Blog - Page 6 of 34 - My Campaign Coach

There is no greater enemy to your campaign than your own ego.

Here’s today’s tip: There is no greater enemy to your campaign than your own ego.

If you’re running for office, you’ve probably got a pretty healthy ego. Otherwise you wouldn’t be telling everybody that you’re the best possible option for the job. While ego rightfully carries a negative connotation, it’s an important part of each of us and when kept in check, can be a positive force.

But good lord I’ve seen it wreck campaigns. You’ve probably thought of several examples since I started talking from times you’ve seen a person’s ego lead to failure. Jobs, marriages, children, friendships. Every facet of our lives can be compromised if our ego gets out of control.

When you run for office, so many of your normal ego-checks are no longer in place. At least they’re often less effective. Your best friend may have always been able to pull you back when you were getting to full of yourself. But now that you’re a candidate, it’s easier for the devil on your shoulder to tell you, “He just doesn’t understand campaigns.” Or, “He’s just getting jealous of all the attention I’m getting and the cool title I’m fixing to have.”

Every facet of your campaign should be infused with a sense of urgency. No lollygagging.

Every facet of your campaign should be infused with a sense of urgency. No lollygagging.

Here’s today’s tip: Every facet of your campaign should be infused with a sense of urgency. No lollygagging.

A lot of people equate urgency purely with speed. Speed is obviously important in campaigns but just looking at urgency as a tempo measurement comes up short of what I’m talking about here.

I mean that you must be purposeful. If you’re needing to knock doors or put up yard signs, speed and urgency may be synonymous. However there are plenty of campaign activities that may require urgency at a slower pace. More deliberate and thoughtful. You’re still being purposeful but the manifestation of urgency looks different to the outside observer.

Think about Special Operations forces and how they work. They are so incredibly swift but they would be the first to tell you that, “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” They understand that you need to be urgent with every action but that speed is only one component of being effective.

Don’t just ask winning candidates for advice. Losing teaches lessons winners may never see.

Don’t just ask winning candidates for advice. Losing teaches lessons winners may never see.

Here’s today’s tip: Don’t just ask winning candidates for advice. Losing teaches lessons winners may never see.

I’ve interviewed and talked to more candidates than I can count. Each of them has unique lessons they’ve learned but some of the most valuable advice I’ve received has come from men and women who lost.

The biggest reason behind this is that most winners don’t spend time reflecting on what they did wrong. They won! So how bad could they have been?

When you lose, you spend a lot of time thinking about what you could have done differently and why you came up short. Even if it’s not a full-blown After Action Review (which I ALWAYS recommend), this time spent mulling over the defeat often leads to some rather poignant lessons.

When you’re seeking out advice, don’t just listen to the winners. If they haven’t done a strong campaign post-mortem, they may not even really know WHY they won or the things that nearly cost them the victory.

How to win: Work harder and smarter than your opponent.

How to win: Work harder and smarter than your opponent.

Here’s today’s tip: You need to Work harder AND smarter than your opponent if you want to win.

A good plan is awesome and burning a combination of sweat and shoe leather is important but there’s a limit to how far you can get if you can’t combine the two.

When I talk about working smart AND hard, I mean that planning AND execution are important. A good plan that’s not executed is wasted time. So is activity that’s not thought out.

If you want to win, you need to constantly balance planning and activity. You should start planning at the polls closing on election day and work backwards through time. Give it as much detail as possible and then start identifying the inputs that you need in order to keep that machine fueled. Those will primarily be volunteer hours, dollars, endorsements and your focused time as a candidate. Planning is how you make sure that your activity is purposeful and will move the needle in your favor.

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