One of my favorite non-monetary ways to reward people is through titles. Often this is the last thing that a candidate thinks about when hiring somebody. It’s an afterthought because, after all, you’re focused on votes and how to secure them cheaply. I’d encourage you to put serious thought into the titles and job descriptions of your hires and volunteers. Those will be tools they’ll use in the future to secure future opportunities and the more thought you put into them, the more valuable they’ll be.
In spite of that, every election cycle, I see candidates try that strategy. It leads to exhaustion, fractured relationships and frustrated spouses.
As with every area of the campaign, writing down a plan and talking it through with your team is the best way to start. The first conversations should happen with your family. You should have already had candid conversations about what you’ll be sacrificing and holding sacred during the campaign team. Things like a regular date night and no-miss activities with your kids should be on the list. My list would also include church and my weekly mastermind group meeting.
We see this truth both in religious and secular culture. In the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25, the master replies, “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many.”
Frequently I’m asked by young people how they can break into politics. Often, in their mind at least, they’re looking for the shortest path to being on TV, making a ton of money or significant fame. There’s nothing inherently wrong with those goals, but allowing yourself to be too fixated on a hack or short-term payoff means you’re going to miss the best strategy.
It may be intoxicating to look at the 20-something on Fox News or MSNBC and dream of sharing their level of fame and popularity but that’s likely not your best path. Even if you could snap your fingers and achieve it, the average career life expectancy of folks who ride that lightning is very short. Much like in the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, I’m going to put my money on slow and steady. That’s where long-term success originates.
Planning campaigns backwards may be counter-intuitive but it’s critically important. Doing so will allow you to set specific, measured goals, plan accurately for required resources and better anticipate the obstacles or challenges that can frustrate your efforts.
As the last phase of the campaign, Get-Out-The-Vote is what everything else builds up to. All the Identification and Persuasion, the slick advertising and important endorsements won’t mean anything if people don’t actually get off their butt and cast a ballot with your name on it!
When planning GOTV, consider the separate sectors you’ll need to divide your team into. A few possibilities that come to mind might be: canvassing, phone-banking, poll-greeting, sign distribution and data-analysis. Each subunit has a specific responsibility area and discrete tasks they’ll execute. This means that if I’m running the GOTV canvassing operations, I shouldn’t have a worry in my head about whether the poll-greeters are using the right script or the sign team has enough 4×8’s.