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Learning Curves: Donald Trump

Reading the lives of the greats provided inspiration and foundation.
By Donald Trump
Related Tags: Project-Based Learning
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Donald Trump, a real estate developer, is the CEO of the Trump Organization and the founder of Trump Entertainment. He was also executive producer and host of the television program The Apprentice.

Donald Trump portfolio:

During business school, I found myself drawn to the great thinkers and achievers in history, from politics to the arts, from science to literature. I was always interested in good foundations, which I'd learned about from my father, a successful builder and developer. So I wanted my educational foundation to be as solid and well rounded as possible.

Believing that you have to draw on great people in history, not only for perspective but for inspiration, I read biographies of Churchill, Lincoln, Picasso, Einstein, and many other renowned thinkers, from the Greek philosophers to the present.

My first book, which came out in 1987, was called The Art of the Deal. I had realized, back in school, that business could be an art. I think one reason I've been successful is that the realization made me work with the same kind of dedication and sense of purpose that most artists possess. I'd had a comprehensive approach to my education, and I'd had very good company in the kind of people I chose to study in my spare time.

When I was building what has become my most famous building, Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue in New York City, I was an absolute stickler when it came to the kind of marble we would use for the lobby. I saw hundreds of samples, and even visited the quarry in Italy. Every piece had to be perfect. I was reminded of my school days, when I read about Michelangelo and how particular he was about his materials. I also recalled that he had to deal with a lot of major power players, from a variety of popes to the Medici to the half-mad reformer Savonarola. Despite his overwhelming talent, his was not an easy path, yet he managed to remain true to his artistic ethics. His dedication and tenacity were monumental. I realized that businesspeople and artists can share the same qualities, and sometimes face the same difficulties.

To this day, I enjoy reading about the greats. It's still a part of my daily curriculum, and I'll always be glad I added it to my life as a student. There's nothing like learning a lesson from the masters. Robert Browning once wrote that "a man's reach should exceed his grasp," and I agree. That's one way to avoid complacency, and by applying that concept while still in school, I got a significant push in the right direction.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Egotistical, arrogant, and unbearable. He's the selfish, self-centered, shallow Paris Hilton of the business world; a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth who counts himself among the worlds great thinkers and casts himself as an artist-businessman by comparing his "struggles" with the powerful to those of Michelangelo. Whew! The epitome of hubris.

Donald Trump? Puleeze!!! You're fired!

Bill Dunsay's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Paris Hilton? These two people are in two different world's. One earns money and the other spends it. One doesn't have to like the piublic persona of Donald Trump to recognize his accomplishments in the real estate world. You don't even have to admire what he has done but certainly you have to admit that he is successful. If you are interested in applying some strategies to be successful his description of his method could be useful.

Leah's picture

Egotistical people typically do not like to share their knowledge. For example, Donald Trump has written books about how he achieved success. Then there's the Reality TV Show The Apprentice - Donald comes right in to our homes and puts himself out there, where average people like us can watch and see how he operates in real world situations. His latest venture, the Trump Network is a Marketing Company the he just announced on Nov 13th. I decided to start a blog about Mr. Trump and news relating to his ventures here Trump Network
He is a very interesting person, just look at great men such as Rockefeller, and what they are remembered for. I think people will be interested in following how he helps and cares about ordinary people like us.

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