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My Advice to Donald Trump…if He Wants to Win

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Dear Mr. Trump,

The idea of you winning the election seemed crazy to a lot of brilliant people for a really long time. Although the polls (most anyway) are showing that Hillary Clinton is still holding an edge “we the Republican people” have selected you as a next viable Commander and Chief of the United States of America.

Look…I’m not a bright constitutionalist like Senator Ben Sasse…or even a political wise guy like my buddy Phil, but I have spent some time running businesses. I understand the power of straight talk and the hope found in change. I also understand ideology and that this election is, in part, a mandate to politics as usual.

But I also refuse to forget that there is a lot at stake in this election. It’s kind of a big deal.

Mr. Trump, apparently “we the people” are searching for is a break from traditional politics. I tend to believe that you represent a large break from the Republican Party like George McGovern did in 1972. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing – it’s just that if you want to become the leader of the free world, you must adjust your focus to key strategic leadership opportunities.

It’s Not the Size of the Wall That Matters.

I’m drained of all this talk about building a bigger wall to keep people out. Yes, we need to keep people out who want to inflict harm to our citizenry. We need border security but isn’t that what the States, CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, The National Guard, and our police forces are tasked with in whole or in part? Let them do their job and focus on an even more pressing question…

How do we get the right people into our country?

We are a nation built on the backs of immigrants, and some were illegal (depending on how you look at it.) Let’s create an international recruiting campaign that attracts the best and brightest minds the world has to offer. (Then we must make it easier to become one of us.)  Unlike a wall, that as soon as it is built will deteriorate, talent will only grow our influence. We must dominate the worldwide talent pool and stop spending all our resources figuring out how to build a wall that will only guarantee a mixed bag of results.

Go Big (With Your Cabinet Nominations) or Go Home.

Mr. Trump, start now – don’t wait. My personal hope in your candidacy is that you, like many great business leaders, understand the value of talented people. Start surrounding yourself with great people, only then will I be able to rest easy. Don’t be afraid to cover for your lack of experience (and, at times, tact.)

Here are a few suggestions for an inner cabinet. They are in no particular order and obviously; I could not name everyone… Dr. John C. Maxwell, CEO Marissa Meyer, Senator Ben Sasse, Pastor Bill Hybels, Dr. Voddie Bauchum, Darren Hardy, Jim Collins, Tony Robbins, Nilofer Merchant, Amy Edmondson, Seth Godin, Dr. Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, and I recommend hiring Daniel Harkavy, of the Building Champions Organization as your personal coach.

Do something…anything, on the world stage.

This is a big one. I need to trust you can be Presidential when you step onto the world stage. I would suggest holding a Trump rally overseas and bridging a few divides as soon as you can afford a plane ticket. Get out there and show me…if you happen to be a disaster it would be good to know now. By the way, you could also invite several world leaders to one of your hotels and share a glass of milk on the front lawn.

Whatever you do act swiftly and on the world stage.

Never Miss a Chance to Say Nothing.

This was my dad’s advice to me. It may come in handy from time to time. Think about it….

Ultimately, Mr. Trump, if you want to win my vote you must “show” don’t “tell” me that you can lead my family positively into the future. I’m excited for a change but still unconvinced. One thing I know, is that nobody works as hard as you to become President if you didn’t feel you had something special to offer. Best of luck to you, and your family, as the campaign process continues.

 

All My Best,

 

Mark

 

 

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