Friday, March 05, 2004

Donald Trump's Seven Rules of Business

John Poracro, Group Marketing Manager at Microsoft has posted Donald Trump's Seven rules of business on his mktg@msft blog.

Here are the rules in short form (with my comments, of course) for those that don't want to click through:

1. You have to be born with enough brainpower.
I have always said that I can train a generally intelligent person to do anything. However, I have never been able to train someone to dramatically increase their brainpower and even more than that, you simply cannot train common sense.

2. Once you have that, you have to love what you're doing. I've never seen anyone succeed who didn't love what they were doing.
This is absolutely true. you absolutely have to love what your are doing or it's really not worth doing. I am lucky in that I came right out of college into a job that I loved doing. By picking what I loved rather than what I was "supposed to do," I have moved up in my organization with absolutely insane speed.

3. You cannot stop. If there is a concrete wall in front of you, you have to go through it. You can never, ever give up or even think in terms of giving up.
Totally agree with this. The one caveat is that there are different ways of going through and around walls. Be aware that blowing a hole straight through the middle of a wall is not necessarily always the best way (although it certainly tends to be the most fun).

4. Confidence is a very important thing. But confidence isn't something you just develop by saying "I'm going to do this or that." You really have to believe it.
You absolutely 100% have to believe in yourself (and even if you aren't at any particular moment, people observing you from the outside have to believe that you 100% confident). More than that you have to be able to visualize and believe in the eventual outcome. Believing means it's true? Try not believing and see how far that gets you.

5. I love pitting people against each other. My whole life is based on that. It brings out the best in people and the worst in people. If the worst comes out, you don't want them working for you.
Conflict is what makes life interesting. No one ever said that you have to get along with and personally like your coworkers. I agree with Trump, it is useful to pit people against each other. All of the people that I work for thrive on competition and sometimes the competition has to be created. People are ingrained with wanting to win.

6. You have to remain cool under fire and let criticism roll off you. Good leaders handle conflict easily and bad ones are eaten up by it.
This is absolutely crucial. You should never really get mad. I'm not going to say that I never yell and scream, but I yell and scream to produce a certain response, not because I'm actually mad. That's not how I've always done things, I had to learn the hard way.

7. You must work well with others and be loyal to your team. Disloyalty is the worst of all traits. I seldom use the words "You're fired!" in business, unless somebody is really scum and stole from me.
Many management books use terms like "loyalty is dead," and that is can certainly be true when viewed in regards to people 30 years ago that used to come out of college, go to work for a company for 20 years, and retire with a gold watch. I worry a lot about people that take the death of loyalty comments too far and become disloyal to the teams they are assigned to or the companies they have to be working for at any particular time. If you do something disloyal to a company that you are working for to get a job at another company, why would that new company ever trust you not to do the same to them?

Thanks to the Fast Company blog for pointing this story out.

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