The US Election & Politicians What business can learn from the US elections

Geoffrey X Lane

You may wonder why I pay attention to the political process and the way politicians present themselves, communicate and influence the people listening to them. For me it is like having an open laboratory on what is needed to effectively and strategically present your point of view.  I would not necessarily use “Trump” style presentation in business – however his focus on fear and anxiety does work – this is rather uncomfortable fact for many people. There is much to learn from observing what works rather than getting bogged down in our own reactions.

Did the authenticity and straightforwardness of Bernie Sanders fail?

When coaching business leaders and business presentations I encourage and work to get them to speak with authenticity as part of the expression. And based on the last five years it has had powerful results in fact where I have been coaching a team consistently they win they have bids and contracts four out of five times – 75% win rate!

It seems that in politics fear, anxiety and having an enemy is a more powerful position to take on stage – Donald Trump has been quite effective at this and he benefited from opponents who were unprepared at least in the beginning to attack him. Now they have an enemy “Donald Trump” to focus upon and I believe they will start to make inroads, however this is the time when Donald Trump starts to change and look more presidential. It’s hard to hit a shifting target.

Bernie Sanders has resisted going into attack on Hillary Clinton, and has not made much headway in his campaign. I did see one article recommending that he go into “attack” mode! However, this is difficult for him as he is that rare thing authentic and real politician. What is the lesson here, is it that to be a politician one needs to be “politically sensitive” in your expression – some people might call this slippery.  In other words, speaking to the specific needs of the audience in front of you, changing it as you go – I’ve always called this skill the political chameleon – or today I might say Hillary speak!

Business leaders have used the motivational effect of having an “enemy” – using this to rally the troops, to fight the good fight, to do what it takes, give it your all and yes I do know that these are all clichés – however they do work, as clichés trigger a hidden messages deep in the minds of the listener. That like shorthand or if you like hot buttons.  While this is effective in private meetings, it’s not so good making it public because you can wake up your enemy!

We live in interesting times….

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