Leadership

Billionaire restaurateur: Trump’s learning that his rhetoric works in business, not in politics

President Donald Trump's unconventional, direct communication style may help him close business deals and win elections, but it's undermining his leadership skills in the White House, argues self-made billionaire, and overall fan of the President, Tilman Fertitta.

"I think the reason he was elected was, We don't want the same political answers from politicians," says Fertitta, who is also the star of CNBC's "Billion Dollar Buyer." "I do think that is what people like about him."

But now that he is Commander in Chief, Fertitta says, Trump is going to have to become more careful and formal about his communication.

Fertitta, who has 60,000 employees across the nation working in his restaurant-and-casino empire, says that Trump is learning the difference between being a business leader and a politician: "I think that he will become more presidential."

Already, the CEO believes, Trump is making progress.

Tilman Fertitta, Billion Dollar Buyer
Source: CNBC
Tilman Fertitta, Billion Dollar Buyer

Consider some of Trump's tweets from the campaign and his earliest days in the Oval Office, in which he uses exclamation points, capital letters and ellipses to criticize actress Meryl Streep, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and others.

By contrast, consider some of the lines from the President's speech to a Joint Session of Congress last week:

"Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present. That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world. I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart."

And his tweet for International Women's Day:

The President's progress has not always been consistent. Not long after his speech to Congress, Trump used Twitter to assert without evidence that the previous administration tapped his phone lines.

But overall, "I think that he is learning," says Fertitta. "I think that's why he gave the best speech he ever did" that night.