I’m not wading into the right pick for President, but Mayor Pete made an interesting comment about what sport is most like a campaign.
His pick? Football.
I would have gone with basketball – here’s why:
  1. There are more “back and forths.” Basketball games can have 100+ back and forths, changing offense and defense every few minutes. Campaigns face the same kind of quick transitions.
  2. The same players play both offense and defense.  Campaign teams can’t switch all new teams for offense and defense.  Each member of a campaign team has to play both roles.
  3. More people can pass, more people score and more players touch the ball. Campaigns have defined roles, but like basketball players, members of a campaign team need to be able to jump in and help outside of their role,
  4. Basketball has a smaller team.  Have you ever noticed that a meeting or call with more than 5-7 people often becomes unproductive?  11 person teams (the number of players on a football field) are unruly and less effective. Most management theorists believe that 6 people is the ideal size of a team, closer to the size of a basketball team.  (Quick tip: Large campaigns have staffs larger than 5 people, but should organize their teams in groups of 5-7 people).
  5. Point guards have less impact than quarterbacks.  Campaigns are similar – campaign managers play a role that’s much more similar to a point guard than a quarterback.

Which sport do you think is most like a campaign?

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