Donald John Trump is a real-estate developer who shot to international fame after his hit television series “The Apprentice”. The best-known facet of his life also happens to be the most motivating one – How he bounced back from bankruptcy to being a billionaire again, through a very innovative idea. Donald Trump was born on 14th June 1946 in New York (Allen 2007). The son of billionaire real-estate businessman Fred Trump, Donald Trump or “The Donald” as he is popularly known, was born with the proverbial silver-spoon in his mouth. After finishing his schooling from the military academy he entered the Fordham University.
He went on to study Economics at the Wharton School of Finance, at the University of Pennsylvania. After finishing the college education in 1968, Donald Trump started his career at the Trump Organizations, owned by this father and started assisting him in his business (A&E Television Networks). He worked with his father for five years. During this time he made several successful business deals but was disillusioned by the low-profit margins. He shifted his base to the more affluent Manhattan in 1971, to make higher profits and also gain public recognition.
He hobnobbed with many rich and influential people and built a niche market around them, by making properties having unique architectural designs. He focused on exclusivity instead of cost-saving schemes, which was the mantra for the builders at that time. His name is associated with the most influential and posh addresses like the Fifth Avenue skyscraper, Trump Tower; the luxury residential buildings, Trump Parc, Trump Palace; Trump Plaza, 610 Park Avenue, The Trump World Tower and Trump Park Avenue. He was also the owner of many hotels like Plaza Hotel, the St.
Moritz Hotel, Trump International Hotel and Tower etc. (http://www. nbc. com/nbc/The_Apprentice/bios/Donald_J. _Trump. html) However, the recession times in the 1990s saw a sharp fall in the real estate market. His net worth fell from $1. 7 billion to $500 million. When he was unable to pay a $2 billion bank loan, creditors seized his assets. This left him with about $900 million in personal debt and approximately $3. 5 billion in business debt (Allen 2007). This made him declare bankruptcy. He could bail himself out only when his father died in 1999; and real-estate business was sold.
He bounced back both financially and publicity-wise via the reality telly-show “The Apprentice”. Currently his financial worth is estimated as close to 2. 5 billion dollars, and his catch phrase “You are fired” is embedded firmly in the minds of the public (http://www. atouchofbusiness. com/business-topics/success-stories/business-leader-trump-0006. html) The huge popularity of the TV show and the financial success it brought enabled Trump to venture into other fields like clothing – Trump Men’s Collection, magazine – Trump Magazine, liquor – Trump Vodka, tours – online portal named GOTrump.
com, and even education when he opened Trump University in 2005 which offers a degree in business . Personality Traits Donald trump sets himself apart from other people in his leagues purely due to the sheer force of his personality. While his flamboyant nature and his many associations with women have gained him a lot of notoriety, no one can deny that he possesses ‘something’ which sets him apart from other rich people. This has made him make a brand name which sells many businesses including the very successful television series and the many books he has written on his life experiences and means to gain success.
One of the most obvious traits he has is intelligence. This does not merely mean possessive a superior technical or business mind, it also points to the amount of calculated risks he has taken over the years and succeeded. While seeming to always go against the flow, his decisions in retrospect always seem to be the most logical way to succeed. As Columbus once said when to his detractors “Any one would have found newer lands, I thought of it first! ” Another obvious trait he possesses is confidence, which shines through all the situations he has faced.
For instance, his shifting to Manhattan would have been pointless is he could not get into the inner circles of the rich and famous people in New York. Though he was almost broke when he went to Manhattan, it took him no time to charm the committee people in many exclusive clubs to give him contracts (Biography Channel 2007) Still another trait that has helped him to get past difficult situations is his immense determination to succeed. The adverse situations have merely spurred him to think of unique, away from the stream, way to bounce back.
In addition to his many businesses, he also a philanthropist who believes in uplifting the society where one lives. He is associated with many charities and donates generously to social causes. He also has a very charming personality which is probably the main reason for the huge success of his television show. Skills and Strengths Donald Trump in addition to having distinctive personality traits also possesses certain skills that have helped him succeeding in his various ventures.
Even in the very early days of his career Trump was known for his consummate skill in making business deals. In fact his father often said that, “some of my best deals were made by my son, Donald… everything he seems to touch turns to gold. ” (NetGlimse 2007) He made his first successful deal at the age of 25, when he bought property off a transportation firm which was having financial troubles and sold it to the government. His negotiating skills often allowed his firm to secure loans with little collateral (Allen 2007)
He is also an opportunist and is known for spotting successful business opportunities. As an example, while the real-estate business of his father was doing fairly well Donald chose to move his focus from their traditional business of middle-class rental housing to commercial real estate development (Allen 2007). In addition, he also decided to shift the business from Brooklyn to New York which the rich and famous lived. He is known to be a very successful self-promoter, which has led him to become a very successful brand name.
From the buildings he has built which bear the Trump name to constantly telling potential ‘apprentices’ that the way to succeed is to be like him, he is carved out a public image in the minds of the people as a cocky, arrogant but immensely successful personality. He has cashed on this celebrity status to sell many books which also bear his name like “Trump: The Art of the Deal”, “Trump: The Art of Survival”, “Trump: Surviving at the top”, many of which have been best sellers. (http://www. nbc. com/nbc/The_Apprentice/bios/Donald_J. _Trump.
html ) Leadership in situations As Donald Trump’s television show preaches – leadership is the name of the game. The word leadership means different things in different situations. Trump’s unique leadership qualities make him a cut different than others. For instance the very essence of leadership is having the conviction and guts to take on risks and few have taken risks which Trump has taken. As mentioned earlier in the report Trump was almost broke when he decided to venture into the real estate business for the rich and famous.
It was a bold decision to take on especially considering the fact that the immensely rich people do not really allow any outsider to enter their circles, let alone a person who is not of their social standing. That his business was worth billion in a few years span shows how right he was in taking the risk (Chandy 2007) Another important leadership quality is the ability to capture the attention of people positively. Needless to say the huge popularity of his show, demonstrates that he does have this quality which makes people sit-up and take notice.
Successful leaders also take responsibility of their actions and have absolute control over decisions. Again as mentioned earlier in the report each of the ventures of Donald Trump unmistakably have the imprint of his persona, not to mention his name. He does not believe in passing around the blame to others when decisions do not gain expected results. Leadership Outcomes The phenomenal success of the “The Apprentice” is due to the person who has conceptualized the show i. e. Donald Trump. The way the show is run clearly points his personality.
The contestants are judged on a weekly basis and there are no appeals to the finals decision. In his words – “I mean, there’s no arguing. There is no anything. There is no beating around the bush. “You’re fired” is a very strong term. ” Even the contestants are usually asked to stand up for themselves, which in itself means being leaders (NetGlimse 2007) Leadership also means facing challenges head on. This is evident in Trump’s decision to sell of his family business to bounce back from bankruptcy.
There are times when an unsavory decision might be the best decision to overcome a situation. Trump would have to fend off creditors indefinitely if he had not decided to sell off the business. Another leadership trait which Trump possesses is the conviction in his decisions. He has succeeded in making many complex business deals due to this trait. For instance, when Trump moved to Manhattan, he decided to try his hand into building luxury hotels. With this view, in 1974 Trump focused his attention The Commodore. This hotel was unprofitable, but was very centrally located.
He managed to convince Hyatt Hotel Corporation to enter into a business deal concentrating on the fact that Hyatt did not have any manor downtown hotels. He also managed to successfully arrange financing for this venture and proceeded to completely renovate the hotel. The hotel was renamed The Grand Hyatt in 1980, and became very popular, making Trump the city’s best known and most controversial developer (A&E Television Networks). Conclusion Donald Trump is many times seen as a self-promoter whose proclamations are not credible.
In fact people even question his present worth of 2. 7 billion dollars (Allen 2007). However, no one can question the success he has gained through his unique qualities as a pioneer in many types of business. His business decisions have been maverick and controversial but have been hugely successful. He believes in leading by example, which is the chief draw factor of his reality television show. Although his self-promotion comments can be termed as immodest, people modeling themselves after him would immensely profit from his no-nonsense attitude and self confidence.
These are the two major qualities leaders need when they are dealing with others if they do not wish to be pushed around by other people. There are many books what preach about the qualities of the leader in a very idealistic way; however people can rarely succeed following only idealistic principles of anything. Another thing which can be learnt from Trump is his “Never say die” spirit. Every time he come up with an adversity, he just sees it as a means to demonstrate his skills to find a unique solution to the problem. In conclusion, the personality traits of Donald Trump which are mentioned here are the true reasons for his success.
While these traits may not make everyone a billionaire, they will surely make people a much confident and self-assured person. References Allen S, “Donald Trump – Billionaire Real Estate Tycoon and Host of The Apprentice”, 2007, New York Times Company http://entrepreneurs. about. com/od/famousentrepreneurs/p/donaldtrump. htm A&E Television Networks, “Donald (John) Trump Biography (1946-)” 2007, http://www. biography. com/search/article. do? id=9511238&page=1 Biography Channel “Donald Trump”, 2007, http://www. thebiographychannel. co.
uk/biography_story/1123:1290/1/Donald_Trump. htm Chandy A, “Donald Trump Biography”, 2007, http://www. buzzle. com/editorials/4-28-2005-69193. asp “Donald J. Trump as Executive Producer/Host”, 2007, http://www. nbc. com/nbc/The_Apprentice/bios/Donald_J. _Trump. html A Touch of Business, “Donald J. Trump – The Business Leader Who Thrives on the ‘Art of the Deal’”, 2007 http://www. atouchofbusiness. com/business-topics/success-stories/business-leader-trump-0006. html NetGlimse, “Donald Trump-Biography”, 2004, http://www. netglimse. com/celebs/pages/donald_trump/index. shtml