Jamie Dimon, who always covers a wide range of topics in his epic annual letter to JPMorgan Chase shareholders, wrapped up this year’s letter with a meditation on leadership titled, “What works and what doesn’t work.”
The advice is aimed squarely at politicians—not bankers—and it’s rooted, Dimon says, in what he’s learned from “presidents, prime ministers, chief executive officers, nonprofit directors, and other influential civic leaders” he has met in his world travels.
The JPMorgan chairman and CEO wasn’t naming names, but it’s hard not to see the rather obvious swipes he seems to be taking at a certain Republican candidate for the US presidency.
What “doesn’t work,” according to Dimon:
“Treating every decision like it is binary—my way or your way.”
Like when Donald Trump says, in regards to his controversial immigration policy proposals, “We either have a country, or we don’t have a country”?
“Drawing straw men or creating scapegoats.”
This is essentially the basis of Trump’s foreign policy.
“Denigrating a whole class of people or society.”
Or several of them.
“Equating perception with reality.”
For instance, describing police as “the most mistreated people” in America at a GOP debate?
“Treating someone’s comments as if they were complaints.”
Paging Megyn Kelly.
And what does work, according to Dimon, are a collective Achilles heel for Trump:
“Collaborating and compromising.”
Not from the man who threatens “riots” should he be passed over for his party’s nomination.
“Listening carefully to each other.”
Also not a Trump strong suit—unless you’re in the audience at one of his rallies and uttering a tasteless word to describe Republican rival Ted Cruz. Then he might listen well enough to at least repeat what you’ve said.
“Constantly, openly, and thoroughly reviewing institutions, programs, and policies. Analyze what is working and what is not working, and then figure out—together—how we can make it better.”
Let’s start with Trump University, shall we?
Dimon recognizes that it’s no easy thing to be a political leader. But “while politics is hard (in my view, much harder than business),” he writes, “breeding mistrust and misunderstanding makes the political environment far worse.”
Asked whether Dimon wrote this passage of the letter with Trump in mind, a JPMorgan Chase spokesperson said the company wasn’t going to comment.