Donald Trump case study

Donald Trump was born on the 14th of June 1946 to Fred Trump and Mary Anne MacLeod. Fred was of Germany descent while Mary was of Irish descent. Donald exhibited hyperactivity early on in life resulting in his parents’ decision to send him to the New York Military Academy (Trump ; Zimmerman 1987). He sometimes found it difficult to work with others due to immense believe in what he thought was right. The few friends he maintained are those who were willing to listen to him. A unique trait that he also exhibited early in life is his confidence to stand by his beliefs even if no one backed them.

This has proved useful in his investment decisions in the current business world. Trump attended Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as well as Fordham University (Trump ; Zimmerman, 1987). His academic interest was in economics. It is after school that he got straight into his father’s real estate business. Initiation into the Business World: Donald Trump was introduced into the real world of business by his father, Fred Trump. Fred was a fairly successful real estate investor who had a considerable level of respect from the business community because of the investment decisions he made.

As the young Donald Trump joined the father’s business, Fred passed on in 1999 leaving the business in the hands of Donald Trump(Trump ; Zimmerman, 1987). It is important to note that Donald Trump joined the Trump Organization around the year 1967 while he was still in college. His early years in business were successful as evidenced by a renovation project he handled in New York that made more than five million dollars profit for the Trump Organization. Donald Trump’s Graph in Business as a Basis for Model Leadership: It has not been a success story all through for Donald Trump.

The period between 1987 and 1996 was a low moment for this business leader. His profile was characterized by unpaid loans, property seizures due to unpaid loans and bad publicity that came as a result of the business tumble. But as already noted elsewhere in this paper, his entry into business was marked by initial success and the fact that his father gave him a level of autonomy in his business operations discloses leadership abilities that will be examined later on in this paper. From 1997 to 2008, Donald Trump has managed to keep his name not only clean but also respectable as far as business is concerned.

His investments have been both well planned, well executed and profitable (Trump & Zimmerman, 1987). He has shown great investment versatility whereby his entry into the media business has been successful. The Apprentice is a popular show that has become synonymous with Donald Trump. It is not possible to point out successful or rich investors who have managed to put their hands in more than one area of investment. Bill Gates, the man who has remained among the five richest people in the world for a long time, has put his concentration in one field only; his Microsoft Corporation, which is religiously dedicated to computers.

Is there any significance in being able to engage in more than one area of investment? This shall be uncovered elsewhere in this assessment. What are some of the well known investment projects that are associated with Donald Trump? The Trump World Tower in New York is Donald Trump’s property. The same applies to the Trump Tower in New York, the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Illinois, and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Honolulu. The miss Universe Pageant that is responsible for Miss USA and Miss Teen USA are also owned by Donald Trump.

Besides these, Trump has a collection of casino investments in Atlantic City as well as golf courses. How can one describe Donald Trump’s personality? Donald Trump’s Personality: Trump is a flamboyant leader with a penchant for display of power and influence. He is what Carl Jung would call an extravert given the fact that he seeks to know as a way of getting more influence and dominion (Jung, 1971). He has a confident gait and a strong sense of determination that is present in every person who comes back to the battlefield even after a bruising defeat.

Does this make any practical connection to Trump’s business experience? The business failure Trump experienced in the late 80s and early 90s did not deter him from coming back to the business world. This is the determination that is present in people whose personality displays an indomitable fighting spirit (Alport, 1956). Donald Trump’s Style of Leadership: Success in business does not come accidentally. The person at the top of nay business organization is a crucial factor in the determination of the success of the business. Donald Trump’s style of leadership is highly participatory.

This means that he calls for the input of other people within the organization (Hofstede, 1977). What leadership theory applies in this case? Leadership Theory in Donald Trump’s case: The participative leadership theory is quite applicable in the case of Donald Trump. There is however something unique with Donald Trump’s participatory style of leadership (Tannenbaum& Schmidt, 1973). He reserves the right to ask for the input of the other members in the team (Schriesheim, 1982). It is very possible for other people to mistaken Donald Trump for a high handed autocratic type of leader who asks his employs to do what he wants.

But this is not the case. He consults openly and confidently and always listens to what people who have experience in what he wants to do have to say. He also allows a high degree of independence to the people who manage the numerous projects that he has initiated during his time as one of the top real estate investors in the United States. What are the advantages of the participatory style of leadership that have made Donald Trump such a sensational figure in real estate, not only in the United States, but also in the world? Advantages of Donald Trump’s Participatory Style of Leadership:

The employees feel Respected: There is nothing as bad as being part of an organization and yet be told what to do at all times without anyone trying to find out what you think about the action being suggested. This is a sure way of making the people in the organization feel that they are not respected and therefore not part of the organization. In Donald Trump’s case, he asks his employees what they think about the projects they are supervising and their opinions are taken seriously because they are the ones who are on the ground in any case.

This has made the employers working in his projects develop both a high sense of self respect as well as self esteem due to the fact that they know that their employer respects their input (French ,Israel & As, 1960). The Motivation Levels Are Always High: This is a function of the respect that Donald Trump shows the employees by seeking their views regarding the various projects that they are in charge of. By feeling that their employer respects them, the employees get motivated and put maximum effort to whatever project they are doing (Coch & French, 1948).

Is there a better way of getting better results apart from high motivation levels? A high degree of motivation among employees is one of the surest ways of bringing the best out of them and thus achieving high levels of success in the organization’s business undertakings. Aggressive business leaders who disrespect employees always lower the employees motivation levels (Lewin et al, 1939). Different Points of View that lead to informed Decisions: It is not possible for one man to have all the wisdom in the world. What then is the best way to do things so that the best results are realized?

The way to go about doing whatever that is being done so as to succeed is to seek the input of different people and then examining all the contributions before making the decision. Chances are that one of the people who’s opinion the leader is seeking will have a highly beneficial perspective that will lead to high levels of success. The fact that Donald Trump is fond of seeking the advice of various individuals both within his business empire and outside his territory is evidence that he understands the significance of seeking the opinions of others. This is why most of his projects have turned out to be huge success.

Are there any unique attributes that Donald Trump’s participatory leadership style exhibits that may be hard to spot in other business leaders who are participatory in their day to day business leadership? Donald Trump’s Unique attributes that Characterize his Participatory Leadership Style: High Levels of self Confidence: Some people within and without the business world will be forgiven for classifying Donald Trump as cocky. This is because of the high degree of self confidence that he exhibits as he goes about his duties. The reality is that business leadership requires maximum confidence.

Is it possible for employees to implement the decisions made by a business leader who lacks self confidence? It is not possible for the workers within an organization to zealously work to implement a strategy that has been decided upon by a manager or chief executive officer who is not confident. The reason for this is that the employees will think that the ideas that the leader has given them to implement are not the best since he or she seems to be lacking confidence in himself or herself. The fact that Donald Trump has a high degree of self confidence means that the people who work with him are sure of whatever Trump asks them to do.

Therefore they implement it with similar levels of surety and maximum dedication that leads to success. Good Level of Control: It has already been noted elsewhere in this leadership assessment that Donald Trump’s participatory style of leadership is characterized by the reservation of the right to make the final decision regarding the direction business actions are to take. What is the advantage of good levels of control? A house with a clear leader means that decision making is not going to be a bargaining business. Therefore when it is time to make decisions and move into action, no time is wasted.

The fact that Donald Trump has good level s of control in his business actions means that he does not have to wait for long periods to make investment decisions. All he has to do is listen to the opinions of others, incorporate what he thinks can make the action better and direct the people to what is supposed to be done. This saves not only time but also other resources. It also ensures that prime business moments or profitable investments seasons are not lost due to delays. It is important to note that Donald Trump had good levels of control and not high levels of control.

The difference is that high levels of control is comparable to micromanagement which can be bad for business in that the leader has to look into each and every small detail that has been done or is supposed to be done. This is a sure recipe for long delays and employee demoralization as they are made to feel that they are not responsible enough to oversee even small affairs. Conclusion: Donald Trump is a confident individual whose participatory leadership style is a sure way of motivating the people who work with and for him.

As an extravert, he always wants to extend his influence and the versatility in investment that has taken him to the media world, which is drastically different from his real estate specialization, is evidence of his search for influence. The huge success he has realized in his real estate business is partly due to the style of leadership that he exercises in his business undertakings.


Alport, F. H. ; Tannenbaum, A. S. , 1956. Personality structure adn group structure: An interpretive structure of their relationship through an event structure hypothesis. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 53, 272-280

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