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Donald Trump And Arvind Kejriwal Are More Alike Than You Think

13/05/2016 12:59 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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The expression "balls of steel" is common enough, but it rarely pops up during presidential campaigns. That is, until Donald Trump entered the race. Whether all the Republicans like it or not, it's pretty certain that Trump is the GOP nominee. His ascent holds some serious lessons for each and every one of us in the corporate world, but first I'd like to draw a parallel between him and our very own Arvind Kejriwal.

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Arvind Kejriwal is a relentless persuader who won the Magsaysay Award for getting the Right to Information (RTI) act implemented. Today, the RTI has empowered the nation to be well informed and any citizen can seek information on any subject on anyone from any government department. The sheer possibility of exposure has put the fear of god (well, to some extent) in an inherently corrupt nation.

Trump, just like Kejriwal, spoke his mind and didn't hide his naivety behind the garb of "yes we can".

He rose to power on the simplest of poll promises and a genuine visible commitment towards the duty of his future chair/position. He created drama, he challenged the corrupt openly, his rhetoric was simple, his promises came from the heart and he was inherently and intrinsically an honest fellow. And boy! His party's victory of 67/70 MLAs in Delhi was a slap that sent opposition parties reeling.

The poll pundits were having a field day declaring his future win as a black swan event and almost everyone had written his obituary even before he became relevant. The rest as they say was all history.

Now on to Donald Trump. Most of the American people I know are threatening to move to Canada or relinquish their US citizenship should Donald become the Pres of the US of A. Well my advice is, you might want to start getting your passports made because Donald's presidency might just be a reality.

Trump, just like Kejriwal, spoke his mind and didn't hide his naivety behind the garb of "yes we can". He has raised issues that linger in the minds of every global citizen who understands even an iota of economics and has some common sense; he connected instantly with a dangerously large number of Americans. He must be the only candidate who is funding his own campaign and therefore has no obligation to perpetuate wars and chaos elsewhere. He has no obligation towards the pharmaceutical companies that sell a monthly cancer prescription for thousands of dollars when the same costs a minute fraction to produce.

If he wins, Trump's victory, like Kejriwal's, will be called a black swan event but it is seemingly clear that perhaps more swans are black than white.

If he wins, Trump's victory, like Kejriwal's, will be called a black swan event but it is seemingly clear that perhaps more swans are black than white.

And this leaves the corporate world with a few significant lessons:

  1. Irrational exuberance is the biggest catalyst for executives who take chances and stretch the imagination of their excel sheets to stratospheric levels. They become unreal because of performance bias. More than often, tremendous amounts of wealth are destroyed because black swan events are not discounted in the present decisions.
  2. Black swan events are more frequent and more real than ever. Could anyone ever bet on Leicester at 5000:1 and by-jove Leicester won.
  3. Never ever underestimate the power of a person who speaks from his heart and has an infinite passion. Right or wrong, passion and honesty is all that's required for success.
  4. Intent (genuine or crooked) is really the most powerful tool. Irrespective of one's articulation or oratory, intent cannot be hidden. Human beings have an immensely powerful cognitive ability to differentiate between a right and a wrong intent.
  5. People (read employees/citizens/family members) remain quiet or they compromise because they don't have a choice, but you should never ever construe someone's silence as weakness. Else you might just be hit with an unpleasant surprise at some point. The majority of the US middle class has connected with Trump because he has allowed them to think and connect with him.

Besides the drama and the useless rhetoric that come along with Trump and Kejriwal, they also have the tools to change old orders and systems. Watch out world!

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