Interview with Obama’s Campaign Manager

An interview with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign manager, David Plouffe:

There are business analogies. One is, we’re a startup, we had to go from zero to 60 in a matter of weeks. Our company, if we were successful, would only last two years at the most. You have an end line. You don’t have quarter after quarter to succeed. You either win or lose on Election Day. It is a very accelerated environment. For us particularly, because we weren’t planning to run for president, he got into this very unconventionally. It’s like taking off while you’re fixing the wings on a plane. You’re up on the high wire, but by the end we raised over three quarters of a billion dollars, over $750 million dollars. We had over 5,000 employees, we had millions of active volunteers. So it was a big organization. The most important thing for me as a manager was the senior staff. If you don’t have strong senior staff, you’re going to struggle, and I was blessed to have a strong senior staff. And we were an organization about accountability. Down to the entry-level staffer, we measured their job performance based on metrics.