Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Your own worst enemy

22 August 2016


Some 25 years ago, a senior audit partner called me in his office. He asked me some questions about an audit assignment for which I was responsible. His questions immediately made me realise I had made a mistake. I tried beating around the bush and finding excuses. My behaviour infuriated him. He then told me that I had a lot of potential but that I was also my own worst enemy.

I immediately knew he was right. I have learned a lot from his remark – and from him. Following his remark, I decided changing my behaviour. Ever since that moment I have taken full responsibility for my mistakes and even those of my team. It may seem counter intuitive but assuming responsibility builds trusts while denial erodes trust. I always remember a quote attributed to the Dutch politician Thorbecke: “Trust comes on foot and leaves on horseback”.

For quite some time, I have considered Donald Trump to be a perfect example of being his own worst enemy. The draft blog relating to that view was however never published. Yesterday I have been entirely rewriting that draft. Donald Trump is an extreme believer. He might even be the “perfect” example of my concept of the 7 Belief systems.

Being your own worst enemy is doing the wrong thing while knowing the difference between right and wrong. It’s making a bad choice which may cause guilt, regret, remorse or shame afterwards. Or, by paraphrasing my 20 August 2016 blog on moral compass: it’s opportunity over integrity.

Donald Trump’s extreme beliefs cover 5 out of the 7 Belief systems: Love, Money, Philosophy, Politics, and the Truth. So far I have been unable to find any links to the remaining 2 Belief systems, being Religion and Science.

There is some overlap between his psychological profile and his adherence to the 7 Belief systems. His alleged narcissism relates to extreme self Love. His bigotry is an extreme Philosophical view on White Male Supremacy. His Greed (ie, Money) is well known at his banks, business partners, customersemployees, subcontractors and suppliers. His alleged pathological lying is essentially an extreme belief in his own Truth. His admiration for authoritarian leadership might well relate to an extreme Political belief.

My 19 August 2016 blog mentioned that people, who spin out of control into the 7 Belief systems, may become lethal. There are 2 sides to that coin: others and self. Donald Trump’s recent remark on the 2nd Amendment is such a lethal comment, directed to others.

Politicians express the vox populi as that will bring them electoral gain and subsequently Power. Donald Trump believes in what he says. His followers believe in him. He is no politician and will never ever be one, as that would contradict his beliefs.

The bipartisan demands for releasing his tax returns are intriguing. By definition, tax returns aim to present a minimalistic picture. The wealth of this self-described billionaire is unlikely to transpire from his tax returns. Releasing them would make him look like a loser. He cannot afford that. Trust comes on foot and leaves on horseback.

America – A Horse With No Name (1971) – artistslyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name

It felt good to be out of the rain

In the desert you can remember your name

‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain


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