We may be watching history in the making:Trump vs. Kim. Two men accustomed to using bullying tactics to get their way.
What is surprising is that the deployment of their power tactics appears to have brought the upcoming meeting to a head. To each, power tactics are common negotiating tools.
It is the potential collateral damage that must be fully considered, especially by President Trump. This unprecedented meeting will take place presumably in secret. The reality is that it will be on the world stage as leaks, from both sides, will start well before the meeting takes place.
As President Trump and his team prepare for the meeting they will be considering the audiences that they will have before, during and after the meeting. These audiences include but certainly are not limited to other world powers like Iran, South Korea, Japan, Russia and China as well as the American People, the people of North and South Korea, Democrats, Conservatives, and the Media.
I chose extremes to illustrate that bullies typically are alone in their quest to achieve their goals. President Trump will shoulder the results of the meeting alone. That is the fate of a bully; also it can be the attribute of a true leader.
Time will tell which he is. As always, the leaks will not tell us anything but what the spin masters want us to think. Down the road, looking back, the meeting could be a grand step forward on the Korean Peninsula. Just as likely, it could be just another episode when one bully, Kim in this case, lies to achieve his personal goals worrying little about collateral damage to his image.
That is what bothers me most.
I see in Kim a persona not overly concerned about collateral damage. I think President Trump has far more at risk than Kim Jong Un. That is worrisome.
In Seven Secrets to WINNING Without Losing a Friend, I discuss the importance of understanding the collateral damage potential of exerting power over another person in any conflicted situation at home, work or among friends.