I’m not a professional football player – in fact I’m a PR pro who recently helped a client with her first-ever political campaign. However, I can tell you that “Monday morning quarterbacks” are alive and well!
After Lisa Rice won decisively in her Northeast Tennessee primary bid for Criminal Court Judge Part 1 May 6 I have been amazed at the number of people who flippantly say, “Oh, Lisa was a shoo-in.” Really? Has anyone seen what happened in Virginia to that “shoo-in” former house majority leader Eric Cantor?
Let me share with you three things I learned along the campaign trail that can also be applied to business success. Use these and you too can be a “shoo-in.”
1. Work harder than you’ve ever worked in your whole life: Then work some more. Lisa was up at the crack of dawn every day, including weekends. She attended Saturday morning pancake breakfasts and Saturday evening spaghetti suppers. She walked neighborhoods and helped out at benefits. She met hundreds and hundreds of people. In addition she practiced law. To succeed in business or politics you have to want it and you have to work at it.
2. Never, never, ever underestimate your opponent: One of our local races was decided by 12 votes. That is not a typo! 12 votes! Another race was decided by just 68 votes. Never look past or over the opponent you are facing. Take each race and each battle one at a time. If you’re in business always be aware of your competition.
3. Run like you’re 20 points behind: I was told that Tennessee Senator Bob Corker uses that as his campaign mantra. It works for U.S. Senators and it works for small businesses and giant corporations. Run like you’ve lost 20 stock points or that you’ve just dropped 20% market share. Run like someone is nipping at your heels. But RUN and don’t stop until after the polls close on election day.
Bonus: It pays to be nice
This bonus comes from my dear friend Nancy Williams who watched the campaign as an objective observer. As I shared my ideas for this blog post with her over lunch, Nancy commended Lisa on her “clean race.”
“No matter what if you go about it with integrity you will always be a winner in the long run,” Nancy said.
Good advice for both business and politics.