HIRE A TEAM THAT CAN EXECUTE THE CAMPAIGN PLAN.
Get the Right People on the Bus – and Get Them in the Right Seat…
Author Jim Collins wrote a bestseller about companies that make the move from “Good to Great” He wrote that these companies “start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”
The same principle applies to campaigns. Your personnel decisions will have the greatest effects on the success of your campaign so the old adage, “hire slow and fire lightning fast” applies here.
Campaigns are hard work. There are hundreds of tasks – big and small – that have to be accomplished. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and have mission creep. Who you surround yourself with on the campaign will make a huge difference in your campaigns’ success.
The Candidate is NOT the Campaign Manager!
This is a big one. Whether a candidate for local office or Congress, the candidate simply cannot act as the campaign manager. The candidates’ job is to raise money and ask for votes. Period. End of story!
I know it’s hard for candidates to let go of the details and delegate to campaign staff. I’ve been there and struggled with it as well. The key to letting go is to develop a campaign plan that has clear direction, task delegation to specific people, clear deadlines and reporting duties.
Identify a “Kitchen Cabinet” to Set the Campaign Strategy
Campaign strategy should be set by a small group of trusted advisors – not by a big committee. In the early stages of the campaign, the candidate should find 2-3 people who will form the candidates group of trusted advisors. In larger races, the candidate and the general consultant will guide the strategy-building process. These advisors are the strategic thinkers who will use the research and planning tools to develop the broad strategy for the campaign. Generally, the general consultant or campaign manager will translate the broad strategy into a working campaign plan.
Bottom line, the strategy group needs to be a small so discussions don’t become “group think.”
A Majority of Your Hires Will not be Thinking about the Campaign Plan…They’ll be Executing it.
Your campaign plan should have an organization chart and list broad duties and responsibilities for each campaign function. Beyond your strategy team, most of your staff hires or volunteer recruits will be focused on executing the campaign plan. Make sure the personnel portion of the campaign plan focuses and gives clear direction for your staff.
As you consider making key staff decisions for the campaign, there are several items you should consider.
1. “Execution” mindset. Hire people who are doers rather than talkers. Your campaign will be 10 percent strategy and 90 percent execution so find people who can flat-out get the job done. Before bringing someone onboard, test his or her abilities in the hiring process.
2. Job Descriptions. Don’t hire any campaign staff until you have built job descriptions for each position. The only way you can engender an “execution” mindset is to have clear direction on what a new hire will be doing day-to-day. This allows you to delegate specific tasks and hold the hire accountable for clear direction you’ve given them.
3. Delegation of Details. While the campaign plan provides broad direction for each campaign department, the campaign manager should delegate the details to “department heads” by given them the opportunity to build a day-to-day detailed plan for their department based on the broad direction in the plan. It then becomes the manager’s responsibility to oversee and manage the execution of those department plans.
4. Cash Flow is King. This is common sense, but don’t make commitments to your campaign hires that you can’t keep. Nothing lowers employee morale like wondering if they’re going to get a paycheck this week as promised. Manage your cash flow (from fundraising operations) to reduce disruptions. You may need to hold off on hiring for a month or two to build cash reserves.
IT’S YOUR TURN
Two main points of action. First, as a candidate, are you prepared to let go of the details and delegate to your team? What are three things that you need from your team so that you can delegate the details? Second, spend a few minutes and review your campaign plan. Does it adequately address personnel issues? Does it lay out broad strategic initiatives for your team to carry out or is it vague? Get with your campaign manager and do a walk through of the plan and see if you can clarify and maybe expand roles and responsibilities.
What are some key success principles for you? Let us know what you think by posting your comments below in the comments section.
Did a friend share this post? Did you stumble across this through social media? Get the whole training series by subscribing below.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
[social_share style=”square” align=”horizontal” heading_align=”inline” facebook=”1″ twitter=”1″ google_plus=”1″ linkedin=”1″ pinterest=”1″ /]