My Campaign for Student Council President of Hinsdale Central High School
Hey, thanks for checking out this post. I’ll pretty much be recounting my experience running for President, and giving some lessons along the way. Enjoy!
Three Lessons I’ve Learned About Leadership:
When you ask someone to do something, you need to be very specific with what you want. You need to tell them what they’re doing, how they should do it, when they should do it by, where they should do it, who they should or should not work with, and most importantly, why you need them to do it/chose them do to it. By going through this process, you will be helping someone to help you. This is a crucial part of leadership.
E.g. If you’re asking a teenage volunteer to help you canvas:
“Jeff, I need you to help canvas tomorrow from 12-3 PM so that I can get on the ballot before the primary next month. Please stand by the Clarendon Hills Public Library with Samantha and ask people who walk by for a signature in order to get me on the ballot. When people walk by, introduce yourself and ask for a signature. If they ask you why, tell them a little bit about me and the concerns I would help address if elected. You could talk about how I will be the most accessible representative that will host town hall meetings biweekly in order to truly understand the concerns of my constituents. Jeff, I need you to do this for me because I know you have great people-skills, especially with guys your age. Teenagers have an incredibly low voter-turnout in Clarendon Hills, so the work you do tomorrow is very significant to our campaign. I’ll give you a pen and a few signature sheets in a few minutes, and if you need anything just call me. Do you have any questions?”
There are three things you must do when hosting a meeting with a group of volunteers:
You must have an agenda with specific directions prior to the start of the meeting. Without this, it’s very hard for volunteers to stay focused because they don’t know what they’re doing.
You must keep meetings brief and straightforward in order to keep volunteers engaged and motivated.
You must provide incentives for volunteers to work for you because they’re doing it out of their own free-will. It never hurts to bring some pizza for them after a few hours of their hardwork.
Use your network effectively! I can not stress this enough. If I could go back one year to work on my campaign, the one thing I would have fixed was to properly use my network. If you have a friend who is passionate about directing films, ask them to direct your campaign videos. I had a friend named Daniel. If you know someone who is hilarious and loves making memes, ask them to make memes for your campaign. I had a friend named John. If you have a friend who is interested in photoshop and visual design, ask them to create your flyers and posters! I had a friend named Vivian who I should have asked for help. If you have a friend who loves politics and literally wants to become a policymaker/campaign manager when they grow up, ask them to head your campaign! I had a friend named Sydney who I should have asked for help. All of these people will more likely than not be willing you help you because they benefit from the experience too! If you learn anything from this blog post, let it be that you will realize the importance of asking for help and using your network effectively.