American business could be in big trouble unless Trump makes a clear plan, expert says

Cohn on Trump negotiation: He'll get some wins, but will cost in the long run

President-elect Donald Trump's negotiating tactics with U.S. companies may score him some wins, but in the long run it's going to cost him, Elevation Partners' Jeff Cohn told CNBC Wednesday.

While it's fine to shake things up, "at the end of the day a leader needs to have a good vision and stand behind that vision with a very constant set of actions. It's called integrity," said Cohn, who is also author of the book "Why Are We Bad at Picking Good Leaders?"

"If you start to lose that faith amongst your constituents, then he's in big trouble and so is American business. So he needs to have a plan and stick to it and be more clear."

Donald Trump
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Trump has already begun targeting specific companies like Boeing. On Tuesday, he slammed the aircraft-maker on Twitter about the price tag for a new Air Force One. By Wednesday morning, Trump told NBC's "The Today Show" that he's spoken to Boeing and they're going to work it out.

He also recently negotiated a deal with Carrier to keep jobs in the country.

And it appears he plans to keep on going. In an interview published Wednesday in Time magazine, which just named Trump person of the year, Trump is quoted as telling his new chief of staff Reince Priebus, "Hey, Reince, I want to get a list of companies that have announced they're leaving," he called out. "I can call them myself. Five minutes apiece. They won't be leaving. O.K.?"

Cohn told "Closing Bell" that CEOs need to know the ground rules, and right now they have no idea what to expect from Trump — and he doesn't think Trump has any idea what to expect from himself either.

"There is a big difference between negotiating and leading, between campaigning and governing, and he's going to have to figure that out. This is not a real estate transaction," he said. "It could have some pretty serious, unintended consequences if he keeps this up."

He suggests CEOs be more proactive and ask Trump what he thinks of their particular business and what can be done to keep more jobs in the country.