union, one that’s been a long time coming. Of course, such an announcement could only come after a long argument establishing its grounds. Trust me, there’s no better day to know how truly proud American can be; the POTUS gets to look the rest of the world in the eyes and boldly and proudly allude that God entrusted custody of the planet to them.

On that one of four most hallowed days of Trump’s presidency, he was not so busy being president that he forgot Judah. I kept looking into Judah’s eyes through the rest of the speech and could feel him reciting the ‘nunc dimittis’ – “I can now die.” Trump spoke of him before the world as would rarely be spoken of a human being alive. And when Congress learnt that it was Judah’s birthday, Trump let them sing to the finish the usually sensational happy birthday song, immediately after which Trump added – on a lighter note, “They wouldn’t do that for me, Judah.” And it wasn’t only Judah, as Trump also gave a number of his special guests the gift of spotlight, including: Elvin Hernandez, Buzz Aldrin, Timothy Matson, Ashley Evans, Joshua Kaufman, etc. From my end, I could feel every one of them feeling like it were the very best day of their lives, the happiest, and the most meaningful.

What should leaders learn from Trump? It is this: Be stupendously generous with the gift of spotlight; place people in the middle of the show, tell among the audience the good they’ve done, and genuinely shower them with praises in the loudest way possible. At those points, don’t compete for the spotlight with them; you already have it. Publicly give them credit for the role(s) they played, and let them be in no iota of doubt as to how much difference they made. If you do this always, and sincerely, then you’d rarely encounter loyalty issues.

I think so.

Your No.1 fan,
Cornel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s