By Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. billionaire Donald Trump is to dominate the Republican contest for presidential nomination longer than expected, but his chance of success is still slim, a U.S. expert told Xinhua in an interview.
Trump is bashed for his bombast, in-your-face nature and aggressiveness, but those traits are ironically just what Americans desire in a leader, Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor of organizational behavior at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, said in the interview.
Currently, Trump continues to top the list of Republican Party candidates in a very crowded field, and garner much media attention in the race to win Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential elections, despite initial predictions that he was a flash in the pan.
Pfeffer predicted that Trump will continue to dominate the polls and the nomination contest a lot longer than most people expect. While Trump has many of the leadership characteristics people say they abhor, people also reward them, he noted.
People may disapprove of Trump's self-promotion, disdain for facts, and unapologetic persona, but these are the very qualities that allow leaders to succeed. Numerous studies show that narcissism, not modesty, and self-confidence, even overconfidence, self-presentation lead to leadership roles, according to Pfeffer, author of the book, Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time.
"We all want to associate with success and pick those who seemingly know what they are doing. Leaders lie with more frequency and skill than others. Some of the most revered and wealthiest people mastered the skill of presenting a less than vertical version of reality," he argued.
Pfeffer said that people often don't admit these truths to themselves. "As I point out in Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, the qualities we claim to want in leaders, modesty, authenticity, telling the truth, and so forth, empirically do a poor job of predicting who gets picked for leadership positions and who gets promoted. Nonetheless, we don't want to admit this, certainly not to ourselves," he said.
"Research shows that people form impressions of others -- very quickly -- based primarily on how they look, second on how they sound, and third, on the content of what they say. Trump's positions are often internally inconsistent and change over time. No one knows, or cares very much," Pfeffer said.
"The reaction to Trump is visceral -- he projects energy, confidence, and self-assurance. His policies are irrelevant to people's response to him, at least at the moment," he said.
While Trump will be around longer than anticipated, Pfeffer does not believe Trump will clinch the Republican nomination and go on to face likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in next year's race to the White House.
That is because running a campaign is like running a large, successful start-up. But in the case of Trump, his strength lies in marketing, he contended.
"Trump is all about marketing. Marketing will take you a long way, but not all the way." Pfeffer said. "In the end, people need to build structures that aren't so completely dependent on the whims of one person, and here Trump's record is not so good."