Treating people with respect. The opposite of politically incorrect.

Respect. That is what is missing from the latest president. According to Professor Roger L. Martin from the University of Toronto the marketing strategy that Trump used to win the election was by being politically incorrect at every step in the election cycle.

It was a big gamble but it paid off. Prof Martin writes in the HBR – How the Attacks on Trump Reinforce His Strategy

To establish the legitimacy of the category, he made a consistent and devilishly tautological argument: In the category of traditional presidential candidates, the politicians are all politically correct. When they get in power, they fail you. Hence you don’t want a leader in that category — you want one in a new category called politically incorrect presidential candidates. I have been a huge success in business by being politically incorrect. Therefore: political correctness = failure, and political incorrectness = success.
It doesn’t matter whether he consciously set out to pursue that strategy or whether it was the result of his personality and instincts. The outcome is the same in either case.


Trump used an approach to attract primary and general election voters that businesses use to attract customers. Customers create categorical boundaries in their minds – e.g., Chinese restaurants, sporty cars, blue jeans – and within those boundaries they are disproportionately inclined to choose the product that feels the most natural, familiar, and comfortable to them. Because the mind craves simplicity and consistency, the product that feels most comfortable tends to be the one with which people have a long and dependable experience.


He had to create a new category and dominate it, building cumulative advantage.

As a marketing strategy this all makes perfect sense. As a human being about to take leadership role on behalf of 330m people it sucks.

For reasons inexplicable to me some people have a problem with politically correct positions.

I don’t share that view. I do think that rights and principles that have been converted into public policy positions are often hard won and favouring diversity and human rights is the right moral thing to do.

A few months ago I saw a few stories around a new Google Chrome extension that replaces the words “political correctness” with the words “treating people with respect”. It was made by Byron in 2015.

This Google Chrome Extension Replaces ‘Political Correctness’ With Something More Accurate

I agree with Byron Clark the world will be a much better place if every time we see the words politically correct we replace that with “treating people with respect”.

Treating people with respect is something that Trump is terrible at. And that is a tragedy in the making for everyone. No one can afford to have a rogue president who disrespects everyone and tweets about it on a random cycle.

In other news I read this story just this week which casts the practice of being respectful as an essential quality to maintain and cement relationships.

Every successful relationship is successful for the same exact reasons

The writer did some relationship research and crowd sourced a set of questions to get answers from people who had been married for any length of time. He expected a range of answers but most of them followed similar patterns. You can read the full post but reason number 3 for success in relationships (especially marriage.) was

The most important factor in a relationship is not communication, but respect
What I can tell you is the #1 thing, most important above all else is respect

Isn’t that something. Respect is the quality that Trump can’t give to anyone because to do so would be political correctness. I hope that changes but I’m not sure it will and that is a problem for everyone.