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Finished Art of the Deal.  Took a little longer than expected, but I wasn’t exactly reading for speed.

Whenever someone writes about themselves, or justifies their own actions, you must expect a healthy slant or even outright exaggeration in favor of themselves.  I’ve seen it throughout the inaugural addresses – Presidents who we hold as paragons attempt to justify actions that we have come to view as deplorable, and vice versa.  President Donald Trump is much the same way, though we have the added benefits of 1) Seeing him in action – hearing his speeches and reading fact checkers and 2) Reading his own words, in which he admits that he engages in “truthful hyperbole”.  Art of the Deal is Trump filtered through a ghostwriter.  Some of it is accurate, some may not be so accurate, and it will be largely positive in his favor.

His rules and way of doing business do transcend the page into the real world – his brashness is something that I’ve seen in many salespeople across the tech industry – and they do work to a certain extent.  It takes the right personality to pull off and Trump also benefits from a very personal touch – he mentions that he is always on the phone, always walking the construction site, always talking, always moving, always tweeting.  Not everyone is going to have that touch, and Trump acknowledges it in an early chapter, but everyone can take something from the examples and deals that he’s worked.

I’m a Midwestern guy at heart.  Many of the ways that New Yorkers do business horrify me.  Trump talks about this a little where meeting with certain CEOs where their word becomes bond is just “not how it is done”.  Yet he adapts.  We take him on his word that he respects theirs … and I’m inclined to believe that he does, or he is able to, else the states of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania never would have swung to his side in 2016, nor would Minnesota have been as close.  Trump nails it when comparing himself to Steve Wynn – you trust a guy in a suit, but you can’t trust someone in too nice of a suit.  Is it an act that he’s learned to replicate?  A trick that he uses to appear more common?  I don’t think so.  You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

Overall, this is a good book to read to understand certain things about the current President: His playing of the media, his antagonistic approach to the media, his approach to deals, his way of speaking, and his visions for the deals he wants to strike.  Had he not become President, I doubt I would have ever read this.  It’s not terribly useful for me in my line of work, nor does it really give me more information than I would have gotten from a more technically dense book.  But Trump did become President.  He did so against incredible odds.  Against both parties.  Against the media.  Against even public opinion.  He was able to apply his philosophy to the largest stage and come out a winner.  And that deserves study.


Drinking an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout to unwind from work today.  Great drink.  I encourage stout lovers to seek out a four pack of bottles.  I also might move to a 3 a week schedule.  That seems more doable overall, but now I’m trying to beef up my Program Management knowledge.  Dense books and not too much use to write about on a political thoughts blog.