Leadership Lessons: Trump vs Biden

Style of leadership is often defined as a leader’s behavior when managing and controlling the team. According to a social psychologist named Kurt Lewin, in the 20th century he mentioned three prime leadership styles—authoritarian, participative, and delegative.

Slightly, authoritative leadership or known widely as autocratic refers to the leader who controls the whole decisions-making. Adolf Hitler is the most-representative autocratic leader.

As its name, participative leadership enforces leader-to-people-bond by engaging participants. The most famous leader with democratic style is John F. Kennedy. The third is delegative (laissez-faire) leadership, providing the leader to do a backseat to the team. Father of Economics, Adam Smith was born to be a delegative leader.

But, if we take a look at recent times, through training and development, by process we get through, many leaders adopt various kinds of leadership style—still based on those three characteristics.

How about the soon-to-be and ex-leader of the United States?

As the 46th presidential of the United States election, Joseph R. Biden or Joe Biden was voted and won the hard-fought battle over Donald J. Trump. Either Biden or Trump have diverse styles in managing people. Let’s take a look!

Trump, the-businessman-leadership-style

Doris Kearns Goodwin, the presidential historian and author “Leadership: In Turbulent Times” said that Donald Trump lacked some effective leader traits: Connecting with people, losing humility, recognizing the errors and mistakes, and collaborating.

With his background as a businessman who ran a private company, Trump was being educated to see everything as business. With the mindset—impetous and impolitic—then it ended with controversial decision-made.

Well, somehow with the decisions he developed, the movement he echoed, Trump seems to be seen as the autocratic leader.

Biden, the-very-personal-leadership-style

Joe Biden seems like a hope who will bring the solutions, the enlightenment to his people. He isn’t a newcomer to the White House. Once, he was known as a lawyer and spent five decades in political issues related to foreign relations and laws.

According to Amy Pope, who worked closely with Biden in the White House, he keeps maintaining personal communication to solve problems. Understanding people through conversation to meet the final decision. Because of those characters, he was called as the one who trusts each other, the very engaging person.

Though Biden hadn’t come to show off his styles, it is predicted that he would act as the next John F. Kennedy, the democratic leader.

Both Trump and Biden have distinct traits in leadership. When it comes to a fast problem solving, Trump would be first line as autocratic leaders do. He likes to execute strategies directly by himself. But, speaking of communication skills, Biden is a natural-born leader. Through communication, he already knows what to get done as democratic leader.

What can be learnt?

As an individual, we can adopt a leadership style to lead our organization. To know what style fits us better—authoritarian, participative, or delegative—can be discovered through training and development.

So, have you found yours?


Daniel V. Lie
President/Global Chief Executive

Daniel is a very prominent figure in Indonesia's digital learning sector.

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