Trump: Why temperament and values matter in a CEO

Article originally published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on October 11, 2016

This presidential election campaign is none like any other. Never has one candidate continued to make comments and take positions that are the antithesis of the values that most all Americans hold dear.

Donald Trump raised the issue of Hillary Clinton’s erased emails during last night’s debate, which she acknowledged was a mistake. If elected, Trump threatened to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton’s actions and put her in jail. Only in dictatorships are political opponents thrown in prison. This doesn’t happen in democracies.

The bombshell release on Oct. 7 of taped comments by Trump in 2005, in which he makes lewd, offensive and derogatory references about women only adds to the dozens of objectionable comments made by Trump during this presidential campaign.

Recently revealed banter between Trump and Howard Stern on Stern’s radio show about Trump’s sexual exploits reveal his total lack of respect for women, including his own daughter. His comments go way beyond “locker room talk” that he claims it was and that some Trump apologists use to excuse him.

During the debate, Trump raised the issue of Bill Clinton’s affairs to deflect attention away from his own actions. However, Donald is not running against Bill.

Presidents set the tone at the top for the country, just as CEOs set the tone at the top for their companies. Trump is CEO of his company. Effective CEOs don’t say things that Trump has, and neither do presidents.

On June 13, I wrote an article headlined, “Values matter and Trump has crossed the line. What should Republicans do?”

My article was based on Trump’s verbal attacks on women, his making fun of a disabled reporter, broad-brushing Mexican illegal immigrants as criminals, and his attack on Muslim immigration.

Trump has stated that federal judge Gonzalo Curiel should recuse himself from overseeing the Trump University case due to bias, because Curiel’s parents were born in Mexico. He has stated that he knows more about how to defeat ISIS than our generals. Oh really? I could go on and on.

Ethical CEOs don’t stiff their smaller contractors who performed work on their hotels and casinos as Trump has because they don’t have the financial staying power to sue, a stunt he wouldn’t pull on larger contractors with deeper pockets. Would Trump be an ethical president?

One can only wonder about the tone and culture within the Trump organization and what Trump’s employees must think about his ethics and his disrespectful and lewd comments about women as well as his personal exploits. I would hope no one within his company considers him to be a role model.

After Trump’s latest comments denigrating women were made public, many Republican politicians announced they could no longer support Trump. There is a growing chorus asking him to step down as the Republican presidential candidate.

The number of conservative newspapers endorsing Clinton continues to grow. Their non-support of the Republican candidate for president is unprecedented. Trump is doing significant damage to the Republican Party, which is not in our country’s best interest.

In that June 13 article, I wrote, “The value system of our leaders matter and Trump does not represent the values nor has the temperament of the individual to lead the United States.”

Four months later, I feel even more strongly about what I wrote.

It’s one thing to not support candidates because one disagrees with their policies. It’s quite another to do so because they are not fit to hold the position.

Day by day, Trump further demonstrates that he lacks the emotional intelligence, temperament and values needed to lead the United States.

I would not trust Trump as our president.

Stan Silverman is the former president and CEO of PQ Corp. He also is founder and CEO of Silverman Leadership and is vice chairman of the board of trustees of Drexel University. Silverman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering and an MBA degree from Drexel University. He is also an alumnus of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

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