Hillary Clinton’s second run for the presidency of the United States communicates several key career messages to everyone. Whether you support her or not, or are undecided, there is no denying that her second candidacy will motivate and inspire millions. Here are five observations from her recent announcement which we can all take to heart:
1. Learn from your mistakes. Hillary lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama in 2007. After becoming POTUS he offered her the position of Secretary of State and she accepted. Hillary proved herself to be effective and gained more experience internationally to add to her already hefty qualifications. Most likely her current campaign will avoid the missteps of her first one. We all make mistakes. Mistakes are worth making when we learn from them.
2. Don’t ever give up on your dream. If Hillary Clinton’s dream is to be the first woman president, she isn’t letting her past failure stop her from achieving it. Why should you give up on your dream? As the proverb says, “if you don’t first succeed, try, try, try again.”
3. Women are qualified to lead households, companies, corporations and countries. As a lawyer, a mother, a grandmother, a Senator and Secretary of State she has proven she is a leader. If you are reading this, you have the potential to become or are already a leader, too. Put your leadership skills to good use now. The world needs more female and male leader willing to step up to the plate.
4. You can be over 65 and still launch a new career. Even grandmas and grandpas can start anew! Women and men are retiring or being retired in their sixties – the ‘new’ middle age. That’s the age when they can be more productive, valuable and fulfilled than ever. 6-0’s launch businesses, lead organizations, yes, even countries. Few people have overflowing retirement accounts, not to mention enough social security, to support them into their nineties. So no matter your age, it’s never too soon or too late to figure out what your next career will be. It’s waiting for you.
5. Men are among the biggest supporters of smart women. More and more men, especially fathers with daughters, are recognizing that women are great leaders, managers and workers. Research has shown that diversity of all kinds produces the greatest results. Hillary has surrounded herself with smart males ages 29 to 70, as well as women, all collaborating together. To bring gender equity into balance, I’d like to reflect back to the words of our 35th president, John F. Kennedy, with a slight twist: “ Ask not what women can do for you, but what you can you for women?” It’s been said by many: “When women win, we all win.” Let’s learn all of the above from Hillary’s run for office.
—Leslie Grossman, Vistage Chair, author, and leadership coach, www.lesliegrossmanleadership.com