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What’s Old Is New Again: Book Explains Trump’s Success

By Rob Starr, Content Manager

Ask anyone in business and they’ll tell you not to fix what isn’t broken. That template blends well with politics and helps to shed some new light on one of the players in the race for the White House. The Trump Presidential Playbook: A Wizard’s Path to the White House by a former Goldman Sachs banker turned advisor to senior Wall Street executives and CEOs, deconstructs Donald Trump’s winning ways by looking at the individual pieces of the puzzle in a unique and thorough way.

For author, Geoff Blades, the work that would culminate in this book began  in his early 20s as an associate in Goldman Sachs’ investment banking group when he took a step back to satisfy his own curiosity about what constituted both a successful career and life. That early interest began as an article written by Blades entitled: How Is Trump Winning? It highlighted several of the GOP presumptive nominee’s tools including staying on point and making the most of powerful messaging.


Geoff Blades

Geoff Blades

“Everyone is talking about the things Donald has said and the controversy around him, but I thought it would be more interesting to ask how he pulled this off,” says Blades who left Wall Street in 2010 to teach others what had taken him over ten years to learn.

Part of the book necessarily deals with how Trump has been able to successfully transfer business templates for building and mastering the skills needed to get to where you need to go. However, there’s at least one influence most readers might not have expected that can be found in the second chapter on the old presidential playbook.

“In the face of the completely established politicians at that time, Barack Obama used a different playbook that was based on messaging and communication skills,” Blades says. “He showed the world it was a game about building a movement and not a game of politics.”

Emotional Aspect

In fact, The Trump Presidential Playbook: A Wizard’s Path to the White House draws that line back and suggests Trump used it to learn how to play the electoral  game of influence better than his Republican rivals. Blades drives the importance of how important this emotional aspect is for a candidate by suggesting that while Clinton had supporters, Obama had fans in the race to the nomination.

“Obama also showed that you can go straight to the voters with technology and grab them with powerful messaging.”

Of course the book is clear about how Trump has built on this template and uses his own brand of messaging to apply labels to his rivals that stick, and how skilled he is at redirecting attacks. Blades says Trump is an expert at using powerful anchors that draw people to the emotional drivers that really motivate them. However, he remains surprised the billionaire businessman was the only candidate running who saw the possibilities in the groundwork that was laid before.

“The absolutely shocking thing to me is that the other candidates didn’t see what Obama was doing and catch on,” he says.   












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