I have friend who was a very successful entrepreneur. For the first 2/3 of his working life, he never worked for anyone in any organization, starting his first company in college and growing it enough to eventually sell it. That business he walked away from after the sale and invested that money in his next venture – which was another success. It was enough of a success to attract the attention of a multinational company who wanted to buy it, which they eventually did.
They asked him to stay on and run the business, something he agreed to do and something I advised him not to do – three years into a five year contract, he quit (and left a ton of cash behind in the process). He didn’t quit because the business was unsuccessful, quite the contrary – with the access to capital the bigger company had, the business was able to grow far beyond where he would have been able to grow it. His problem was because he had never had a boss, he was never able to adjust to working for someone in an environment where someone else made the rules.
The “corporate” environment fit him like a straight jacket. What was right for the greater success of the business was totally wrong for him on a personal level. It wasn’t that he was a rebellious sort, he just couldn’t deal with the deliberate pace, the constraints of having someone review his decisions and not being able to do what he wanted at exactly the time he wanted. Prior to the sale, he had shareholders, investors and boards to deal with in his company but they were always passive and benign and he was able to do whatever he wanted because he was successful. They were never much of an impediment to what he wanted to do – so he really was an independent actor.
The business environment his company operated in also changed after the sale – instead of his company being able to do anything he wanted at any time, it had become an integral cog of a larger business where the business units had to coordinate and move at the same pace toward the same goals and he found that gratingly frustrating. He is retired now and while he is financially secure, he is not happy. Nearly 5 years on, he still constantly grouses about his decision to sell his company – regrets it to the point of getting angry about it – the experience changed him. He is far more cynical and far less optimistic today than he used to be.
I think this is a problem for the current GOP front-runner. He, like my friend, has never really had a “boss” and now he wants to be the head of one of the most regimented, slowest moving dinosaurs in the world. He talks like an unrepentant entrepreneur now but if elected, will have to adjust to a situation where he will have many “bosses” – Congress, the judiciary, the media and most of all, the American people. He is going to have to answer for his decisions. His current behavior indicates that he is not comfortable answering to anyone and his past indicates that when things don’t go his way, he folds his tent and goes home. I can’t see him successfully adapting to a new reality.
Yet another reason I can’t support Donald Trump.