Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is now officially the President of the United States. Many people on both sides of the political spectrum are still in disbelief. Reality will set in at some point.
But, no matter how you feel about him, there are some powerful lessons you can learn from Trump's ascendancy. These can help you throughout your life and in business.
Never Underestimate Someone Committed to a Vision (No matter how crazy you think it might be)
From day one, Donald Trump painted his vision for America and more importantly stuck with it regardless of how many times his opponents tried to take him out or get him to deviate. He was committed to it and it showed. Whether people agreed with him or not, is one thing, but everyone could see that he wasn't saying things for political expedience. He was real, raw, and fully devoted to what he wanted to accomplish. And after a while, people started finally taking him seriously - which became polarizing. But, big visions are polarizing. Elon Musk doesn't care what anyone says, he is going to change everything about the way we drive and take us to Mars. That is his vision and his unwavering commitment to it.
The same can be said about Trump and anyone else who is genuinely committed to a vision and making it a reality. Don't ever underestimate them.
Never Pre-Judge Someone
You've heard this before, but Trump became the epitome of it. No one gave him a chance on either side. Everyone thought he was a joke or just doing it to get more attention for his personal brand. Every pundit said he was not a serious candidate. And every one of them had to eventually eat their words.
That is the interesting thing about life. You never know when you are going to get surprised. So, be careful not to pre-judge people or situations. One of the best hires I ever made, looked like the worst on paper. They had no college degree or any relevant experience to the role, other than some sales experience. Most people would have thrown the resume away and moved on the the next candidate, but I was fortunate to learn this rule early on in life and it definitely has made a difference in my success. Never pre-judge someone or situations without first getting some details and facts.
If You State Something Enough and Believe in It; It will Show, and Eventually Others Will Believe it Too
You've heard before that if you say something enough, even a lie, it will become reality. When Trump first said "Make America Great Again," people questioned it, even asking when American ceased to be "great." But, he kept repeating it and kept explaining it's meaning. Trump showed us this even through his inaugural speech. The same message, over and over. In the beginning, people didn't give it too much thought, but they kept hearing it, and started to see that he believed in it. Eventually, they started to believe as well. This was evidenced by the ever-growing crowds he gathered.
Belief is a powerful thing, but it's hard to make it "go viral." Trump figured this out and it is a great lesson for leaders, especially in today's short-attention span world. You must not only truly believe in your message, but you have to share it over and over again to all that will hear it. Your message must show through and cut through all of the noise in people's lives to get them to finally hear it.
You Can be Successful Being a Contrarian
History is ripe with examples of people that flew in the face of conventional thinking and norms. These people are the contrarians. The people who threw out conventional wisdom and did it their way. Many times, in ways that were the opposite of what was thought needed to succeed.
Trump was a contrarian candidate and is a contrarian President. His candidacy should have gone under numerous times according to conventional wisdom. No other candidate could have stayed in with everything from off the cuff comments that were deemed racist to sex scandals, but Trump bucked the trend. If you read the transcript from his inauguration speech, you will see the contrarian there as well. He blasted the establishment on both sides of the aisle and levied serious charges of them existing for no other reason, but to enrich themselves and stated that they had neglected their duty of helping the American people. How's that for your first day as President?
It doesn't make sense to be a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian, but if you see a way to do something better that falls outside the norm of what people think is possible, don't shy away from it. Look at Uber. Most everyone just accepted the taxi industry and dealt with it. But Uber had a much different way of thinking.
The founders questioned why it had to be the way it was and then did something about it - not without controversy, because that comes with the contrarian territory. But, they stuck with their vision and belief and now Uber is worth over $50 billion.
Politics is an emotional subject for anyone, but if you can keep the emotion in check and logically analyze things, you will find that there are always great lessons to learn of what and what not to do in your life and business. We are just at the beginning of Trump's Presidency, but there are still many lessons to come, both good and bad, so be on the lookout for what you can learn.