Donald Trump – The Declaration and Real Leadership

Anger motivates change. Donald Trump isn’t the first President who formed a coalition driven by discontent and frustration.

The U.S. was born in discontent.


The U.S. Declaration of Independence expresses aspirational anger.

The Declaration explains our resolve to dissolve bonds and sever relationships. But dissolution is never sufficient. The deeper challenge of leadership is doing something productive with a coalition formed by disconnect.

Leadership might begin with destruction, but the real work is construction.

We’ve all seen anger-movements in organizations that build coalitions based on severing relationships.

  1. Destructive gossip circles.
  2. Bleeding hearts that gather a following because established leadership is cold hearted.
  3. Enlightened circles of genius who know better.
  4. Rebels who resist distant authorities.

Sometimes the gossips, bleeding hearts, geniuses, and rebels are right. But it takes a dream to build a future.


The Colonies framed and signed the Declaration in 1776. Ten years later they gathered to craft the Constitution.

Change might begin with frustration, but only a dream survives.

I’ve seen many angry leaders. Only those who channel anger toward positive ends thrive. Success requires a dream that inspires resolve, courage, and grit in true believers.

Hammer out a dream that transforms anger to commitment.

  1. How will the world be better if we succeed? It’s easy to point out what’s wrong. What will you make right?
  2. How will we find our place in the dream? Everyone wants to matter.
  3. How will we interact with each other while we fulfill the dream? Values and structure protect and channel energy.

4 suggestions:

  1. Spend most of your time talking about ‘better’. Complaining isn’t forward-facing leadership.
  2. Fuel believers. Avoid the tendency to focus on resistance. Respect and honor the troops.
  3. Convince skeptics. Focus on those who share your values. Those who don’t share your values will always resist, even if they go along.
  4. Listen and adapt.

How might leaders make frustration productive?