What To Do Before Running For Office – Part 2: S.W.O.T. Analysis

Now that you know why you are running for political office, you need to complete a SWOT Analysis on yourself. Done properly, this exercise will deliver an honest appraisal of your personal strengths, personal weaknesses, campaign opportunities and campaign threats. The most important ingredient in making this exercise the most beneficial is brutal and objective honesty. There is nothing to be gained by sugar-coating, ignoring or blatantly lying to yourself about this information. The key here is intellectual and emotional honesty. A useful tip to getting the most out of this exercise is to do several rounds of this document and pass it to trusted advisors after each round to provide their objective input. Keep in mind, you want these advisors to tell you the truth without fear they’ll injure their relationship with you when they provide honest feedback.

If you are unfamiliar with SWOT Analysis, it is a tool long used to clarify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of companies and individuals within their given environments where it relates to a stated purpose.  Nothing is to be left off the table of consideration. What is your resume? Do you have a personal social network (not social media)? How deep and how wide is that network? Do you have community service involvement? Who is in your circle of influence? Who are you connected to professionally? Hard skills? Soft Skills? Emotional IQ? Communication skills? Sales skills? Who are your opponents? What threats do they pose? What are their strengths? How do those strengths match up against your weaknesses? What advantages do you possess over your opponents? What disadvantages?

A full SWOT Analysis worksheet and toolkit is included in our Election Hackers Core Program available for the 2020 election cycle to those who purchase the program. Regardless, there are many resources available online to help you conduct a useful SWOT Analysis.

In Part 3 of our series we will discuss Race Analysis. There is no way to come to an informed decision to run for federal office without conducting a thorough analysis of the district and the races of past cycles.