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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
- 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).
- 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?