First let me say that I don’t like Sarah Palin’s politics and I do not believe that she is qualified to be either Vice President or President of the United States. But inspiration can come from strange places and politicians teach us so much about how to advance our own careers.
Like millions of Americans, I was glued to the TV last night wondering how Sarah Palin would perform in her “post Katie Couric” world. There was broad consensus from the right and left that in speaking with Katie Couric, Governor Palin demonstrated how little she knew about some very important issues (she couldn’t identify any news publications that she reads, she couldn’t name a single Supreme Court Case, other than Roe v. Wade, and she continued to make the ridiculous assertion that living in geographic proximity to Russia has provided her with the foreign policy experience that is necessary to be the leader of the free world.) At times, Sarah Palin was inchoherent in those interviews.
But last night, we saw a politician who looked comfortable behind a camera and who appeared reasonably articulate. It was a dramatic contrast to the Sarah Palin who was so brutally parodied on Saturday Night Live.
While I do not think last night’s debate will fundamentally change the election (the tide of bad economic news is simply too hard for McCain to overcome), I don’t think we have seen the last of Governor Palin. I also think there are good career lessons to be learned from her.
The lesson is that barring a conviction for a heinous crime, one always has the opportunity to resurrect oneself. Governor Palin proved that last night.
So if you embarrassed yourself before a judge, think of Sarah Palin. If you behaved in an immature way when dealing with counsel on the other side of a deal, think of Sarah Palin. If you missed a major case when doing a research memo for a partner, think of Sarah Palin. In most instances, you will have a second chance. It’s all a matter of what you do when that next opportunity presents itself.