Photo Credit: Copyright 2015,Donald Trump Caricature by DonkeyHotey, http://flic.kr/p/vhUZvt
Do we change over time? Can we change? Do we even want to? Does Donald Trump have any intention of changing?
The first few sentences in Keirsey’s flagship book, Please Understand Me II, states: “People are different from each other …no amount of getting after them is going to change them. Nor is there any reason to change them, because the differences are probably good. We differ from each other in fundamental ways.”
If you’ve been following the Trump campaign, it’s been interesting to watch everyone around him making efforts to change him. He is advised, to be, “more presidential.” Or to “stick to the teleprompter.” He is admonished for the insults he makes, or careless off-the-cuff remarks. He’s gone up and down the polls because of his unpredictable nature. And recently, his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort resigned. And political commentators have been speculating whether it was out of frustration due to the inability to control Trump. No one seems to be able to control Donald Trump.
The truth is… Trying to control the Donald, or any Artisan Promoter ESTP is not a good idea. It’s a strategy that doesn’t make sense. What you have to realize is that the only thing that is predictable about someone like Donald Trump is that they are unpredictable. The way we state it to our clients in a workshop is, “The only thing that is predictable about an Artisan Promoter is that they will be unpredictable. So when they do something surprising, don’t be surprised.”
In a recent interview with the Wisconsin television station WKBT, Trump said, “I am who I am. It’s me. I don’t want to change. Everyone talks about, ‘Oh, well you’re going to pivot.’ I don’t want to pivot,” He said further, “I mean, you have to be you. If you start pivoting, you’re not being honest with people.” He said, “I’ve gotten here in a landslide and we’ll see what happens.” He believes that you have to let “Trump be Trump.” This is “either going to work,” or he’s “going to have a very, very nice long vacation.”
The question is, why is Trump the way he is? Why do people like Donald Trump, Muhammad Ali, Hugh Hefner, Madonna, Anna Wintour, or Eva Peron not give a sh** about what anyone thinks?
What drives the Artisan Promoter? Why do they do what they do? What motivates them?
In our last post, we revealed what makes Artisans feel best about themselves. We said that it is when they, “display artistic action, audacity, and adaptability.” Trump makes over-the-top statements, pushing the extremes, provoking visceral reactions, engaging anger and fear… even outrage, and terror…
He could say, in a diplomatic way, “We want to protect Americans from senseless crimes which have arisen because our borders are not secure.” He could say, “We would like to understand why terrorism has inflicted our country, and we want to make sure that it doesn’t continue to be a problem.” But, this is lacking any audacity. It doesn’t incite the kind of reaction that an Artisan looks for. It’s boring. It doesn’t make headlines. It’s impotent and flacid. Artisans need a big reaction. Something grand, something awesome, something unfathomable. It needs to be sexy. That is why he states, “We’re going to build a wall… it’s going to be a big wall!” And we all know who’s going to pay for it (according to Trump). This is also why he calls for a “ban on all Muslims.” People react when they hear statements like this. The media is all over it.
He says extreme statements with colorful words because it’s flamboyant. He is outrageous because this is what dragon slayers do. He deviates from the teleprompter because it allows him to be raw, and adapt to the audience. Using a script makes an Artisan feel caged. It stifles and hinders them. Trump wants to be free to say whatever the f***in’ hell he wants. Instead of being empathetic and emotive to African American voters in Ohio, saying something like, “I know your pain, I will do my best for you. Let me serve you. Give me a chance.” He has to say, “What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance. I’ll straighten it out.”
Artisans feel best when they can defy the odds, and pull off the impossible. Artisans need a fire-breathing challenge to slay. They feel pride when they can adapt, improvise, and make things happen with very little to go off of. So, that is why he needs to say that after his first term as president that he will have 95% of the African American vote even though he currently is polled to have 1% of their vote to Hillary’s 91%.
Artisans need the, “OMG! Did he just say that?” And then they might dial it back. Their approach is to attract attention, provoke a response where others would say, “What an a**h***!” Artisans are deliberately this way at times. And after they’ve gotten everyone’s attention, they figure out a revised statement, and a policy to back up what was said. A long time member of our team at Keirsey who is an Artisan Promoter coined the term, “The A**h*** factor,” stating, “Sometimes we’re like that because we just want to see how others will respond.”
Artisans often feel that it is their wild nature that is attractive. On a side note… This is similar to why gals often go for the a**h*** bad-boy. Or why guys find the wild-girl sexy. Trump’s nature is to be the bad-boy.
In a recent client engagement, we had some fun with concepts from our model, characterizing “different kinds of boys.” This is not something we would ever publish in our books or reports, or ever use this in our presentations, but, we thought that we’d humor you in this blog which is meant to be a bit more informal. We have often joked about the “bad-boy” Artisan as the wild play-boy, (which when taken to the extreme, can become the crazy-boy.) Trump is certainly not the “good-boy” Guardian… the honorable, traditional-boy, (which when taken to the extreme, can become the boring-boy.) Nor is Trump the “lover-boy” Idealist… the romantic, sensitive-boy, (which when taken to the extreme, can become the wimpy-boy.) Nor is he the “brain-boy” Rational… the intellectual, genius-boy, (which when taken to the extreme, can become the nerdy-boy.)
Remember… For the Artisan, it has to have flair, it needs to be spectacular, it must have a “wow” factor, it has to be be bold, daring, courageous. There needs to be teeth, guts, or cojones. Artisans want to shake things up, to go against the establishment. They want to stand out. They make statements which are sensational, big, bold, and over-the-top.