Donald Trump Could “Simply” Be on a Hero’s Journey

Donald Trump Could “Simply” Be on a Hero’s Journey

Donald Trump is a long-shot for President of the United States, but don’t count him out. He’s not a skilled storyteller. He doesn’t understand the Hero’s Journey storytelling formula. But he uses simplicity in messaging in a way that resonates emotionally.

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Donald Trump is simply laughable, ok?

I actually like Donald Trump‘s hair, because it gives me – and a gazillion other people from talk show hosts to Facebook users – something to laugh about.

Donald is a braggart and, even worse, he strays from the truth with too much frequency.

But voters will be willing to forgive him for that — or even overlook that completely — because his talking points are simple. Winning people’s emotions is key to pulling them into the process of persuasion. After that, some people will believe almost anything no matter how rational or irrational.

And the only way to win people’s emotions is with simplicity.


Simplicity is disruptive. Simplicity triggers our emotions.

Trump’s story is driven by his ego. It’s not a Hero’s Journey.

But the Donald could be on a Hero’s Journey.

While the Donald’s story is a crappy one. His supporters don’t need complexity. Trigger their emotions, and they’ll pay attention to you. And if you’re bashing the status quo, they may just stay with you no matter how flawed your rational arguments are.


Grab their attention.

As a media and journalism major at Syracuse University many years ago, our professors drilled us in disruptive openings. We knew that we had to grab our audience’s attention early, if we wanted them to stay with us past the second paragraph of an article or the second minute of a broadcast.

Sound bites matter.

Repetition matters.

We humans are seduced by sound bites. We have a hard time letting go if we’re wooed early.

Even in a story as deep as Harry Potter, JK Rowling woes us from the first page. It was a normal evening on Priver Drive… but something was moving in the shadows. Bang!

“Yeah, but that’s fiction!” you say.


Marketers are jumping into storytelling, as well.

Whether it’s the true story of a startup that went through heaven and hell before finding success, or a character created to draw consumers into loving a brand, heroes with humility are compelling to buyers, to the marketplace. Heineken’s spots linking the brand to its UEFA Champion’s League sponsorship immediately comes to mind.

Trump is different.

If I were a Trump advisor, I would do, at very least, one thing differently.

I would place an emphasis on Donald’s hard times and link these hard times to what it means for the everyday American. I would show how this could translate to a clear path to economic recovery, how this can create a feeling of community — as opposed to creating a gap between big money and the struggling middle class.


But it’s not too late.

And maybe, with the American voter being undereducated, he doesn’t have to tell better stories.

Donald is taking out his competitors one by one. He is very skilled at divide and conquer. With another year until the Republican nomination, he may just annihilate the other Republican candidates one at a time, and each one, he could do with one simple argument at a time. The Donald repositions himself on a weekly basis, and he keeps it simple each time.


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I help leaders hone their messages through many methods, among them with disruptive simplicity. The tools and techniques vary, but the mindset is simply a heart-set. Contact me here if you’d like to set up a call to discuss your leadership and messaging challenges.

You can also check out my book, A Sale Is A Love Affair – Seduce, Engage & Win Customers’ HeartsIt was the Number 1 New Release in Sales on Amazon in February. It has a focus on storytelling, too!