Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How Hillary Clinton Derailed Her Career: Overview

Hillary Rodham Clinton did not get the position she thought was in the bank.

Historians and political junkies will spend years analyzing and dissecting the actions of New York’s junior senator in her bid to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Roger Simon, the chief political columnist for Politico.com detailed the problems faced and opportunities lost during Hillary Clinton’s run in an August 25th article, entitled Relentless. In it, he talks about the campaign Clinton led and how her actions and those of the team she directed contributed to her loss and greatly aided her competitor, Barack Obama.

From a career perspective, it’s a fascinating study of what an executive should not do.

It’s a story about misguided assumptions, incorrect utilization of staff, underestimation of the competition, misapplied success metrics and fractured communications, as well as poorly defined roles and responsibilities. All of which led to a botched strategy and failed tactics.

It’s also the story of a high stakes, enterprise-wide project critical to the success of one executive.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be examining and analyzing the different ways Senator Clinton ignored many of the basic career success tenets in her quest for the nomination.

This is a case study with no political opinion.

And for corporate executives, it’s a lesson on how a career can be derailed … at any and all levels.

As everyone knows, nothing’s in the bank until it’s in the bank.

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