Yesterday Donald Trump became the President Elect for the United States of America. He didn’t just achieve this by a fraction, he more than comfortably won the US election.
Now I can get into all the reasons why he shouldn’t have won and I can join the media bandwagon on how he lacks the temperament, has little substance in his policies and just isn’t the kind of person who should have that much power at his fingertips. But no, I would rather try rationalize why he won and the massive lesson we can learn from this.
Let me start by saying I was a Hillary fan. I don’t live in the USA but I visit frequently and I have family (including a brother and a daughter) who live there so I have an interest in the outcome of this election.
Im probably going to get into trouble for saying this, but Trump did an amazing job. Yes he said stupid things and his character has a lot to be desired, but he listened when the media, the current government and Hilary’s entire campaign did not. Yes he LISTENED.
People didn’t vote as much for Trump as they did for change. They are tired of the old establishment that promises much but gets little done. They are tired of the lies, the cover-ups, the delays, the frustrations and the lack of conclusive action. Donald Trump heard this and although he could have been a lot more diplomatic, he responded to what he heard and people voted for him.
Will he create the change in the way the mass of people want? Highly unlikely. More likely is he will get frustrated with the bogged down process of democracy when he is used to the fast decision, fast action of his success as a entrepreneur. But the point is not what happens now, it is that he listened to what people were saying and he played into their hands with his attitude and focus on how the current system and people have to be changed.
He didn’t even have to have clear policies, he just needed to tell them that he would “drain the swamp” (his slogan for cleaning up Washington DC). He even got away with saying stupid things and getting himself into all types of characteristic challenges by his actions and words, but despite that, he heard the people, played into their hands and thrashed his opponent in the election.
So character judgments aside, what can we learn from this?
Simple… listen to what people want.
I was in Salt Lake City earlier this year at a conference and I spoke to one of the lead speakers about the personal and business growth market we both worked in. He said something really simple but profound. He said we need to constantly reinvent ourselves to remain current and keep people interested. But he then went on to say that this wasn’t that hard. All you had to do is ask your community, the people you want to serve, what do they want, and then LISTEN.
If you ask, people will tell you what they want, but you have to clear your mind of all your preconceived ideas of what you think they want. You have to be open to hearing them.
This is what Donald Trump did. He listened and heard loud and clear that people wanted radical change. Because of this and despite the many mistakes and controversies that surrounded him, he still comfortably won the election.
Now this article is not actually about Donald Trump and weather you like him or not. This is about the profound lesson we can learn from this extraordinary outcome.
Listen to what people want. Ask them and listen with an open mind. Here in lies the secret to success for many businesses.
It is still to be determined whether Trump can actually deliver on what people want but if you listen, and then give people what they want, you are most likely to succeed.
So for Gad’s sake LISTEN, and give people what they want. They will support you forever if you do this.
One last side note. There is the case which was well illustrated by Steve Jobs who said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” This has some fact to it but only really in the very innovative areas. In 99% of the cases, if you simply listen to what people want and give that to them, you will succeed. It is our ability to push the arrogance of us believing we know what people want aside, that leads to success.
It was the great Zig Ziglar that said “You can have anything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want.” Never a truer word said as we have just witnessed it in this latest US election.