By now you’ve probably already seen the Christine O’Donnell clip from Piers Morgan Tonight earlier today. It deftly shows what happens when you don’t zig zag .

As you watch, you will notice how inflexible and unwilling Christine O’Donnell is as Piers Morgan asks less than ideal questions. O’Donnell made the mistake of expecting to drive straight toward her goal of promoting her book rather than participating in an interview. When Morgan asks her something outside of that goal, O’Donnell stiffens instead of zigzagging.

To make matters worse, O’Donnell doesn’t just avoid zigzagging: she flat out refuses to talk about anything but her end goal. She pushes back on Morgan and creates conflict and discomfort for every viewer to see.

In the end, unwilling to zig zag the conversation, O’Donnell walks off awkwardly. Imagine the metaphor I often use of a car driving straight up a mountain; O’Donnell attempted to drive straight up the face of Mt. Everest and drove herself off a cliff.

What a wasted opportunity! O’Donnell had a unique chance to promote her book to millions of people, and she blew it because she wasn’t flexible enough to talk about anything except the particular points she had laid out. Businesses, projects and wonderful opportunities get shut down every day because of this sort of unwillingness to zig zag. The Zig Zag Principle isn’t just for business. It’s great for just about everything in life – including difficult interviews.