How to Leverage Big Mistakes…(Lessons Learned from the Steve Harvey/Miss Universe “Situation” )

By: Jetta Bates Vasilatos


Steve Harvey’s slip-up at the Miss Universe pageant was super awkward for him and the beautiful contestants. But as a communications and branding strategist, I couldn’t help but appreciate how he took responsibility right off….and kudos to the ladies – as they handled it the best they could. For those who may have mixed feelings about Steve Harvey (like I sometimes do), he showed strength of character when he stepped up and owned his global gaffe. He really let the world know what he is truly made of, and may have won some new fans in the process.

Moving forward, here’s some additional advice I’d share with him:

  • Steve, have someone manage, or review, your social posts, especially in these situations. It is natural to make mistakes when you are stressed. The whole misspelling of Colombia (Columbia) and apologizing to a book in the New Testament  (Philippians) vs Miss Philippines (resulting in you being clowned even more on social) could have been avoided.
  • Sometimes we need to take time out for a little rest/playtime (you know we believe in that here at Jettasetting).  I appreciate that you are working to earn ALL of the money, but this worldwide wake-up call may be just what the doctor ordered.
  • If this WAS the result of you needing a bit of vacation time; talk about it. Who among us hasn’t pushed ourselves to the limit, only to find that our work was suffering?  Use this experience to help others.  Need some ideas? #callme


Now, on to the first runner-up:

Girl, I know you are probably STILL horrified and life JUST does not seem fair.  Take a moment to get that good cry out. Go to the spa. Fly somewhere and get your mind right.


But don’t despair too long, because if approached strategically, you could have a gold mine on your hands. Steve has handed you a platform. Paid speaking, book deals, brands hiring you for campaigns (I have a few ideas percolating in my head right now).


Quite frankly, you may be in a situation to be offered more endorsements and visibility than you would have enjoyed if this mistake hadn’t happened.  And the Miss Universe pageant should be doing the happy dance as well, because who was REALLY paying attention before this?


**looks around**




PS – Here is a clip of Steve Harvey taking responsibility.  There are some people who can learn from this.