Why Trump Won – He Presented a Vision

The 2016 election is now over and it will be one for the record books. Two presidential candidates, both with high unfavorable ratings, spent much of their campaign slinging mud at each other. In thinking through why the election came out as it did, my thoughts go to the one thing that I believe stood out and that was the difference in visions that each candidate communicated for the country.


In spite of all the negatives thrown, I believe candidate Trump did a much better job of elaborating a vision for the country, which you can agree with or not, that did appeal to many voters. On the other hand, candidate Clinton spent her time avoiding the definition or advantages of her vision, which was for the most part continuing the status quo of the POTUS ending his term, much of which was already very unpopular. Faced with this challenge she avoided gathering support for that vision, and instead spent most of her efforts speaking about how racist and misogynistic her opponent and his supporters were. Her strategy was not to convince people to vote for her for some specified reasons but rather vote against him because he and his followers were so disreputable, which turned out to not be a winning strategy on many fronts.


What is our takeaway from all this? In Proverbs 29:18, the author says “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” As people, most want to feel there is an order in the process, or a plan for our life’s journey. We don’t want to just exist but feel like we have some purpose in our existence. Therefore, in politics, our personal life, as well as our work, having a vision that can resonate with people is very important.


What does this mean for the business leader? Just pushing each month, quarter or year for profits and growth is not a vision that people will buy into long term. While profitability is an important end product there may be no employee connection to the process that yields the desired result. Therefore, it is often difficult for the company’s human resources to understand or buy in on a vague and unsupported vision such as this. Worse yet, meaningless and/or unsupported mission statements only garner ridicule from those inside and outside the organization, negatively affecting the morale of all involved.


Given all of this the business leader then must be both sensitive and perhaps even bold in creating and defining that vision as well as committing the strategies and resources required to make it a reality. What are some steps in that process?



First of all, define the destination, the target of we are longing for. What measurable benefits will we see when we have arrived? Is it being the market leader, percentage of market share, or is it margin, ROA, and profitability growth? How will we measure our success and can it currently be measured? Having a measurable deliverable is important in the journey towards a destination.



This can be the toughest part of creating the vision in that the leader must explain the means or how of reaching the destination that people can understand and personally impact in daily practice. For most businesses this is where the most effort will be expended upfront as well as thereafter on a daily basis in the journey towards supporting the vision. Many of the following examples of the  vision process have implications for processes and need to be strongly vetted:

  1. This process could include having a high customer service or fill rate.
  2. Rapid response period in supporting on-time shipping performance.
  3. Being the low cost and/or highest quality producer also has many inferences.
  4. Product design can often have a big impact on success in any or all of the above-listed process goal examples and this is often left out of the discussions because of the lack of understanding of its impact or how to optimize product designs to meet the process objectives.

To execute, the process managers in Product Design, Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Distribution disciplines must balance all of the process deliverables with the tradeoffs of product design and specifications, manpower, capital, capacity and space resources, which can be very challenging.



This last piece, resources, is of utmost importance because without financial and human resources committed for product redesign, equipment, facilities and other improvements, the journey will fail. Initially defining these resource investments is critical as a requirement to execute the vision. Otherwise the business leader will not know the costs and will create and attempt to execute an unachievable vision. If the resources are not adequate to support the effort, the implementers of the changes will soon lose heart and the latest vision will be lost in the dust pan of history like so many well intentioned efforts by business leaders.



One of the two major non-financial roles of a business leader is to create a meaningful and actionable vision for the organization. I will speak on the other, creating leaders, in another blog. Given the need for a new vision the business leader should seek out those that have created and led hundreds of these efforts, such as Lean Enterprise Solutions. Our experts can help the business leader understand the implications and costs of realizing the vision and can also help with key improvement areas to make it a successful and profitable journey.

Please visit our website at www.bottomlinefix.com and look at the many companies where we have helped create and successfully execute new visions that created meaningful improvements in their company.


Posted in Blog Post, Growing Businesses and Restructuring Businesses


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