What Talent Does Donald Trump Share With George Washington?

Command® is the rarest strength out of the full thirty-four, but it is probably the one that I get the most questions about. People with Command® tend to have a naturally strong presence. When they are in a group setting, people subconsciously, or sometimes intentionally, look to them to make a decision. Many times, people will often wait to share their opinions until the person with Command® shares theirs. Why? It varies on the other individuals’ strengths, but it likely has something to do with how Command® is, indeed, a very powerful influencing strength. As a Maximizer®, I may hold back my opinion with a Command® in the group in order to conserve my energy and gain a better perspective on how to make my opinion influential, as well. For someone with Adaptability®, they may hold back to adjust their message based on Mr. or Ms. Command®’s feelings and impact on the group.

Considering the power of this strength, it brings two United States presidents to mind—George Washington and Donald Trump. An odd pairing? Maybe. But, just remember every strength appears differently based on its synergy with other top talents or strengths, and it has a 1 in 33 million chance of matching someone else’s Top 5. In other words, while I might imagine Trump and Washington with Command® in their Top 5, it is plausible that their supporting strengths would vary to build a significantly individualized and different Command® for each leader. Now to be clear, Trump and Washington may have commonalities as all humans share 99.9% of DNA, but they are also VERY different presidents with VERY different abilities and execution of effective leadership.

Love him or hate him, you must acknowledge that a lot of people love Donald Trump. Last time I checked, 18% of the United States vowed to support Donald Trump as president no matter what. Meaning, Trump could commit and plead guilty of multiple crimes and 18% of the American voting public would still support him. That can certainly be attributed to Trump’s strong influencing strength. Trump’s admirers appreciate him for his “straight-forward approach,” “boldness,”“he tells it like it is,” and “I know what I’m getting.”

Think about it. Those are the same exact things George Washington’s contemporaries and followers appreciated about him! While his approach was quieter and with fewer words than Donald Trump, George Washington was admired for his Command®. Yes, his military expertise and height likely did not hurt. But, George Washington’s final word was greatly respected and, in many cases, considered law. The American Revolution faced bleak chances of victory, but thousands of volunteers followed Washington, even with the threat of a traitor’s death looming upon defeat.

So, how can Command®, when viewed in isolation, show up so differently for two different Presidents? Self-awareness and practiced intention for starters. As with any talent or strength, there is a balcony and a basement. George Washington could have easily used his influence and power to build a single-branched federal government or assume a life-long presidency. People followed him into the depths of war and would have continued on to Mordor if they needed. However, he was much too humble for that… I think he may have also had Belief® and/or Connectedness® even though he owned slaves, but that’s a post for another day.

George Washington had a great deal of respect for the people in his command. As shown in Hamilton the Musical, he famously listened to politicians, like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Adams, argue for hours on end without saying a word. He… wait for it… listened. He convened the most brilliant minds of the day and heeded their counsel. He did this knowing that if he shared his final word at any point, democratic dialogue and possibly democracy, itself, would die. His patience is comparable to Job’s in the Bible, although it is also textbook execution of how to use Command® as a strength.

So, if you have Command®, or Donald Trump’s ear, I would encourage you to deeply reflect on your influence over others. While it may be the easiest and shortest road to execute quick decisions, follow George Washington’s lead. Temper your quick decision. Listen to your team or trusted advisors. Only usher your decision once everyone has shared their opinions and you have considered them. Waiting for everyone to speak will not only better inform your decision, but it will gain greater buy-in from your team. And, you could use very few words to pack a powerful message.

Try it.