C-suite Lessons from #Election2016: To Win It, Sometimes You Have To Lose It.

By Thomas J. Madden, Chairman and CEO, Transmedia Group published at Commpro.biz

More specifically, if Hillary wants to win #election2016, she better lose it.

Just like when her previous opponent, Senator Sanders, exclaimed he was sick and tired of hearing about her emails, she had better develop the same feverish exasperation before it’s too late.

Whether you’re a Democrat or Republication, there’s a lesson here.

If you say you’re “deeply troubled,” you should look it. The inside and outside should match!

Take the example of Hillary’s appearance at that ersatz news conference hours after the FBI director Comey announced the reopening of the investigation into her emails.  Comey dutifully said in his letter to the Congressional Committee that it was based on new evidence that emerged from devices used by Hillary’s assistant Huma and Huma’s ex-hubby whose apparent home-alone hobby was sexting.

If you want to be believed, you had better put away the controlled Clinton, buttoned-down, unflappability that sounds so disingenuous, especially at a moment like this so close to this climactic cliff hanger election.

Hillary had better get real in a hurry!   She’d better get truly exasperated and drop that falsetto smile.  Not the “what difference does it make” exasperation, but something that shows it’s about time that she and the country move on to issues more important to voters, many of whom are also sick and tired of hearing about her emails.

Here’s the lesson from all this.

You want to be believed?  You better flap.  Get real.  Be natural.  Even if it means losing patience or even your temper at appropriate times in your otherwise illustrious career.

Often by showing our impatience, our emotion, even our contempt, we’re showing we’re not artificially intelligent.  We’re not robots.  We’re human and we’re sick and tired of hearing the same criticism, which in Secretary Clinton’s case is her incredible blunder about her installing a private email server years ago, which she brushes off as a “mistake.”   If that’s all it was, it’s going to continue to haunt her and taunt her.

She’d better be mad as hell at herself as much as she’s now exasperated with the FBI, even as much as her Howard-Beale-like Republican adversaries who are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.”

If you want your audience to be with you, have empathy for you and feel the way you do about the breaking news that’s breaking your chops, be straight with them.  Be what so many leaders, especially political leaders have such a hard time being.  Straight!  Sincere!  Honest!!!    

Even if you’re not a fan of her opponent, Donald Trump, at least he says what’s on his mind.  His problem is the opposite of hers.  He often says what’s on his mind without thinking.

In these two candidates, you have the extremes of communications problems.  She’s self-controlled, but tight as a snare drum.  He’s the epitome of impromptu, but loose as a goose.

And heaven help us.  One them will be our next President.

About the Author: Thomas Madden is CEO of TransMedia Group, one of the largest independent PR firms in Florida, where it currently operates. The firm’s clients have included AT&T, American Red Cross, City of New York, GL Homes, Jordache Enterprises, McCormick and Schmick’s, Rexall Sundown, Stanley Steemer.


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