Becoming the Man with the Plan

Whether you’re launching a blog, running a campaign, or attacking a new project at your work— you will always undoubtedly benefit from having a thought-out plan.  I know, it sounds obvious- but I’m always amazed day after day at those (including me, at times) who forget this.

This subject has come up quite a bit over the past week in my professional life.  As I embark on a new campaign and arrange all my ducks into a row, I’m realizing the necessity for any successful project or assignment to be well-planned and thought-out.

I was recently having lunch with an incredibly smart and talented colleague of mine who helps advise political campaigns and guides candidates through the incredibly difficult process of pulling together a campaign team.  One of his biggest concerns, and problems, is when young campaign teams or candidates approach him without a campaign plan on paper.

This mirrors the guidance I received while taking the Campaign Management Institute (CMI), a two-week intensive campaign-training through the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies.  The great take-away from CMI is to plan, plan, plan.  You must get things on paper and you must clearly think-out your strategies– otherwise not only will you likely miss your mark, but  be unable to inspire confidence from others.  Every goal of a political campaign is to win 50% + 1 of the total vote– so get on paper exactly how you plan to reach that goal (through a communications, field, and fundraising strategy).

This ethos really applies to nearly every part of your life.  I’m currently working on a massive campaign-style project which requires hours upon hours of collorative planning– but I know the upfront time and resources will pay off in the long-run.

I am extremely empathetic to those who argue to just jump right in with projects– and plan as you go– as to not waste time and energy without seeing output. I think in some reagrds I still fall prey to this ethos– getting involved with countless projects without clearly getting on paper how I plan to reach my goals.  However, basically every time I head down this path I am not nearly as effective as I could be, I take much longer to finish these projects, and I often miss-out on great opportunities along the way— all by-products from the lack of planning.

Become the man (or woman) with the plan. Get things on paper.

You’re a non-profit hoping to take your social media engagement to the next level?  Think out a policy and develop a strategy!

You’re hoping to maximize your blog to further personal goals?  Write out your plan to make it happen!

Take the extra time upfront to clearly determine your goals and how you hope to realize them— otherwise, you’re only setting yourself up for a world of hurt in the end.

Most importantly, remember- if it’s not on paper, it doesn’t exist!

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3 responses to “Becoming the Man with the Plan

  1. We can never hear the words “plan, plan, plan” too often. I am one of those people who bursting with energy and passion just want to get started NOW and I have to step back, breathe, and remember to plan.

    Planning may not be the sexy part, but it is the foundation that sets you up for success.

    • Exactly! We’re very much alike in that regard. I just jump right in– worried that if I sit and naval-gaze too long that I’m not getting anything accomplished— but all that time and upfront energy really pays dividends throughout the campaign.

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