At some point in the mid to late 1990s, when Trump was on an upswing from declaring three business bankruptcies, Robbins invited him to speak at one of the life coach’s seminars. Robbins told Business Insider, “We had 10,000 people and he was floored and he was scared. It was overwhelming.”
But Trump — whose inspirational speech had “always sign a prenup” as a key takeaway, according to Robbins — soon took to the crowd, “and then he got addicted to it.”
In a podcast interview which you can listen to below, we spoke with Robbins at his Fiji resort Namale and touched on his analysis of President Trump. If Robbins could give the president one piece of advice, he says it would be to stop letting his ego lead his rhetoric and shed some insight into the more vulnerable side he shows his family.
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“We’ve never shared values, he and I. But I respected his ability to turn it around,” Robbins said, referring to Trump’s comeback that culminated in the presidency.
In his 1991 book, “Awaken the Giant Within,” Robbins uses Trump as a case study to illustrate what should not drive your life, if happiness and fulfillment are your goals. At this point, Trump had declared bankruptcy on the Trump Taj Mahal casino, and was months away from filing bankruptcy for two more casinos and a hotel.
As Robbins wrote about Trump, “In interviews he has revealed that his ultimate pain in life is being second-best at anything — he equates it with failure. In fact, his greatest drive to achieve comes from his compulsion to avoid this pain.”
In our interview at Namale, Robbins said, “I think the president’s communication style is the most difficult thing because he actually does care. People who know him know he cares. If you see his kids, and you get to know his kids, you can see there is a good man in there.”
“But his style of communication, his combative approach, the elements of ego that are obviously there in all of us but seem to be more easy to see in the president sometimes than other people, get in the way of his capacity to lead, unfortunately.”
Robbins, who has personally coached President Bill Clinton and has met with the three subsequent presidents before Trump, said he never actually coached Trump, but would help him if he asked.
As Robbins told CNBC in April, “The number one thing he has to do is look at his language patterns. He’s too fast and loose with it, as we all know, and it has consequences. Some of his ideas, he could actually enroll people in, there’s value to them. But the way they’re articulated, they feel often like they’re being, like it’s racism, or it’s completely uncaring — calling somebody an idiot obviously doesn’t work too well.”
But not much has changed since then — or since the ’90s, either — as Robbins sees it. He said he’s always happy to make himself available, despite not expecting the call.
“I’m an American, so I want whoever’s president to win,” he said. “I’ve worked on both sides of the aisle always. And if he asked me to help, I would. “
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