Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he will be running as presidential candidate for 2016 has many on both the left and right eagerly probing his announcement speech for comic material— and Trump’s hyperbolic, often vague language does lend itself to humorous quotes and sound-bites. However, as a presidential candidate we should not be so quick to dismiss Trump based off of his blustery persona, and instead look at his personal history of business achievements: one that is replete with examples of excellent decision-making, a willingness to take risks and make sacrifices, skill at the negotiating table, and power of will. These are all qualities that are eminently desirable in a man or woman who must shoulder the responsibility of leading the free world.
Many of us in the business world recognize these qualities and know to respect them, even if they are tarnished by a brash or inappropriately colorful demeanor. If there is one way Trump could broaden his appeal and make himself into a more serious candidate, it would be for him to take himself more seriously— enough to shrug off his reality TV persona, which might be difficult to do after more than a decade of The Apprentice episodes. As it stands, expressing serious interest in Mr. Trump as a Presidential candidate is likely to be taken the same way as endorsing one of the more off-the-wall third party candidates— little more than a funny way to express general disillusionment with the candidates and overall electoral process.