Are you one of the many wondering what to expect from the administration of President-elect Donald Trump? While difficult to predict with specificity, two of our clients have applied their expertise to the question.
Historian Nancy Koehn, an authority on leadership in turbulent times, spoke with Harvard Business Review in a Facebook Live video about the historical context of Trump as an outsider candidate. She describes his rise as a major break from historical models of “the traditional campaign of the partisan candidate who receives the blessing of the party leaders.” According to Koehn, we should expect “an increased amount of volatility and uncertainty” around the world. “This is a man with no government experience, no military experience… what does it mean for one of the most powerful countries in the world to be governed by someone with that kind of resume? I think that’s a huge area of uncertainty.”
Leadership expert Gautam Mukunda, author of “Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter” (Harvard Business Review Press, September 2012), puts a spotlight on the inherent unpredictability of what he calls “unfiltered leaders.” In a Harvard Business Review article, he explains that “Leaders like Trump – outsiders who are not supported by the established elites – generally have high variance in their performance. They do things that no one else would do, and because of that, they do either very well or very poorly… Unfiltered leaders succeed when they utilize the skills and knowledge of their experienced rivals and when they have insights and take approaches to which conventional leaders are blind.”
It’s obviously impossible to draw precise conclusions about a Trump White House at this point. However, there seems to be one certainty: we’re facing a break from the status quo. If your organization could benefit from further insights or guidance about leadership in these rapidly changing times, contact us.