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Donald Trump: Natural Born Leader

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Donald Trump: Natural Born Leader

What does a leader look like? Well that's simple they are tall, handsome, intelligent, Caucasian, and rich. They have beautiful wives and spend most of their time in the Bahamas on an enormous yacht. Now look again, minus the stereotypes. What does a leader really look like? Leaders come in all shapes, sizes, races, genders, and ages. Leaders can be found anywhere doing anything no matter how important or how routine the task. Leadership by definition is the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute to the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members (McShane, S.L., & Von Glinow, M.A, 2005). This is the accepted definition created by numerous scholars from various countries, all agreeing that a true leader embodies at least one if not all of these characteristics. For the purpose of this work a well known business man will demonstrate the different ways in which leadership by definition is accomplished.

Long before, "You're fired!" was a household phrase all over America, it was apparent Donald Trump had a gift. Donald Trump was born in Queens, New York on the 14th of June 1946. Donald was the fourth of five children of Frederick C. and Mary MacLeod Trump. Frederick Trump was a builder and real estate developer who came to specialize in constructing and operating middle income apartments in the Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. Donald was an energetic, assertive child, and his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy at age 13, hoping the discipline of the school would harness his energy in a more productive manner. Trump did well at the academy, both socially and academically, rising to be a star athlete and student leader by the time he graduated in 1964. He entered Fordham University and then transferred to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania from which he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics (Donald Trump Biography).

After the completion of his formal schooling Donald's career path started through real estate work with his father Frederick. Here Donald sites his father for teaching the importance of business sense, "My father was my mentor, and I learned a tremendous amount about every aspect of the construction industry from him" (Donald Trump Biography). Donald worked with his father for five years making various real estate deals and was quite profitable in doing so. His father could see that his son had that spark of greatness stating, "Some of my best deals were made by my son, Donald... everything he seems to touch turns to gold" (Donald Trump Biography). While Donald was no miracle worker, what he did have was a remarkable business sense. Donald's natural knack for business sense combined with the strong foundation of business knowledge laid by his father, it was no surprise Donald made it big.

Donald went on to acquire some of the most exclusive properties in the city. Over the years, Donald has owned and sold many great buildings in New York City including the Plaza Hotel, which he renovated and brought back to its original splendor, the St. Moritz Hotel, now called the Ritz Carlton, and recently the land under the Empire State Building which allowed the land and lease to be merged together for the first time in over 50 years (Donald Trump). Buildings that adorn Trump's name today are the Trump Casino, Trump International Hotel, Trump Marina Hotel and Casino, Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Resort, and Trump Tower all of which are among his portfolio of real estate properties.

Currently, the most recognizable aspect of Donald Trump's career is the hit television show "The Apprentice" of which Donald produces as well as hosts. On the show highly educated and talented people compete to win a job and learn under Donald. When a member of the show is cut, Donald delivers his famous line, "You're fired!" Donald speaks about the feel of that very famous line, "I mean, there's no arguing. There is no anything. There is no beating around the bush. "You're fired!" is a very strong term" (Donald Trump Biography). Aside from the numerous real estate holdings and staring in his own television show, Donald Trump also owns part of the three largest beauty pageants consisting of Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA. He has also written several best selling published business books that include The Art of the Deal, The Art of Survival, and How to get Rich. Other interests of Trump's include membership to charitable organizations, politics, and generosity with wealth (Donald Trump - Nice Guy or Not?).

Donald's leadership qualities and style coincide very closely with the competency perspective of leadership. The most recent leadership literature identifies seven competencies that are characteristic of effective leaders: emotional intelligence; integrity; drive; leadership motivation; self-confidence; intelligence; and knowledge of the business. (McShane, S.L., & Von Glinow, M.A, 2005)

Trump possesses a high level of emotional intelligence. This is demonstrated by the way he always appears to keep his emotions in check in any situation. He possesses this cool demeanor that nothing can rattle him and he is always in control. An example of Donald's emotional intelligence is highlighted during an episode of "The Apprentice" where Ms. Vetrini, a contestant on the show appeared overwhelmed as she tried to tally receipts from the Trump-branded bottled water her team had to sell. She lost her cool and she ultimately was "fired" by Donald Trump for her lack of emotional intelligence. Since Trump specifically cited "lack of emotional intelligence," it is apparent that it is a very important quality to him for a leader to posses.

A recent news article stated that several of Donald's employees from Trump Organization were fast to defend their leader's (Trump's) integrity, an act that speaks volumes concerning Trump's "in your face" management style (Donald Trump - Nice Guy or Not?). Workers in Trump's Corporation were willing to vouch that what he says ultimately gets translated into action. Donald sees no reward in cheap talk if it is not being directly translated into dollar signs.

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