Why I Feel Confident Predicting the Next President (It’s Probably Not What You Think)

President Donald Trump, left, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, speaking during the first presidential debate with moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, center, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

A lot of political pundits have been making predictions about who they believe will win the White House in 2020. But like the average attorney who fights a case in court, they lose half the time. So, why on election day would I proclaim such a bold statement as foretelling the future leader of the Free World? Well, it’s not because of any campaign strategy on part of either candidate or a political agenda. It’s something else, much more basic, much more HUMAN.

In the interest of full disclosure, unlike so many on the web or in corporate media, I will admit to being a long-time Conservative. I feel it important to reveal that, since you are taking the time to read this post. We have all dealt too much with hidden agendas this year. I do not want to be yet another who makes a political point cloaked in “truth”. No one likes to be lectured and that’s just not my style. My assessment here though, is more one of human nature than of politics.

There are actually a fair amount of similarities between the two presidential nominees. Both Trump and Biden have been in the public eye for decades. Both have been accused of foreign scandals. Yet neither have been that forthcoming about their own political agenda for the next four years. We have to look at their previous record to guess what that is. And both are very different about their message to voters and it’s delivery. We seem to forget, it’s not the experts, but the people who make the ultimate decision. It really doesn’t matter what the Clinton’s, Bush’s or even Dr. Fauci say. And there is a great lesson to be learned here for all of us.

I have been speaking on leadership and management for years. Followers want a leader to do one chief thing; lead. I have long considered communication to be the foundation of leadership. With that, a leader must convey a message of hope, not despair. The Bible states, Where there is no hope, the people perish. Unfortunately, this cutesy Proverb is easily dismissed, though it is at the very center of how human beings process their reality. For this basic reason, I feel confident in my prediction.

The Ancient Greeks understood the three ingredients to winning over a crowd; ethos, logos and pathos. It is the credibility of the speaker, the rationale of his message and its emotional appeal. Often, I have heard people speak with disdain for President Trump. They say they do not like his “tone”. As an analytical left-brain thinker, this is completely irrelevant to me. As an interpersonal communication expert though, I knew he was in trouble. There are those who process emotions before the facts and vice versa. But not everyone understands BOTH are necessary to make a good decision.

However, I knew who would be the winner of the 2020 Presidential election at the end of the second debate, in my hometown of Nashville. Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke of going into a dark Winter. Americans do not want a dark Winter, or even a gray Summer for that matter. If you are going to sound an alarm of trouble to come, you had better follow it up with a real plan as to how voters are to get through that time. Otherwise, they give will up and defeated people don’t tend to vote.

Trump on the other hand stated “Success will bring us together”. How? He didn’t say, so we look to his past record before Covid hit us. There was economic growth, military success and an early reaction to the virus despite what Don Lemon says. The truth is neither man knows what will be in store for 2021, good or bad. In fact, there is not one person on the planet who knows. Anyone who claims to be an expert on the issue of a planetary epidemic is in the same pool of pundits, attorneys and economic forecasters. They are wrong half the time. The so-called experts use personal arrogance to trick us into thinking they know something we do not. No one knows exactly what lies ahead and how to deal with it… NO ONE.

But with the incumbent’s statement comes as something much needed by the masses; hope. 2020 has been a political, social and emotional hell for all of us. We are tired of being downtrodden and living in fear. Yes, there have been many charlatans in history who make undelivered promises. But they don’t tend to stick around, certainly not to seek permission for a second term. It is for the reason of optimism, President Trump will win.

The two messages of dealing with Covid are in stark contrast. Fear is only a good motivator for so long. People look toward the future, if not for themselves, than for their children. Should Trump lose, I will be forced to eat my own words, but it will be a signal of something much more. It will mean that for the first time in American history we have not gravitated toward a bright future. Not because of Mr. Biden but because we have become pessimists. I pray that is not the case.

Blaine Little is a corporate train and best-selling author, whose new book on management is now available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Managerial-Mistakes-Missteps-Misunderstandings-Essential/dp/B08JDTP2FJ

Talk a Good Game!

I have long said, “real estate is a people business”! Oh, I can hear the rumblings now… “But Blaine, didn’t you swear off cliché’s and erroneous business maxims in this blog”? Good catch! I knew I could count on you to keep me honest.

What I mean by realty being a PEOPLE business, is that it actually has little to do with real estate, or the property itself. Unless you are a builder, or investor, your commodity as a Realtor is in the service you provide, not brick and mortar. How many times have we been contacted by a potential buyer wanting THAT particular house, only to realize for one reason or another, it was not suitable for them? At that point, do we camp out on the front porch of THAT property, or begin to work with the buyer?  You see what I mean by it being a “people” business.

That being said, there is a whole new kettle of emotional problems in working with clients versus a house. Yes, emotions come into play when you work with people. It’s not so much a buyer wants THAT house, but rather what they think it represents. How will their family be affected by the move? Are their children safe here? Does this dwelling allow the family to accomplish it’s goals? And those newly single may not wish to be reminded of times at their prior residence, or the pain of losing a member of their family either through separation or death. We think of the experience being most emotional for our buyers, but we must remind ourselves, sellers are people too. Typically, we just don’t see them as often, and may not consider what is going through their minds.

But, unless we are also clinical psychologists, how do we deal with all these feelings, which aren’t even ours? The answer to this complex problem is simple; we talk. We ask questions of our clients, understanding their first response may not be the most accurate. We advise, tell stories, give feedback, and ASK for feedback. We must constantly “take the temperature” of those we are trying to help. Which means asking some of the SAME questions throughout the process to ensure our clients needs and wants haven’t shifted once they receive more information about the real estate process. I learned early in my career to not WAIT for my people to offer comments, or ask questions of me. Often times, they don’t know what to ask, don’t want to look ignorant of the process (which is why they hired us), or feel a bit overwhelmed and simply don’t know where to begin.

As the professional, it is up to us to anticipate problems and ask questions before they get too big. For some of us, this does not come easy. There are those in real estate who are very good with numbers, and willing to do whatever it takes to hammer out a good deal for the people they serve. But, is that enough? These are the left-brain people (much like myself), who don’t understand why someone would seem disappointed when “the numbers look really good”. We must continue to probe, and pull the details out of the minds of others.

For those of us not suited to reading the impressions of our listeners, it may be a good investment to enroll in a public speaking course at a community college. There, you will learn to judge your listeners’ reaction to the information you impart, to see if they are following what you are saying. Or for that matter, to better analyze whether what you are saying is even relevant to your clients. Dale Carnegie Training and Toastmasters International are also wonderful organizations to help you with speaking, listening, and critical thinking.

The fact that you asked the exact same question a week ago is completely irrelevant! All people change their goals to accommodate what obstacles life throws their way. It is OUR JOB as professionals in the business to keep up with our clients shifting desires. A house doesn’t change its wants and ambitions, people do that. Life would be so much easier if real estate were truly a housing business.