9 Problems Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton teach us about Leadership

Are you already sick of the campaign?  Do you really want to hear anything more about Donald or Hillary?  Or have you disengaged.

Unfortunately many of our employees feel the same way about the leadership in our organizations.  A 2015 Gallup Poll revealed that just 13% worldwide were engaged at work.  In other words, they are over it.  They don’t want to hear anything more about work.   So how can we possibly create radical change or disruptive innovation?

 Here are 9 ways that our team members are disengaging in the same way we as voters are disengaging from the 2016 presidential campaign.  

NOTE:  This blog post is not intended to tout one candidate or the other but rather to illustrate problems that cause followers to disengage.

Problem # 1 Both candidates have high negative ratings.

hillary-41775_1280Both Clinton and Trump are unfavorable to over 50% of voters.  In the same way, many leaders and managers never get out of their own
little world and fail to realize how poorly they are trump-1350370_1920perceived. To make it worse, some don’t even care, writing it off as employees with a bad attitude.  But in a Sharing Economy, collaboration is critical.  We don’t collaborate with those we don’t think highly of.   How many of your team members think negatively of you?  

Problem #2:  Both conventions primarily focused on negative campaigning.

Instead of offering new ideas that would solve persistent problems, both parties scripted messaged focused on showing how bad the opponent was.  “Defeat Hillary” or “Defeat Trump” simply asked the voters to choose which is the least of evils rather than which ideas and candidate will do the most good. At work, more and more workers are choosing jobs at companies that have a purpose and make the world better.  They want to work with inspiring leaders who offer great new ideas, not just tear down the competition.  Are you offering new ideas to solve persistent problems?presidential-election-1336480_1280

Problem #3:  Neither candidate’s communication can be trusted.

Trump is a polished media celebrity known for his “Art of the Deal” and reality show persona where workers were likely to hear “You are Fired!”  Meanwhile, Clinton has a track record of shady business deals and questionable political ethics.  In business, employees often see slippery tactics that makes them question the leader’s ethics and integrity.  Does your team trust you?

Problem #4:  Most don’t believe the system is fair.

The Democrats were embarrassed when news broke that the primaries were rigged for Clinton and against Sanders. This wouldn’t be the first time voter fraud or insider dealing happened.  After all, “Dirty Politics” is often understood as “Politics as Usual.”  In business, many team members feel the same way about promotions, bonuses and other special favors.    Does your team believe your polices and practices are fair?  

Problem #5:  Most don’t believe they have a viable 3rd alternative.

Undecided voters are unimpressed with both Clinton or Trump.  They believe a vote for the Green or Libertarian party is a wasted vote.  So they hold their nose and vote or choose not to vote, not believing they have the chance to vote for a good candidate.  In the workplace, too often team members feel the same way.  They do not feel they have a viable choice so they disengage, sensing no good choice.  Does your team like the choices you provide?    

Problem #6:  Many voters don’t believe their vote matters.

When elections are won by thousands or millions of votes, it is often hard to see how one vote makes any difference.  No wonder many voters are apathetic about being able to make a significant change.  They feel the system is rigged and no matter what they do, even casting their vote, will not make that difference.  At work, many feel the same way.  They don’t think they have a voice because they are rarely asked their opinion, and when they are, no action is taken or the leader steals their idea.  Does your team know their voice and vote matters?

Problem #7:  The best candidates don’t want to get involved.

Are Trump and Clinton really the two best candidates for president?  From all the great business and government leaders we have in this country, are they the ones that will do the best job?  Or has the process of getting elected scared off the best candidates?  Too often team members fear there will be too much game playing or drama in the process so they disengage.  Do your best workers volunteer their efforts and ideas?WeakLinkLeadershipscaled

Problem #8:  Most voters have already disengaged.

By the end of July, most voters really didn’t care to hear anything more about the election.  They dreaded their privacy was interrupted  with robocalls, negative ads and post cards. They can’t wait for it to be over.  So they disengage.  Has your team already disengaged?   If so, what are you changing in the process?  

Problem #9:  Most leaders have given up trying to get voters engaged.

Meanwhile, Trump and Clinton will push on, reasoning that the winner only needs to get more votes than the second place finisher.  Once in office, their main concern seems to be getting re-elected or building their legacy.  Aren’t we correct in believing their is a better way?  Imagine a world where our leaders cared more about solving problems than keeping their jobs. That goes for our lives at work as well as in the political world.  Have you given up on getting your team engaged?  

Employee Engagement is critical for creating radical change and disruptive innovation.  We will NEVER do the impossible if we foster problems like these two presidential candidates.  Instead, when we leverage the leadership power of each employee, they get engaged and gladly deliver their ultimate performance and production to maximize our profits. 

Please leave your comment about at how these 9 problems have affected your organization.  PLEASE refrain from any POLITICAL comments.

Be Bold

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Become the Disruptive Leader

I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I develop disruptive leaders .  If you are looking for more options as either an aspiring leader or a leader emerging in the Connection Economy,  contact me today.  nsa-logo

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