Top Five Workplace Lessons Learned from 2010’s News and Newsmakers

With 2010 now receding into the rearview mirror, we can look back on the various triumphs and tribulations of the past 365 days. From pop culture to politics to personalities, there’s lots to learn from last year’s news and newsmakers, including:

Betty White
2010 started with Betty White getting tackled on a football field and ended with her on top of the heap, thanks to a large Facebook push and a subsequent funny-as-hell star turn on Saturday Night Live. It was the power of the people that helped bring this funny lady back to center stage. THE LESSON: Mobilize your forces. To succeed in the workplace, it is not just who you know but who knows — and is willing to go to bat for — you.

Stanley McChrystal/Kanye West/Mel Gibson/Joe Biden
Our VP just couldn’t stop from dropping the F-Bomb near open mikes and our country’s top military brass let his opinions fly during extensive interviews with Rolling Stone magazine. And, do we need to remind you of the messes made by Mel and Kanye not being able to keep their traps shut and negative opinions to themselves? One of the key themes for 2010 could be deep doo-doo that happens when notables get diarrhea of the mouth. THE LESSON: Everything you say can and will be used against you. This is an important distinction, whether you’re at a cocktail party or interview. Be careful what you say and how you say it. It could come back to haunt you.

Elizabeth Edwards/Chilean Miners
A huge loss was felt, not only by her family and friends, but the American public when Elizabeth Edwards passed away. And, while most didn’t know her personally, what was clear was her resolve, her grace under pressure and her ability to imbue her children with hope, even facing her tragic early end.  The same holds true for the Chilean Miners. We all were gripped by the way they coped with forced confinement and rejoiced as they were plucked one by one from their subterranean prison. THE LESSON: Keep focused on the positive, even in the most dire of circumstances.

Sarah Palin
Say what you will about the former Governor of Alaska-turned-VP (and possible future Presidential) candidate, she sure does bounce back from mistakes and missteps well. And that’s a fact that no one can “refudiate” (after all, even Palin’s invented word was named “Word of the Year”)! She may not have come out on top during the presidential race, but she has taken it in stride — all the way to the bank. This past year, Palin came roaring back with a vengeance thanks to a multi-year TV deal, best-selling book, a well-watched reality TV show and a whole lot of exposure while stumping for select conservative candidates during the mid-term elections. THE LESSON: Fail forward. Winning is always preferred but, if you find yourself on the other side of the finish line, take a look at what you can learn from the situation and how you can dust yourself off and move forward.

Mayor Bloomberg’s response to the great snowstorm of 2010

The first major misstep in an otherwise strong administration, Mayor Bloomberg — usually a stellar communicator — was slow to address the challenges of clearing such a large amount of snow, particularly from the outer boroughs. As drifts piled high, emergency vehicles couldn’t get where they needed to go and the days turned to weeks without a clear outline of a plan, Bloomberg and team became the target of the frustration and disdain of the greater New York population. Had he simply managed expectations by saying he was plowing Manhattan first (to keep industry/tourism going during the holiday season) before heading to Brooklyn and beyond, Big Apple residents would have been able to swallow the significant inconvenience. THE LESSON: Get ahead of the message. When faced with a mistake or possible challenges, laying out a clear game plan to co-workers, bosses and/or clients will help save time and headaches in the long run.

Now THAT’S new you can use. Happy, healthy and successful new year to all!

Who or what else inspired you in 2010? Tell us here, on Facebook or on Twitter (@BestPublicist).

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