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Power Sheet: Imagine If Donald Trump Knew How to Campaign

Conventional wisdom holds that a “ceiling” prevents Donald Trump’s support from rising above a large minority of the electorate – that his strongly nativist, anti-trade, inward-looking policy positions will never appeal to a majority. I don’t buy it. If Trump doesn’t attract a majority, as it appears he won’t, it isn’t just because of his positions. It’s also because of his own failure to correct his incredible ineptitude as a campaigner. We saw the evidence just a few days ago.

At a Trump rally in Jackson, Mississippi, last Wednesday, the U.K. Independence Party’s former leader, Nigel Farage, gave a six-minute speech – and if you want to see how starkly different this election could be if Trump knew how to campaign, just watch. Farage was Britain’s leading voice in favor of Brexit; getting Britain out of the E.U. was the UKIP’s only objective. The coalition he and other Brexit advocates attracted was markedly similar to Trump’s supporters – nativist, anti-trade, inward-looking. And it won, with 52% of an extraordinarily large voter turnout.

Obviously we could cite a thousand differences between the U.S. and U.K. voting environments. But watch that video and imagine if Trump were half as good as Farage, whose first words were, “I come to you from the United Kingdom with a message of hope and a message of optimism.” Has Trump ever framed his message that way? Farage was articulate and polished – not to mention foreign – yet he whipped the Trump crowd into a frenzy. His words were carefully chosen, the words of a serious, professional campaigner, yet he spoke them with such energy and even joy that he was far more effective with Trump’s supporters than Trump’s own unhinged, ad lib tirades are. Grimly serious at moments, funny at others, Farage won the crowd totally.

The video surely makes the blood of Trump’s opponents run cold, with its frightening glimpse of what could happen if Trump were that good, especially against a drab campaigner like Hillary Clinton. Trump supporters may remember it wistfully after the election as a reminder of what might have been. For all of us it’s reminder that leadership is intensely personal and human, not a collection of abstract traits. It’s certainly not a collection of policy positions. Trump most likely won’t win, but we must never say, as so many said about Brexit in Britain, that it can’t happen here.

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This week’s Fortune Unfiltered features Jeff Lawson, co-founder and CEO of Twilio. What he’s doing to automate communication by voice, video, and text is eye-opening and important.

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Correction: In last Friday’s newsletter I said Mark Zuckerberg had traveled to Italy on short notice in response to the earthquake there. That was a mistake for which I apologize; the trip was previously scheduled. BTW, on my essay’s theme of Zuckerberg and other CEOs acting more statesmanlike, it’s worth noting that yesterday he met with Pope Francis.

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What We’re Reading Today

Apple’s surprise tax bill: $14.5 billion
European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager says Ireland’s tax deal with Tim Cook‘s Apple was illegal. It cut the company’s effective tax rate on European profits from 1% in 2003 to .005% in 2014. Vestager has taken a lead in punishing “sweetheart deals” in which some European countries give tax breaks to corporations. Apple will appeal the decision. Fortune

Mondelez gives up on Hershey
Irene Rosenfeld‘s Mondelez pulled its $22.3-billion offer for John Bilbrey‘s Hershey after raising its bid to $115 a share last week — and being told Hershey wouldn’t even think about it for less than $125. In previous takeover attempts the company had cited concerns about any deal’s effects on its hometown; Mondelez offered to move its global headquarters to Hershey, Pennsylvania.   Reuters

40% of VW owners agree to settlement
Some 210,000 Volkswagen owners of 2-liter diesel vehicles have registered to participate in the settlement of the emissions cheating scandal. So far only 235 of the 475,000 U.S. owners involved in the case want to pursue legal action themselves. That’s good news for Matthias Müller‘s company as the $15-billion preliminary settlement awaits final approval in October.  Chicago Sun-Times

Harry Reid asks FBI to investigate possible vote tampering
In a letter to FBI director James Comey, the Senate Minority Leader expressed concern that Russia may try to manipulate the presidential election. Reid has asked Comey to investigate the possibility after receiving classified briefings suggesting Vladimir Putin wants to tamper with the election. The FBI has already warned some state officials that Russian hackers have stolen voter registration data.  NYT

Building a Better Leader

Playing upbeat music in the office…
…may improve productivity and make workers more cooperative. Consumer Affairs

The reason crazy bosses can be effective…
…is that they bully others until they capitulate, and they care only about their own needs. But it rarely ends well. Fortune

Soft skills are suddenly what hiring managers want most
Communicating, problem solving, and taking initiative have grown in importance as the job market tightens.  WSJ

A People Problem

United nabs American Airlines exec 
United Continental CEO Oscar Munoz swiped American Airlines No. 2 Scott Kirby to serve as president. Kirby may have been attracted by the chance to become CEO, which wasn’t on the table at American. American’s COO Robert Isom will succeed Kirby as president. Dallas Morning News

Alphabet exec leaves Uber’s board
In a sign of growing competition between Uber and Alphabet in ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles, Alphabet chief legal officer David Drummond has resigned from Uber’s board. Uber had reportedly barred Drummond from attending board meetings as areas of conflict between the two tech firms grew. Fortune

Spanish Prime Minister seeks to unify the government
Mariano Rajoy
will seek a second term as Prime Minister tomorrow, but he’s unlikely to win over a majority of members of parliament. The stalemate has kept Spain from forming a government since December. Rajoy appears six votes short, having failed to get the support of Pedro Sanchez‘s Socialist PSOE party’s 85 members. Deutsche Welle

Fortune Reads and Videos

Walmart’s long courtship of Obama
When Barack Obama first ran for president in 2008, he cited Walmart as an example of corporate greed. The company has since supported Obamacare and the administration’s response to climate change. Now Obama praises the company. Fortune

GlaxoSmithKline wants to change HIV treatment…
…from three drugs to two. If successful, the change would cut costs. Fortune

Businesses are expected to spend $2.7 trillion annually…
…on IT products and services globally by 2020. That would be a 12.5% increase from 2016 projections. Fortune

J. Crew partners with Nordstrom
It will sell women’s clothes in 16 Nordstrom stores as it tries to turn around a two-year slump. Fortune

Happy Birthday

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, turns 86 today.  Biography

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Produced by Ryan Derousseau
@ryanderous
powersheet@newsletters.fortune.com