With the US Presidential race entering its final two months more and more articles are being written about Trump’s emotional intelligence. This post by Lyn Boyer is a good example of the genre. Understandably there is apprehension about Trump having his finger on the nuclear trigger. Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a former US Assistant Secretary of Defence and Chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, and a Professor at Harvard University recently voiced his concerns following an open letter posted by 50 Former National Security Officials and Advisers from GOP Administrations denouncing Trump. I attended a lunch on Wednesday where Bob Carr, former NSW Premier and Foreign Minister of Australia, said the problem with Trump was his anger.
It is only recently that I finally read an article “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All” in The New Yorker (25 July 2016) that to me actually got inside Trump’s head. In the article, Tony Schwartz, was the Ghost Writer for The Art of The Deal describes how he came to write the book. He first attempted to have a series of interviews but because Trump’s very poor attention span (2-3 minutes) failed miserably. According to Schwartz Trump has no attention span. For example Schwartz believes Trump has never read a book. Schwartz was about to chuck in the project but then suggested to Trump that he would just shadow him during all his meetings and phone calls and not ask questions. This he did for 18 months and this gave him a unique insight into Trump’s personality.
I must lay my cards on the table. I use the Humm Wadworth profiling technology and Trump to me is the quintessential Hustler.
One of the great mistakes people make about Trump is that they think he is into power. He is not. He is in it for the money. Schwartz now admits he had wrongly painted Trump as a “deal” artisan in the book. This is completely false. Instead Schwartz says one of Trump’s most deep and basic needs is to prove I am richer than you. He has an insatiable hunger for money, praise and celebrity and just loves the attention
Lying is second nature to Trump. He has a complete lack of conscience about it. However what is different about Hustlers is that they sincerely believe their own lies. Schwartz invented a term “truthful hyperbole” to describe the phenomenon. Trump now sincerely believes he wrote The Art of the Deal while the publisher publicly states his contribution was not even a post card.
Hustlers divide the world into winners and losers. Trump has only two positions when he meets someone. “Either you’re a scummy loser or you’re the greatest.” However this view can change. He is a transactional man – it was all about what you could do for him. People are dispensable and disposable in Trump’s world.
I would criticise Schwartz one point. He said in the article that if was asked to write a new book on Trump he would call it The Sociopath. Trump is not a sociopath; he is a classic corporate psychopath. His father was a successful property developer, whose estate was worth over $500 million and who helped his son financially and politically. He co-signed loan agreements and lent money. I have blogged about the difference between the two and Trump is positioned at the far end of the Anti-Social Personality Disorder because of genetics not upbringing.