An evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton

I recently took advantage of an opportunity to spend an evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton to hear her speak and have a discussion with Julia Gillard.

Hillary spoke on her four lessons from her tilt at the Presidency.

Hillary's Four Lessons

Lesson 1

“Everyone gets knocked down it’s whether you get up and how you go on”

Hillary then spent time telling us about her self-care after her failed attempt.

From this information, I took that it’s okay look after yourself and find your ways to recover when you’ve been knocked down. But... you do have to get up.

Lesson 2

“The only way to get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics”

Hillary explained that there is a known link between popularity and success. And for women the more successful you become the less popular you become.

From this information, I understood that, as women, we should remember that just by being at the table we are bringing different perspectives. And sometimes these perspectives are challenging for others. Part of our responsibility is to use our smarts to develop ways of conveying the importance of these different perspectives.

Hillary also referenced Michelle Obama. Michelle suggested that if we are not comfortable with having a woman as a leader, then that is exactly the conversation we need to have.

“Women being leaders”.

Lesson 3

“The forces that were at work in the 2016 election are still around globally They are active forces trying to impact the democratic state of countries like Australia.”

Lesson 4

“There is no such thing as an alternative fact”

The extrapolation of the above lesson for me was captured in Hillary's comments about leaders not honestly calling out what they see as true.

When leaders don’t call out the truth this is not only frustrating, it is insidious and dangerous and subversive. As leaders, we have to decide what to do next about alternative facts and the impact they are having on our democracy and the wider communities trust.

The need to be clear-eyed about the importance of trust and consistent behaviour when we are dealing internationally or just with each other

My Take-Home messages

The conversation between Hillary and Julia Gillard was also insightful.

My take-home messages from this conversation are:

  1. The importance of having encouragement and support around you emboldens you to step into leadership spaces. And to understand the significance of knowing how valuable you are. And that you can have an impact and do useful acts.
  2. The willingness to:
    • see the barriers that women face
    • break the barriers
    • sometimes just step over them or walk around them and recognise that it somebody else’s job to break that particular barrier.
  3. Be clear about the people around you and the impact they have on you and the leadership space space in which you are operating. And how to work with those impacts.
  4. To understand that we have an affect and acknowledge the positive impact we have on other people’s life journeys.
  5. We can all have a platform. Pinpoint your platform so that you can talk about and influence in the areas that are important to you. At Affectus we have relabelled platform as leadership space.
  6. As leaders, we need to know the importance of transparency. We have a responsibility to ensure that others have confidence that the decisions being made are motivated by ideas and opinions and conversations that are transparent, rather than any underhanded influencing.
  7. The easiest way to avoid looking at someone’s merits and their skills is to judge them and comment negatively on their appearance.
  8. Alternate facts are going to challenge us all. We need to be smart about the policies and legislation about this new(ish) phenomenon.