Rule #2: It’s All About Who Does the Asking; Get the Right Person to Ask the Right Person to do the Right Task

by johndavis, June 19, 2013

The state Democratic Party has lots of Warren Buffetts scattered around the state. You know them. They are the ones who are the most respected in the community. The ones who are the backbone of the civic groups and religious institutions. The ones who have something extra that draws people to them.

They are the ones we all RSVP “yes” to if they invite us to an event.

Top 10 Keys for NC Democratic Political Recovery

 

Rule #2: It's All About Who Does the Asking; Get the Right Person to Ask the Right Person to do the Right Task

 

June 19, 2013        Vol. VI, No. 12            4:13 pm

There is not a single challenge facing the North Carolina Democratic Party that cannot be overcome successfully if the right person asks the right person to do the right task.

Illustration:  If Warren Buffett invited you to join a small group for a private dinner, would you go?  Does anything matter other than the fact that he is one of the most respected people in the world?

All of us are drawn to the most respected people of our time.  If they invite us to a private event, we go.

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, told CNN last November that he hopes Hillary Clinton will become the first female president of the United States in 2016.  What if Warren Buffett invited you to join a small group for dinner at the Cardinal Club in Raleigh to discuss your $1 million commitment to a North Carolina Hillary Clinton for President Super PAC?

Ummmmmmmm.  Right task.  Right person doing the asking.  Maybe the wrong person to ask?

The North Carolina Democratic Party needs money.  Who are the right people for the task?  The right people for each level of donors?  The right people for online fundraising?

The party needs organizational restructuring to meet the needs of modern-day, high-tech political warfare.  Is there a new generation of younger Democrats better suited for the task?

The party needs the best opposition research operation, the best recruiting, the best voter registration and turnout operation, the best data-mining … the best of everything a party provides.

Are the right people asking the right people to do the right task?

This is the second of a 10-part series on the keys to political recovery for North Carolina Democrats.  As with the previous series on Republican political longevity, no state legislator or legislative staff member was interviewed.  All interviews were conducted with the promise of anonymity.  The rules highlighted thus far, including today’s new rule, are:

  • Rule #1: If You want to Lead a Purple, Business-Friendly State, You have to Recruit a Purple, Business-Friendly Slate.
  • Rule #2: It's All About Who Does the Asking; Get the right person to ask the right person to do the right task.

Worst Situation in a Century

Is Randy Voller, the embattled chairman of the state Democratic Party, the right person to be the voice of state Democrats?  The right person to ask major donors for a major commitment to the party’s political recovery?  The right person to hire the right staff and consultants?

Rob Christensen, veteran political reporter and author of The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics, wrote a story in the June 19, 2013 N&O about Randy Voller and his leadership challenges.

Here are some words from the Christensen story that show just how deep a hole the party has dug itself into: “infighting;” “unusual settlement agreement with several of his critics,” “critics … calling for a vote of confidence on his leadership,” “squabbling;” “worst situation in a century;” “plagued by discontent;” “civil war;” “factionalism;” “complaints about him naming himself interim executive director;” “trip to Las Vegas with friends in March to watch a basketball game in which he used a Democratic Party American Express Card to charge $3,327;” “substantial consulting contracts awarded to friends;” “$7,000-per-month contract … in a party that is facing financially tight times.”

The Christensen story also notes that last week Nina Szlosberg-Landis, the first vice chair of the state party and one of its most successful fundraisers, resigned “citing the difficulty in working with Voller.”

Is Randy Voller the right person to lead the North Carolina Democratic Party to political recovery?

Spiritual Gifts Analogy

 Like most Christian church goers, I have slept through my share of sermons.  But there is one sermon I have never forgotten, a sermon that woke me up to a great organizational concept that is as valuable today as it was 2000 years ago when Paul the Apostle wrote about it in his Letter to the Romans.

The sermon was about how each of us is given a different gift, a personal strength.  How, according to our faith, God gives us different gifts because unique personal strengths are required to meet the many unique needs of the greater church.  Gifts like mercy or service, of giving, leadership or teaching.

Now here is the organizational value of that concept:  When asked to do a task for the greater good, you should say “no” to any task that does not fit your unique strengths.  Critical thought: If you say “yes,” you are depriving the organization of getting the right person to do the right task.

Have you ever accepted responsibility for a task that you were not suited for?  Was it a miserable experience?  Have you seen the quality of work suffer because the wrong people were in charge?

Getting the right people to ask the right people to do the right task is essential for political recovery for the North Carolina Democratic Party.

The NC Democratic Party has lots of Warren Buffetts

The state Democratic Party has lots of Warren Buffetts scattered around the state.  You know them.  They are the ones who are the most respected in the community.  The ones who are the backbone of the civic groups and religious institutions.  The ones who have something extra that draws people to them.

They are the ones we all RSVP “yes” to if they invite us to an event.

They are the ones who would never take a trip to Las Vegas with friends to watch a basketball game and use the state Democratic Party American Express Card to charge $3,327 in expenses.

Granted, political recovery is about strategic planning; it’s about careful targeting and perfect timing.  Political recovery is about flawless execution of tactical maneuvers.  It’s about raising money.

However, even with the perfect plan you will not succeed if you don’t have the right people asking the right people to do the right task.

Rule #2: It's All About Who Does the Asking; Get the Right Person to Ask the Right Person to do the Right Task.

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