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politics (4)

What Leaders Can Learn from Hillary’s “Best Week Ever”

I wasn’t surprised to see Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign—dubbed “struggling” in September—wrap up the month with what pundits are calling her “Big October” and “best week of the campaign.” After participating in the Democratic debate on Oct. 13, she emerged unscathed a week later despite being grilled for 11 hours by the House’s Select Committee on Benghazi. Now many who wondered whether she could boost her poll numbers and provide more direction to her campaign are heralding the “inevitability” of her position as frontrunner, and maybe as president.

Putting politics to the side, when watching Hillary “do her thing,” it’s natural to feel awe and admiration for the way she commands a room under the highest stakes without breaking a sweat. No matter what level of leadership you’ve reached or to which you aspire, there is plenty to learn from Hillary’s style. Here are a few of her best leadership traits to emulate...

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How Carly’s CEO Style Helped Her Win the Republican Debate

A record number of viewers tuned into last week’s Republican debate. While prior to the latest contest Donald Trump had steadily held a significant lead, many pundits agree that after an intense three-hour match, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina dominated the floor, emerging as the number-two candidate not far behind Trump. According to CNN, Fiorina’s support rating climbed to 15 percent—12 percentage points higher than in early September. Meanwhile, Trump saw a substantial decrease in support post-debate, losing 8 percentage points from earlier in the month and weighing in at just 24 percent.


With less than 10 percentage points now separating Fiorina from the Republican frontrunner, the question everyone wants answered is: what is Fiorina’s secret sauce that enabled her to climb the charts so dramatically and so quickly? Fiorina demonstrated multi-dimensional layers of leadership presence—cultivated from her over five years as chief executive of one of the largest IT companies in the Fortune 500—offering viewers a glimpse of her CEO style as well as substance.

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If Hillary Asked You…

If Hillary Clinton asked you if she should run for President in 2016, what would you say? This may seem like a straightforward question based on her many years of experience in public service and the variety of roles she has played. In fact, her vast experience has set her up to be a strong Presidential candidate. But it has also opened up other choices for her that could be just as personally fulfilling. I think the magic here is that whether or not Hillary decides to run, she has created a situation in her career where she is in a position of strength and she also has a choice. And that’s a winning formula for all of us!

Let me explain. In SHAMBAUGH’s coaching practice, we see a number of talented women who have worked hard for years and have a lot of good experience under their belt, which makes them excellent candidates for partnership roles or positions in the C-Suite. Yet these same women often have an internal narrative that defeats their ability to reach their full potential. These internal dialogues sound like, “I’m not sure that I’m qualified” or “If I take this position, I will lose my family life” or “I won’t fit in with the male-dominated leadership team” or “It would be awkward having my current peers working for me” and so on. This kind of dilemma can – be not only frustrating for women but can impact their confidence and professional growth. It can also lead to a potential loss for the leadership of the organization.

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What Can Business Leaders Learn from the Leadership Failure in Washington?

While the more immediate issues regarding the debt crisis appear to be resolved, the recent events in Washington have illuminated the stunning failure of our country’s leadership. Never before have I seen from the various factions of government such a lack of collaboration and willingness to work together for the greater good of the country. Yet I choose to look for the silver lining in this challenging and disappointing situation with our government…perhaps there is something organizations can learn from this episode.

While many organizations have processes in place to encourage people to work together, most still struggle with the dilemma of collaboration between leadership levels, departments, genders, generations, and cultures. The culture of collaboration within an organization – or the lack thereof – starts at the top. Whether they realize it or not, the manner in which the leaders of an organization work together sets the tone for how everyone else in the organization will work together. If the vice presidents of sales and customer service won’t collaborate for the good of the customer, don’t expect their teams to work together either.

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