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Lessons from the Campaign Trail

Think you can't learn anything from politicians? Think again.
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How to craft a clear message: Dave Contarino says he has learned how to talk about his company and his staff from Bill Richardson. "The marketing-messaging skills that are so crucial in political campaigning have undoubtedly helped me in business," he says.

How to manage a fast-growing staff: As an election cycle progresses, a presidential campaign's head count balloons, creating issues such as cramped offices and a muddled sense of who does what. If a CEO hasn't managed growth, this can be a good tutorial.

How to absorb bad news: What with gaffes and poll results, all candidates have bad days. But when they do, their teams respond quickly--"to control the damage, point out the positives, and lend moral support," says Deborah Jallad, a Rudy Giuliani supporter.

How the other half lives: Ever ask, What was that politician thinking? Working for a campaign, you discover what drives pols to take certain positions. In the event your company is embroiled in a political dispute later on, you'll be better equipped to argue your side.




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