What Donald Trump Can Learn from Mark Cuban
Policy + Politics

What Donald Trump Can Learn from Mark Cuban

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Shark Tank billionaire Mark Cuban has been giving Donald Trump some tough love. If the two of them were to sit down to discuss how Trump could improve his image with the majority of Americans, what would Cuban bring to the table?

The Dallas Mavericks owner challenged the presumptive Republican nominee’s intelligence during a recent interview with Extra: “It's rare that you see someone get stupider before your eyes, but he's really working at it.”

Cuban, known for speaking just that candidly on a wide range of issues, doesn’t conceal his thoughts on effective leadership; he shares them regularly as he promotes himself and his businesses.

Even though a Trump-Cuban ticket would be highly unlikely, especially after Cuban said he’d be open to running with Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee might still benefit from the words of a fellow billionaire and reality TV star.

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Here are three pieces of advice from the Cuban playbook that could help Trump:

You don’t have to be good at everything you do. Trump sees himself as a perfectionist; everything he does, in his mind, is “fantastic” and the outcome is always “huge.” Cuban, on the other hand, recognizes the value of failure and learning from your mistakes. He admits he’s made plenty of those throughout his lifetime: "I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once."

Don’t make excuses. Trump has an excuse for nearly everything. When he says something outrageous, he rewrites history by claiming everyone else in the room misunderstood him. If he’s not doing well in the polls, he attacks pollsters by calling them a waste of money. Cuban believes “true entrepreneurs find a way.” There are always going to be obstacles in front of you, but a true leader takes responsibility and doesn’t “find excuses.”

Related: Trump’s Economic Plan Would Be a Disaster for the US Economy

Learn to Live With Criticism. Unlike Cuban, Trump has a fear of opposition. “There’s always somebody out there trying to kick your butt,” Cuban has said in the past. Competition is what leaders thrive on, and criticism comes with the territory.

Despite demolishing a large field of contenders during his party’s primaries, Trump will not be able to suppress dissenters. Instead of embracing differing views, he silences anyone who opposes him. He has ejected reporters from events and threatened to throw protesters into the cold. While Trump has reveled in crushing his Republican challengers, he still seems to see competition and criticism as more of a threat than an opportunity.

Voters might identify with Trump’s brash rhetoric or his gladiatorial, take-no-hostages tactics — an outspoken style that’s very much in line with Cuban’s own blunt approach. But when it comes to voting for president, some of them may also want to see him take some other cues from Cuban.