Running an airline is difficult. It takes hard work, brilliance, great decisions, and an understanding of the landscape in order to find success. Despite the challenges, it’s still much easier than running the United States and that should concern Americans based upon the extreme confidence that preceded utter failure by Donald Trump.
There are some very distinct parallels that can be drawn between his attempt at being a Chief Executive of an airline and his goal of being Chief Executive of the United States. The funny part is that his plans for running the country are very similar in their naivete as his plans to run Trump Air.
Here are some of those similarities.
“Airline Executives are out of touch with flyers.”
This is one of the parallels that happened before he took control of an airline and coincides with what he’s saying to voters today. He felt like he could take his exceptional business experience and success and translate that into success in airlines. He felt that the airline executives were out of touch with what their customers wanted and that his knowledge would work extremely well in that business.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because he’s been saying the same thing about being President. He says that his opponents are out of touch with what the American people want and that his knowledge would work extremely well in the White House. Unfortunately, running an airline is much more in line with his previous business experiences than running the country is.
“Believe me, we’ll be very successful.”
As a seasoned sales professional, Donald Trump knows the power of uttering the words “believe me” with conviction and complete confidence. It worked on the airline executives, the employees, and for a short time it worked on the flyers as well.
While I couldn’t track down a time when he used those exact words on the campaign trail, we’ve all heard something very similar. We’ve also heard multiple times in every speech how he invokes the power of “believe me” when pitching voters and journalists.
“I’ll negotiate the best deals for the airline.”
Whether it’s the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or NAFTA, Trump is always reminding everyone how great he is at making deals. It has been accepted as a given that he’s the ultimate deal maker even if negotiating treaties and foreign relations agreements require completely different perspectives than negotiating business deals.
However, he was often criticized at his airline for making many bad deals, even being called “foolish” by one of his own executives when he decided to use gold coverings on his airplane’s fixtures. It was a laughable decision, one that not only cost much more than it should have but also because his changes shifted the weight distribution in the plane and forced them to leave four seats unoccupied and eventually removed from the planes altogether to compensate.
“The players will change by the time we get bigger.”
When failing to recognize the names of some important world leaders during an interview, Trump countered by saying that the players would change by the time he was in office and he would learn about them all then. If that response sounded rehearsed or at least previously spoken, it’s because he said the same thing about important people at other airlines and in the FAA when he was trying to buy his airline.
As in the airline business, people matter in politics. If anything, it’s more important to have an understanding of the personalities and tendencies of world leaders (or at least know their names) when trying to be President of the United States.
Nobody can say that Trump is not a capable businessman despite his debacle in the airline business. He’s been extremely successful with real estate and reality television and should be commended. However, those skills didn’t translate to success running an airline and they won’t translate into success running the free world.