Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Leadership Secrets of Hillary Clinton

I recently read a book by Rebecca Shambaugh entitled "Leadership Secrets of Hillary Clinton".

For those of you who know me well, you know that I don't do politics. This is actually one of my Time Management tips because I have saved days or even weeks over the past number of years by not getting actively involved in politics.

I do this not only as a time management technique. I do this because I am likely going to annoy or irritate half of the population. This would alienate half of my customers, half of my suppliers, and half of my staff.

Perhaps it is a good thing that I have a healthy skepticism of all parties. I will also say that I am quite discouraged by special interest groups always lobbying to try and help themselves and not necessarily the greater good.

This being said, I still believe we can learn from everyone. And Hillary Clinton is clearly a great leader. What I like about this book is that it is not about Hillary Clinton's politics, but rather what leadership techniques we can learn from her.

The books chapters are divided into 7 different topics:

1) Being resilient
2) Being a continuous learner
3) Being "adaptively" authentic
4) Embracing change
5) Being connected
6) Being a great communicator
7) Having resilience and purpose (reminds me of Adversity Quotient, a book that teaches us how to improve our ability to thrive under or through adversity)

Each chapter expands on each topic. For instance, the 5 secrets of resiliency

1) Understand yourself
2) Control your immediate response and make a plan
3) Embrace change
4) Be courageous
5) Never give up!

Also, at the end of each chapter here is a questionnaire or self-survey to help bring home the points n the chapter. This helps to challenge what you think.

From an article Shambaugh wrote on Hillary:

"We all get discouraged at some point in our lives. We reach a point when we wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just give up. We begin to doubt our own abilities and lose faith in others. The "thrill of victory" is no longer so sweet, and the "agony of defeat" doesn't seem so bad. Our energy is drained, and we've stopped having fun. This is when you need to dig deep inside yourself and find that well of determination and inner strength that will help you face your fears, counter the ensuing complacency, and keep you committed to reaching your goals.

Having this sheer determination is one of Hillary's keys to success. Never being a quitter was wired into her DNA early on and was reinforced while she was still in college. When she first arrived at Wellesley, she struggled academically. She called her parents, hoping that they would tell her to come home. She told them that she didn't feel that she was bright enough or up for the academic challenge. Dorothy Rodham, her mother, told her that she had not raised a quitter and that dropping out of Wellesley would be a catastrophic mistake. Hillary stayed in school and, with her incredible work ethic, keen organizational skills, and sheer determination, stayed on top of her grades. In fact, she gained enough confidence in her scholastic abilities to take on political leadership roles and was elected president of the Young Republicans. Pretty impressive for someone who wanted to drop out of school! "

I most liked the last point in the book on leading a purpose, which is to "start now". The message is about the choices we have in life. We all make choices everyday, so make the right choices, and start now!


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