How Bobby Jindal (or You) Can Recover

What to do after making a major public misstep.

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Bobby Jindal has a lot of things going for him. Except for that one thing that nobody can stop talking about. Jindal's Republican response speech on Tuesday night has been panned by pretty much everyone except Rush Limbaugh (who has, incidentally, told JIndal's conservative criticizers that he doesn't want to "hear from you ever again.")

Many are wondering how Jindal will get his otherwise promising career back on track. As Eve Tahmincioglu of the excellent CareerDiva blog asks:  "how can you come back from a major reputation pummeling?"

Tahmincioglu talked with executive coach Shawn Driscoll, who suggested Jindal go back to his strengths as "a face to face, informal speaker."

Driscoll also shares a useful acronym for this kind of disaster recovery: ARC for Acknowledge, Reframe, and Choose (a different approach). It's pure genius--these steps take real confidence and show real leadership, which are often the qualities most in doubt after an embarrassing mishap. It takes confidence to concede the mistake or embarrassment, and it takes extra confidence to redirect people's attention. In Tahmincioglu's example, Jindal might say: " “It was one speech. We’ve got a lot of work to do and I’m committed. Here’s how I plan to go about it.” Those are strong words.

The toughest, boldest move, however, is the "C" part--where you don't try and apologize for and fix your weaknesses so much as play to your strengths.

It's difficult to be brave and bold when you're embarrassed, but the truth is you can really make the biggest impression when all eyes are on you.


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