The aftermath of the New Hampshire primary provides a valuable lesson in issues management. The gambit is a bold move in issues management because you ether win or lose – no middle ground. The reason for taking a high level risk is to gain an advantage in the form of leverage. Nikki Haley not dropping out is a good example of a gambit.
- She could have folded her hand, which all of the pundits expected her to do, and suspended her campaign with little or no leverage, albeit live to fight another day.
- She chose to fight on putting her political future at risk but giving herself a slight chance of gaining leverage and winning in the end. This is the risk/reward of a gambit.
- If she can keep generating contributions, and if she can continue to beat Trump with Independent and never-Trump voters with a respectable percentage of the vote, then she MAY have the leverage to cut a deal for the vice presidency with a robust portfolio of responsibility thereby positioning herself to be president in 2028 – provided Trump wins in 2024.
- In issues management there are times to consider a gambit in order to gain more leverage and get more of what you want, but remember there are great risks involved. A gambit could be firing a member of your team or pursuing a high risk strategy. Be careful.