Creative Leadership

Hillary’s Meltdown in the Congo – A Leadership Lesson

The incident this week of Hillary Clinton having a meltdown moment during a press conference really highlights what never to do in a public setting.  When an intrepreter made a translation mistake, Hillary – thinking she was being belittled in a comparison with her husband, went nuclear.  The poor people in the room were shell-shocked.

The issue here isn’t about being offended – even if you’re highly insecure, which she obviously is.  The issue is how to handle what you believe to be an innapropriate question.  She should have laughed it off, or make a short, calm statement that it didn’t matter what her husband thought, or even ignored it.

But to go off on the poor reporter was extraordinarly poor judgement and even worse leadership.

Remember – if you’re a public figure – even when you’re tired or out of sorts – you’ll have these moments.  Do you want to remembered as someone who dealt with the situation out of kindness and grace or remembered as the person who went nuts?

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13 Comments

  1. During this current crisis of public image, sitting in a pant suit during a press conference wasn’t the best decision. I love the internet. She is exactly the image we want to present to the world as our international policy enforcer. Great Job!

     

  2. I don’t think she went “nuts” or had a “meltdown” and I think if she were a man who responded the same way, there wouldn’t have been this discussion.  She was just being straightforward and honest.  

  3. Having just now watched the clip, I am wondering where she “went nuclear.”

    Her body language was poor. Her demeanor was acerbic. But you can hardly describe this as “nuclear.” I expected to see shouting and flailing arms. She didn’t even raise her voice.

    Pick on Mrs Clinton all you want, but tell the truth.

  4. Jim – this is the Secretary of State we’re talking about here.  This is a huge meltdown for a top government official.  If she acts like this in front of newspaper and media people in the 3rd world, what’s she going to do when a real crisis happens?  Phil isn’t picking on her – he’s pointing out the truth that leaders need to have more gravitas and control than we’re seeing here.

  5. We’re all happy to cut Hillary some slack as a civilian, or even in a normal job.  But as Secretary of State of the most powerful and influencial country on Earth?  After this incident, he has a long way to go to regain my respect.

  6. I have to agree with Jen here… saying she went “nuclear” is a pretty far leap from what the video shows. I usually enjoy reading your thoughts on current events, Phil, for your poetic and values-driven incite but in this case I think you were a little too quick to jump on the Clintonbashing bandwagon.

  7. I have to agree with Jen here… saying she went “nuclear” is a pretty far leap from what the video shows. I usually enjoy reading your thoughts on current events, Phil, for your poetic and values-driven incite but in this case I think you were a little too quick to jump on the Clintonbashing bandwagon.

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