Last Call: 4 Lessons to Learn from Trump’s and Clinton’s Blunders

The presidential race ends on Tuesday, but there is a lot CEOs can learn from the actions that have captivated us all year long.

After all, both candidates are essentially trying to sell their services as the chief executive of this country. And like many executives, they have made mistakes along the way that will definitely cost one of them the deal.

Here are 4 lessons executives and business owners can learn from the actions of both candidates.

Lesson 1: A good reputation is based on honesty. Both presidential candidates have had an exceptionally challenging time with their reputation. Though both Trump and Clinton have seized every media opportunity to convince voters that each is an honest, smart and capable candidate, both have been plagued by a perception of duplicity. The two of them share the honor of being the two least likeable candidates in polling history. Even with experienced media teams working round the clock, they have found it difficult to change the minds of voters from both parties who entered this election cycle with a deeply rooted mistrust of these two candidates. The lesson here is this: It is exceptionally hard to fix your reputation. It is pretty much impossible to fix the reputation if people think you’re a dishonest person. Being honest is clearly the easiest road in the long-haul.

“Empower your strategy to stay the course and stay focused. Constant shifting is hugely problematic for both presidential candidates and real life businesses.

Lesson 2: Stay the course. Like many Americans, at times, I’m actually at a complete loss who stands for what. Compared to previous elections, both candidates seem less focused and less centralized in their message. As a business owner and past executive, this is a glaring example of what happens with a lack of focus: A complete lack of results. Empower your strategy to stay the course and stay focused. Constant shifting is hugely problematic for both presidential candidates and real life businesses.

Lesson 3: Stick to your planned speech. Spontaneous public addresses are great. They can bring us memorable moments, feel more genuine, and convey a sense of adaptability. But if you are in front of the media you absolutely have to stay on point. There is just way too much at risk, too many things that can come out the wrong way, too much crucial information that may be missed. Every offhand comment becomes a soundbite and makes headlines. The lessons executives or business owners should take from this is that if the media is involved, stick to the planned speech.

Lesson 4: Stay rested. This is probably the most critical lesson. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where the expected pace is only achievable by amazing amounts of caffeine. Strangely, everyone still seems way over-tired. The world saw first-hand what happened when Mrs. Clinton didn’t take care of herself: physical illness and time off the campaign I’m sure she didn’t want to take. As an executive or business owner, there are many people that are relying on you. An extra hour of sleep will probably produce an extra 2 hours of results. Same can be said for exercise: 45 minutes a day of exercise will promote even further productivity. In the end, if we’re not healthy, nothing else matters. We need to take care of ourselves. It’s good for everyone involved.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events