Monday, June 18, 2007

"Substance trumps methodology." Roy Amara

"There is no history, only biography." Emerson

"Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with." Robert Frost

Working on my presentation for next month's Broadcast Futures Summit, I revisited the Mark Halperin and John F. Harris book The Way to Win. Amazon info here. A good read, the writing contains a great many keen observations by two seasoned political reporters. Mark and John share their trade secrets for presidential candidates. My notion is these are valuable lessons learned. Here is a sample of the wisdom on offer:

The way to win...

  1. Pick your moment.
  2. Know your stuff (hit the books and study hard).
  3. There is no problem that cannot be solved with the consistent application of the right strategy (Dick Morris).
  4. Do not use polls to tell you what to do. Use polls to tell you how to do what you want to do.
  5. Run toward your weakness.
  6. Be ruthless without being personal.
The way to lose. Lessons learned from Clinton's first administration...
  1. Never allow yourself to be bullied by your own party's legislative leaders and interest groups.
  2. Never forget who is boss, and never let others forget either.
  3. If you let your advisers battle over your soul, you will lose the battle.
  4. Do not ever squander the dignity of the presidency.
  5. Ensure that you are defined principally by your popular positions, and that the political damage from unpopular ones is effectively contained.
A Clinton trade secret: "When people are insecure, they'd rather have somebody who's strong and wrong than somebody who's weak and right."

Another one revisited in doing my prep, the Jon Mosier writing on Ulysses S. Grant. Part of the Great Generals series (Palgrave). Highly recommended for readers of military history and those interested in lessons of leadership. Amazon info here.

Thank you very much: Lester St. James, Lee Arnold, Dan Kelley, Joel Denver, Bob Shannon, Fig, Mark Edwards, Paul Gallis, and Reid Holsen. For taking the time to share your thoughts, much appreciated.