Donald Trump has leadership experience
Donald Trump plans the first three hours of his working day for "executive time". This is evident from the diaries, the journalists from Axios were leaked. Executive can be translated as "executing" or "managing". There is nothing to complain about. But what we also know about public servants who are willing to talk: For Trump, "Executive Time" means above all time for television, twittering and telephoning. He prefers to spend this time in his living quarters rather than in the office, whisper White House employees. And during this time he usually acts without a plan.
Can a manager, can the US President work like this? Werner Kreuz worked in the management of an international management consultancy and now advises high-ranking managers.
SZ: Mr. Kreuz, how well-timed should a top manager's schedule be?
Werner Cross: When managers have to rush from one appointment to another, they're doing something wrong. You don't have time to adjust to the next topic, you are usually unprepared and you may also be late. This makes sessions inefficient, longer-lasting, and sub-optimal results. There should be at least ten minutes between each meeting, ideally half an hour.
The US President regularly takes three hours in the morning, during which he does not set any appointments. No meeting before eleven. Is that laziness?
It depends. "Executive time" is very important. For example, I like to be in the office from 7 a.m. and have made sure that I don't accept any meetings before 8.30 a.m. This gives me time to prepare for the day in peace and quiet, analyze important reports and develop ideas for presentations.
At Trump, this time is said to have accounted for up to 60 percent of his working day in the last few months. You don't know exactly because there should also have been secret conversations. However, he spent a large part of the time in his living quarters.
My rule of thumb is that if you work ten hours a day, set aside at least two hours of focused work. So 20 percent of the working day should remain undisturbed - ideally the time when you are particularly productive. If you have no rest in the office, you can definitely spend this time at home. This can be useful for strategic considerations. Or if you want to think about how to deal with different characters and points of view in an important meeting.
The US president allegedly prefers to watch TV, twitter and make phone calls. Does a president have to sit in front of the television sometimes to keep up with the times?
From my point of view, this is more of a childlike behavior. If he wants to do this sensibly and systematically, he should have people who can summarize the highlights for him. He doesn't have to personally see what the CNN reporter or Fox News reporter said in detail.
It is quite possible that Trump prefers to watch Trump. Can it be useful to watch your own public appearances again?
It can be - but only if a media professional is there. He can analyze appearances like a soccer coach plays plays: This or that gesture was not strong enough, the choice of words could be better or the speaking speed could be more appropriate to the content. If he just sits there and thinks: Oh, I was great again, that's pure vanity.
Telephoning can be booked as maintaining contacts. In the published Trump calendars, some appointments are said to be missing, about which only very close employees are informed. How much networking is still necessary when you have reached the top?
Networking is really elementary. To hear what the mood is like. But also to prepare deals. Up there, much more is regulated in a personal conversation than you think. Trump has not really done it cleverly so far, otherwise he would have gotten his beloved wall through. Other presidents have called senators and other influential people to say, if you agree, I'll give in on another area. The higher you go, the less detailed knowledge of the content is expected, but a strategic overview and foresight is expected. Above all, you have to know the key people personally and be able to call them in order to find common solutions.
Trump is considered a gut decision-maker. Can you get something out of spontaneity?
Definitely for burning problems. Inspirations can be helpful with tricky questions; but you shouldn't make it a principle. Spontaneous decisions are less well thought out. You should also avoid calling people unannounced, as you will put them in an unpleasant and unprepared position. The result: the conversation will be less successful.
What could top managers learn from the US president?
Personally, I don't like the Trump leadership style. I consider "Management-by-Twitter" to be a leadership behavior that contributes more to confusion than to efficient and effective problem-solving. But he is doing something crucial right: He has found his own style. He once said: I've always done something different from what was expected of me. In certain situations this can definitely be a successful management principle.
Werner Kreuz worked for the American management consultancy A.T. As head of Europe, Kearney is responsible for one of four regions worldwide. Based on his management experience, he now coaches and advises high-ranking executives from national and international companies for Grundmann Consulting in Düsseldorf.
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