Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

 

You'd like to be respected, wouldn't you?

But is it remotely conceivable that you could become as respected as Donald Trump, the entrepreneur who incites fear in some and admiration in so many more?

You've likely wondered how he does it.

How does this self-styled billionaire with a style so very much about himself manage to command rooms, hotels and whole nations?

He's finally revealed the answer.

In a speech he gave at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, the great man offered a little peak behind his occasionally anti-Muslim veil.

As Politico reported, Trump offered: "When I saw all this youth, these great-looking, young people, I said I'm going to talk for a few minutes about success."

And talk he did, very successfully.

He admitted, of course, that he'd enjoyed a little luck. It helps having a successful dad.

But when you finally get there, when you're a man admired by the construction world as much as by the constructive world, what kind of friends will you have?

And how will you maintain your position of superiority?

"You'll find that when you become very successful, the people that you will like best are the people that are less successful than you," Trump said.

Now there's something not every entrepreneur might admit.

Could it be that the spirit of competition ruins the possibility of being friends with other successful people?

Why does Trump say that you should surround yourself with your apparent inferiors?

"Because when you go to a table you can tell them all of these wonderful stories, and they'll sit back and listen," he said.

I feel sure that one or two readers will have already leaped ahead and declared that Trump regards all those who worship and vote for him as less successful that he is.

One can conclude this almost by definition, as it's not clear whether anyone is more successful than Trump. In Trump's mind, that is.

I, though, prefer to admire this remarkable self-admission.

The notion of emotional intelligence is debated greatly these days.

It's especially important as the world is being increasingly run by those who inserted their emotions into a computer and can't get them out again.

Here is the most famous, most debated man in America revealing that he knows himself extremely well. Emotionally, I mean.

He's admitting that he likes to make himself feel wonderful by surrounding himself with people who aren't as wonderful as he is.

He's revealing that one of his secrets is to never feel threatened, which some might find odd about such a publicly bellicose character.

Don't quite a few CEOs do exactly the same as Trump?

When your position is being constantly threatened (or are you just paranoid?), the temptation to have only malleable yes-people in your boardroom is surely great.

It's soothing when you never have to apologize and never have to explain -- even if, say, you muse that women should be punished for getting abortions.

How many CEOs would admit it?

"Does that make sense to you?" Trump asked his impressionable audience. "OK? Always be around unsuccessful people because everybody will respect you. Do you understand that?"

Surely you understand. Surely you've just learned a lot about gaining respect.

And keeping it, of course.

Published on: Mar 30, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.