Corporate CEOs don’t require many lessons in order to do their jobs. However, continual learning is a consistent component of the job, no matter how extensive one’s previous management background. That, as a matter of fact, is why Fortune 500 CEOs hire my company: to assist in addressing organizational change management issues and the learning that that entails. Examples of these have been chronicled in my four books on the topic.
The Presidential primary season has been full of surprises as well as chock-full of examples of both how to do things well; how to do things poorly. Marco Rubio comes to mind. For all intents and purposes, he’s out of the race. Thus, one can mention his blunders. He has made many in his campaign, but two stand out as the most consequential. (At this time, one can allow some leeway for his leadership, because of his novice standing in the national political arena.) The first blunder was to embrace the “Gang of Eight” in their quest to legalize illegal immigration and to grant amnesty to those currently of that status residing in the United States. Rubio realized this misstep too late with regards to his upcoming campaign and moved to disavow any official endorsement of the Gang’s goals. But, to the American public, he had shown his “true colors.” Contrary to what those in Washington, DC (or, “BC” for “Bubble City”) believe, the American public is very astute at ferreting out how an individual politician really aligns him/herself. And, Rubio came up short in the public’s assessment – quickly dubbed an “Establishment candidate,” in this race of the century, where “The Establishment” is loathed by conservatives and by much of the public for the tendency to do nothing after promising to move mountains during their election campaigns. So, LESSON #1 – Decide what it is that you stand for and make those principles viable enough so that you will not have to deviate from them in substantial ways – no matter how compelling the arguments might be (to a Freshman Senator — substitute: new CEO) from people who should know better. The second Rubio blunder is related to this same lesson. Rubio moved to vilify Trump as a means of gaining traction in his campaign. He now says that that was a mistake; that that is not “who he is.” thus, LESSON #1: Know who you are and stand by those principles, no matter what.
LESSON #2 is what I will call the lesson of Verity and perseverance. I talk about this leadership requirement in THE BLAIR RULES. Donald Trump has exemplified this rule in this consistency of message and his refusal to alter the message for the aggrandizement of others. Some people refer to this as blasting away political correctness. I simply call it sticking to the truth as one sees it (verity), and persevering in the delivering of that truth.
And, LESSON #3 – the final lesson of today’s blog. LESSON #3 is: Don’t be afraid to fight back. Trump, again exemplifies this lesson – a very good one for CEOs and others in corporate management to learn. When people have attacked Trump, he fights back in kind. Many journalists have called him out for this tendency of not backing down, terming him “rude” and “vulgar.” I, instead, see the tendency as laudable – something that the country’s populace will do well to emulate. The country, and, certainly, organizations and their leaders will benefit from a new sense of honesty, straightforwardness, and standing up for what one believes. I talk about these leadership necessities in my book, ALL THE MOVING PARTS.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: At this time, I endorse no candidate – I do, however, as an organizational psychologist, reserve the right to speak honestly about circumstances as they unfold.

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