That debate was … troubling.
Trump v Biden is a match-up between a Pioneer and Reconciler.
We saw both archetypes on display Tuesday night.
Many of you have asked me about the U.S. presidential election using our PROM leader archetypes: Pioneer, Reconciler, Operator, and Maverick. (Get your PROM servant leader archetype here)
My business articles are never partisan, and this one won’t be either.
Here’s my general advice to the candidates: become the best and healthiest version of yourself and build a balanced, winning team for America.
Here’s my customized advice:
Donald Trump, The Pioneer
A healthy Pioneer challenges the status quo and rallies people behind innovations and changes.
A healthy Pioneer recognizes the disruptive nature of change and seeks to address the downside effects on the most vulnerable.
A healthy Pioneer empowers a balanced leadership team. They seek Operators who can implement the changes to a high standard, Reconcilers who can build and maintain consensus, and Mavericks, who tether the innovations to the bigger picture of what American ought to be.
Average Pioneers are divisive and run-roughshod over the opposition. They pinball back and forth, lacking the discipline to set and maintain priorities.
Average Pioneers tend to surround themselves with people who think and act alike, so they do not benefit from cognitive diversity.
Frequent blindsides throw them off-track. They do not get things done to a high standard. Most of their innovations are half-baked, executed poorly, and often create resentment.
Unhealthy Pioneers turn into dangerous demagogues who surround themselves with a narrowing group of sycophants. When backed into a corner, they are likely to take considerable risks to reverse their fortunes.
How Pioneers empower winning teams:
To govern effectively, The Pioneer needs to build consensus across America’s many divisions, protect vulnerable populations, set clear priorities, and get things done to a high standard.
If The Pioneer can meet these challenges, he will make meaningful changes that take care of those left behind, heal divisions, and reset America’s place in the world to something more fair and sustainable.
If, however, The Pioneer emphasizes divisions, fails to build consensus, and lacks the discipline to get things done, America in the 2020s could make the 1960s look calm.
Joe Biden, The Reconciler
A healthy Reconciler builds consensus toward a clear and compelling vision.
A healthy Reconciler recognizes the dangers of watered-down consensus and thus sets clear goals and expectations to achieve them.
Healthy Reconcilers embrace cognitive diversity. They need Mavericks to help them create the vision, Pioneers to identify the practical innovations necessary, and Operators to set the game plan and hold people accountable.
Average Reconcilers tend to surround themselves with people who think and act alike, so they do not benefit from cognitive diversity.
They seek consensus as a goal. They water-down their vision to something unobjectionable to everyone. The aggressive people around them use the opportunity to pursue personal agendas.
Average Reconcilers can have a hard time making decisions because they don’t want to upset anyone. Everyone leaves a meeting thinking they have the Reconciler’s backing. In-fighting creates the perception of a power struggle.
Unhealthy Reconcilers exhaust themselves, trying to please everyone. They grow resentful that others are not as giving, while a feeding frenzy erupts around them as subordinates vie for control.
How Reconcilers empower winning teams
To govern effectively, The Reconciler needs to set forth a clear and compelling vision that can bridge America’s divisions, create a game-plan, and hold officials accountable.
If The Reconciler can meet these challenges, he will realize, perhaps for the first time in history, America’s e Pluribus Unum motto – out of many, one. An America that is of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Not some people. All people.
If The Reconciler fails to create a compelling vision that unites Americans and does not hold his team accountable, his ideological cabinet members will advance their private agendas.
The divisiveness and resentment they create could make the 1960s look calm.
For me, the hiring decision is this: which candidate is most likely to govern as the best and healthiest version of himself and to build a healthy winning team that makes the United States a better place for ALL Americans?