Thursday Buzz: Leadership Lessons From Donald Trump (Really)

Outside interests can have disastrous effects on how people perceive your leadership. That's a lesson that Donald Trump is learning the hard way this week. Also: A wholehearted Whole Foods apology.

No other way to frame this: Donald Trump’s presidential run has been bad for Donald Trump’s business career.

Trump is polling well in the 2016 presidential race, but the candidate’s comments on immigration, which disparaged Mexicans and Latin-Americans, have proved downright toxic to his successful media and business career. Since his campaign announcement, Trump has lost business deals with numerous companies, including NBCUniversal, Univision, and Macy’s. Celebrities who once took part in his events have decided to leave.

On Wednesday, it even came out that payment systems at Trump hotels had been hacked. Not a great week by any stretch of the imagination.

But no matter how Trump does in his presidential campaign, this situation is a pretty great reminder that outside activities can have a negative effect on your perceived leadership, and failing to account for this basic fact can have unexpected ripple effects.

Side projects and outside interests are generally OK, but in your role as a leader, what you say outside of the office still reflects on what happens while you’re actually at work.

The Art of the Apology, Whole Foods Edition

The grocery chain Whole Foods has two CEOs, and both of them appeared contrite in a recent video regarding pricing issues in the company’s New York City stores.

“Straight up, we made some mistakes,” co-CEO Walter Robb said in the clip. “We want to own that and tell you what we’re doing about it.”

Robb and his counterpart, John Mackey, explained that they were boosting training for employees and would offer items for free in case there was a weighing error—something the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs says was systematic with the company’s fresh foods.

“We’re going to be reporting back to you, the customer, on exactly what kind of progress we’re making here,” Mackey explained.

How do you think they did with their apology?

Other Links of Note

“Death by PowerPoint” sounds like a painful death indeed. Over at Plan Your Meetings, Anne Thornley-Brown offers some suggestions on getting away from the meeting crutch.

It’s no contest: According to LifeHacker readers, Google Flights.

Writer and association pro Deirdre Reid, CAE, has some feedback for exhibitors emailing her ahead of the 2015 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition. It might also come in handy for your exhibitors in general.

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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