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Trump’s Art of the Deal Tells a Good Story.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | September 6, 2015

No. 1,211

Image: kitla.com

Image: kitla.com

He talks about his 1989 book, “Art of the Deal” so much that I decided that I had to read it.  Donald  can be forgiven for saying that it is the second best book ever written, second to the Bible.  Many authors probably think that about their own books, but few are as candid as Trump.

It was actually better written than I expected.  But that could be attributed to the professional co-author.  And it was more interesting than I expected.  That can be attributed to Trump.

It is not a how-to book.  It is an autobiography of an entrepreneur.  Lawyers who are involved in real estate deals can learn a lot about their clients by reading Trump.  All successful real estate entrepreneurs share certain characteristics, although there is only one Donald Trump.

Although he grew up in his father’s construction business, he didn’t exactly work his way up to building New York City skyscrapers. As a 20 something, with no experience, he decided that he wanted  to build the biggest and the best, which meant, to him, Manhattan sky scrapers.

Trump was fortunate that he came on the scene in bad times.  In good times, other people would have aced him out.  But in bad times, his unconventional, improvised style was able to get the job done.  And he was able to convince key people to help him do it.

Trump says that the most important characteristic of of an entrepreneur is intuition. Its the ability to take a risk or not based on fragmentary or contradictory information. He says that some of the most profitable deals he ever made were the ones he walked.

Trump relates that some of the competition employed extensive preparation and research.  In the fast-moving and fluid world in which he operated, that gave him a not-so-obvious advantage.  He sized up a situation quickly and made a move.  Trump acknowledges that a key element to success was being there first.  He was able to obtain options on riverfront property in Manhattan owned by the bankrupt Penn Central by contacting Victor Palmieri, who the Trustee had hired to liquidate the rail giant’s assets, on his first day in the office.  Trump never flinched at calling up the decision maker and getting his foot in the door with a confident, convincing presentation.

Of course, everything Mr. Trump says must be taken for what it is — a superb sales presentation.  He is candid, but not completely candid. He delivers an expertly constructed message. Facts that don’t fit the message don’t get in the book.

He believes in himself totally.  And his pitch is very hard to resist.

Art of the Deal goes a long way to explaining how a non-politicia, with a minimal organization and very little preparation can do so well.  But can he make a deal with the American electorate?  Don’t underestimate the Donald.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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