Make The Tough Call
October 18, 2013
Q. My client has a good track record in business and aspires to public office. However, there are serious cracks in my client’s armor, starting with a possible divorce filing. Considering Andy Dillon’s recent resignation, I am hesitant to advise my client to proceed. Any advice?
A. If your client aspires to public office, he/she best have a clean reputation and a strong constitution. Politics is not for the meek. As few people are 100% perfect, evaluate your client’s chances of success first, in getting the job and second, excelling at the job. Ask yourselves if personal or business obstacles can/will sabotage success. If these are insurmountable, cut your losses. Be honest. Make the tough call. Remember: It is harder to say “No” than “Yes”.
If your client does find him or herself in a crisis where personal shortcomings put him or her at risk, act fast to get ahead of the train. Here are three immediate steps you can take on behalf of your client:
- Take control. Get the bad news out first and fast. Be truthful and transparent. Remember, the truth will come out sooner or later
- Develop a communication plan with key messages that can be used consistently in every venue, every interview.
- Inform/communicate with those closest to the issue before going public: family, staff, financial supporters, etc.
Andy Dillon did the right thing in stepping aside from the Snyder administration. Whatever the circumstances of his departure, he did a tough job well. When it was over, it was over. The announcement of his resignation was made, to all appearances, on his terms.
Andy Dillon will live to ride in the political fray another day. Just not on the same horse or track. Others before him have proven this true. We will be interested to see how this all plays out.