Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mindset of Michael and McEnroe

I recently read the book Mindset - an excellent read for anyone with the slightest ambition or interest in psychology. The core idea is that those that seek growth and learning are more successful at accomplishing their goals in the long run than those that do not, despite short run pitfalls and mistakes. Seeking growth trumps natural talent, limited or non-existing resources, etc. The book is full of great anecdotes to drive home the point, from Michael Jordan being cut from his high school varsity team to John McEnroe's limited career, despite his obvious talent.

I can't help but overlay this idea upon the evolution of web strategy within politics. I am learning every day that the evolution within American politics will not include a silver bullet - that one tool that produces so much value for the campaign that its use becomes obvious and ubiquitous at the same time. Though I continue to believe focus on the goal is vitally important to any web operation, campaigns must continue to deploy diverse resources to explore this vast and ever-changing idea of web strategy. Just as important, they must measure these investments in terms of their overall goals, learn from them, refine and repeat.

Like Dean in 2004, Obama now carries the mantle of online guru. All presidential campaigns are doing something new in this space. However, Obama's effort appears the most adept at building upon what has worked elsewhere, inside and outside politics. Even among his own internal efforts, the campaign continues to try, measure, refine and repeat to grow beyond current successes. They are not always successful and they certainly could go further, yet it is clear they have the mindset of a champion, with regard to web strategy. This is certainly not the only reason Obama has been successful thus far, but it most definitely is aiding his ascendancy.

Will Obama be cut from the team like Dean in 2004, or will he be given the chance to lead the Dems into November? We will see soon (today?) if there is payoff in the long run...

No comments: