How To Lead Donald Trump: Part 2, Helping Promoters Succeed
In part one of this two-part series, I argued that President Trump is not crazy or even mentally ill. He’s in distress. I demonstrated the highly predictable nature of his behavior and personality through the lens of the Process Communication Model® (PCM), a powerful behavioral communication framework that has helped improve communication and leadership for NASA, a former president, and Pixar studios, just to name a few.
Recognizing the positive traits, motivational needs, and predictable distress behavior is the first step in crafting a more effective leadership strategy. Step two is adapting how we communicate with each personality type in order to positively motivate them and reduce the unhealthy distress behavior.
As I described in part one, it is evident that the Promoter personality type is most prominent in Trump.
He will get get excitement and thrills and attention. If he doesn’t get it positively by winning for the good of America, he will get it negatively through creating negative drama.
How To Help Trump Succeed
There are plenty of smart, level-headed, experienced people around Trump who are struggling to figure out how to lead him. Here are some tips for helping Promoters succeed by playing to their strengths.
- Give him exciting challenges: Promotes thrive on fast-paced, exciting, risky challenges, especially ones that nobody thinks are possible. This is probably why the border wall is so attractive to Trump. Imagine exchanging this project with something equally expensive and challenging, but with more positive benefits for the country. Hint, hint, Congress, instead of resisting, try replacing.
- Give him special assignments: Promoters love special assignments like negotiations, deal-making, and “saving the day.” Former President Clinton knows all about this. He was an avid fan of PCM and used it daily.
- Lead-up with strong, no-nonsense directives: Ironically, Promoters respect this, even though they like to be large and in charge. The only caveat is that it must make Trump look good. Any directives that undermine his ego or image will be met with swift rebuke. Even better, make it look like it was his idea.
- Pre-emptive deal-making and negotiation: Lawmakers are frustrated with Trump. Instead of criticizing him, motivate him to engage by coming with negotiations, trades, and other deal-making that helps him look good and moves legislation forward at the same time. Case in point: Democrats struck a deal with Trump to raise the debt ceiling and give relief to Hurricane Harvey victims.
Washington Post reported that according to a person briefed on the meeting who was not authorized to comment publicly, Trump was “in deal-cutting mode.”
“Chuck and Nancy want to see something happen — and so do I,” – President Trump
- Write speeches that motivate him: On the upside, the scripted speeches Trump reads keep his distress behavior under control. The big downside is that they offer nothing to motivate him. The end result is a Promoter who is even more frustrated and distressed next time he opens his mouth. His speech-writers could gain ground by incorporating healthy Promoter incidence into the speeches, otherwise he will resort to stirring the pot with his base. This could help motivate him by giving him healthy excitement for saying something positive and reaching a larger audience.
- Create some new polls: Promoters love external praise and admiration! Trump loves polls that praise him. What if we had some new polls that rated Trump’s positive inspirational leadership quotient, i.e. Promoter qualities of being adaptable, charming and persuasive? Rather than reflecting disapproval from the masses, or loyalty from his base, what if polls actually measured positive things he cares about; admiration, faith in his negotiation abilities, confidence that he can rise to any challenge? People don’t have to get their needs met negatively when they have a positive alternative.
- Always, always, always, always help him save face: Whether you like it or not, Trump’s gotta look good. The challenge is coming up with ways to help him save face by doing something for the greater good. Regardless, make sure he can save face. If not, he will use second-degree distress behavior to turn the tables.
It’s Not About If, It’s About How
Trump will get excitement and thrills and attention. If he doesn’t get it positively by winning for the good of America, he will get it negatively by creating negative drama. Whether it’s our president, or your distressed Promoter boss, you can complain and try to control them, or you can try to positively motivate them.
You Aren’t Alone
If the behavior, motivators, and distress behavior of Promoters leaves you scratching your head, or even disgusted, you aren’t alone. Promoters make up only 5% of the general population, so we don’t have a lot of positive role-models or mentors to help us.
My strongest personality type is Promoter, and I spent 27 years of my life in first and second degree distress before I took personal responsibility to get healthy. Ask my parents, my friends, my teachers, my coaches, and my bosses and they will tell you how hard it was trying to raise, educate, and coach me. Strategies like the ones I listed above would have worked like magic for me. When I accidentally found positive ways to charge my battery (e.g. competitive tennis), I was in heaven. But for the most part I had no one around me that had a clue how to help.
PCM changed my life and is one of the reasons I invested the time and energy to become a PCM certifying master trainer. I want to share this tremendously powerful and effective methodology for transforming negative distress into positive contribution while still honoring the person(ality) we were given.
Want more? Beats & Geeks podcast interviewed me about Trump. Tune in from 14:50 – 34:37.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2017
Want to learn about your own positive and negative potentials? Want training in how to communicate with all six Kahler Personality Types? Start by attending a Process Communication Model seminar.
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Nate, this is a wonderful insight into the psyche of our president and the rare promoter condo. I’m assuming you’re only using him as an example. But, how could we promote this valuable insight to the Whitehouse staff and those who partner with him? A reverse training leak if you will. Would the premise of your post, “How to lead…” be a none starter for him or a promoter in general?
Promoters love any tip, strategy or secret to get ahead. As long as it’s “their idea.” Bill Clinton utilized PCM to be more effective.
This is interesting content with some potential useful application, but I disagree with the conclusion. You seem to conclude that the promoter personality explanation precludes a person having personality pathology. However they are not inherently mutually exclusive.
Mel, I want to emphasize that every personality type can become pathological if the distress is chronic and severe enough. I refer you to Bill Eddy’s work on high-conflict personalities. He wrote a book called “Trump Bubbles.” A great read!
Dear Nate – Thank you for your very insightful article on Trump. I very much appreciated reading it and thank you for your insight. I am myself a certified PCM trainer now and have ‘slowly’ 🙂 learned to embrace my promoter floor (one before last) by being reminded of the positive aspects of the promoter personality type. Your article is one more chain in the link for me, so thank you! Nathalie
You are welcome! When I first discovered PCM, it helped me understand so many of my own positive (and negative) behaviors. That day I wished desperately that I would have had PCM earlier in my life. So I want to expose others to the positive potential in Promoters so they don’t have to go through what I did.