In 2008, Obama’s campaign team was clearly one of the key reasons he raised so much money and won the election. His campaign had clear goals, objectives and outmatched McCain’s by a wide margin. But this is not 2008. Obama is facing an equal adversary, both in productivity and charisma.
This means that this election will be won by the most organized and shall we say – productive candidate. To set the record straight, this is not a pro-Obama or pro-Romney post. We can learn from both candidates; this post will talk about what it takes to win an election in one of the closest races in U.S history.
When the polls show a 47/47 tie just a week before Election Day; it becomes a matter of focusing your efforts in the right place, shaking hands, kissing babies and giving stump speeches effectively. Each candidate must convey the “right” message to sway voters their way…and they must do it fast!
Neither Obama nor Romney can be in more than one place at the same time, so ….
The candidate that will win these elections must know how to lead his troops. The troops must be able to convey their leader’s message to the public as quick and as accurate as possible. It must be done with enough charisma to harness swinging electoral votes. Everyone on the team must be in sync with headquarters, e.g., talking points can change quickly based on the ever-changing campaign.
Most importantly, each candidate must have someone as authoritative and charismatic as he is. Both Paul Ryan and Joe Biden convey their respective message at places where the candidates sent them. In addition, state Senators and Governors have their marching orders and are actively engaged on the campaign trails. Governors, such as Governor Christie (camp Romney) and Governor Crist (camp Obama) and other lobbyists, campaign managers and presidential activists are working on the field for their candidate. It may seem like chaos and last minute speeches, but these delegated “tasks” have been meticulously planned and choreographed both in timing and message.
When working on your projects, your team must understand your message – your goals and objective. In delegating specific tasks, you should always try to anticipate objections, be clear in your instructions, and coordinate all project timelines in a transparent manner.
We may think there are ten days left until Election Day, but campaign managers are saying 14,400 minutes remaining. Every Minute Counts!
Every candidate must make the most out of his remaining 14,440 minutes. Each campaign must focus their time and effort on the things that matter the most. They will only win if they take the right actions at the right time. Those actions that will give them the most value…that is votes!
Both Obama and Romney are prioritizing and achieving targets by quantifying the value (that’s votes, electoral votes to be precise) gained from them – this is at the core of Obama’s and Romney’s time management tactics. Obama toured more than 9 states in 38 hours in order to touch base with all his supporters. Romney focused his time in weakening Obama’s “edge” in the swing states like Ohio and Virginia; further focusing on three counties which could tilt Ohio in his favor. We may think he went to a particular Country by whim, but you can be sure its cost-benefit was mathematically calculated.
Do you know how long your projects, tasks and sub-tasks should take? Do you find yourself missing deadlines? Well, in Presidential elections, you can’t miss a deadline; you just lose the “keys” to the most important office in the world!
As much as they plan, life happens! With 14,400 minutes remaining, campaign managers are executing the plans. But with everything in life, you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Enter… Hurricane Sandy.
You can be sure Obama and Romney are not making excuses because of Hurricane Sandy. Nobody will care about a Hurricane on November 8. Each is 100% accountable for the results, they just need to be able to adapt. As Nietzsche (or Popeye) said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger…”
Like in any big project, the campaign is subject to influences that might change in a blink of an eye turning this election from a 47/47 tie to a one sided landslide. With Sandy coming this week to pound on the electoral door, both candidates are facing a situation in which they must deal with the chaotic effects of the storm. Both candidates missed events and are rescheduling around Sandy. The candidate that can adapt most effectively may very well win this race.
How well do you adapt to unexpected situations? Do you start preparing excuses or do you adjust your strategy?