Forty Lessons in Leadership from the Presidential Election

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With bias toward no party or candidate, the election process was a robust field of leadership lessons. Here are but a few for current and aspiring leaders…

  1. Personal appearance counts and will be scrutinized. Even when it shouldn’t.
  2. Some things take waaaay longer than you think.
  3. You are never off camera.
  4. Inappropriate actions from the past can come back to haunt you. Even from long ago.
  5. The behavior of those closest to you can have a bearing on perceptions of you.
  6. Listening is a highly underrated skill.
  7. Some things ARE worth fighting for.
  8. Others analyze and second-guess the smallest of things.
  9. There is a limit to how much others will listen to you before fatigue sets in.
  10. Some constituents are so set in their ways that you should go without them.
  11. The “10,000 Hour Rule” does apply although it is not recognized.
  12. Sometimes, although there is nothing to talk about, others talk about it.
  13. Being “authentic” has many interpretations.
  14. Timing matters, sometimes it is just not your turn.
  15. Creating a brand is important.
  16. Records are maintained for a long time.
  17. Using certain offensive words will always get you in trouble.
  18. Staying “on message” makes life easier.
  19. Some people will not like you no matter what you do.
  20. Leaders probably don’t read books on leadership.
  21. Success comes at a cost.
  22. Surveys and polls can be pervasive and influence behavior.
  23. Others pay attention to those closest to you on your team.
  24. A sense of humor can come in handy.
  25. Some things may not be a big deal to you but they are to others.
  26. Your children can be an asset and a good sounding board.
  27. Drink more water.
  28. Sometimes it is better to say “I don’t know.” Is Aleppo a person, place or thing?
  29. Content on the Internet can be full of fiction but labeled as true.
  30. Others can obsess on things you don’t consider important.
  31. How you treat others is a lens through which others see you.
  32. Change course if you need to in order to achieve your goals.
  33. More constituents exist than you think.
  34. Threats are a risky tool to use.
  35. Personality can be perceived as an asset as much as experience.
  36. Big ideas garner attention, even if implementation is unclear.
  37. Constituents will forgive mistakes if they are acknowledged.
  38. News shows can be addicting and annoying at the same time.
  39. Some decisions are best considered without the opinions of others.
  40. Change is an inflammatory word.

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