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20 Career Lessons from Celebrities

Tania Khadder and Zac Frank

#18: Mark Sanford

Lesson: If you’re caught lying, apologize without qualification.

Not long ago, Mark Sanford’s name was thrown around as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012. Then he went missing on a hiking trip to the Appalachians which actually turned out to be a visit to a long-time mistress in Argentina. The lying and philandering alone shouldn’t have necessarily sunk his chances. After all, Bill Clinton did both while he was president and emerged fine politically.

Sanford’s problem? Rather than unequivocally admitting to a mistake, promising never to do it again, being contrite and recommitting himself to his wife, he held a series of philosophically and emotionally meandering press conferences where he didn’t offer clarity but confusion.

A short apology might not have been able to save him, but it would have offered him at least a fighting chance.

#19: Ellen Degeneres →

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