The Early Days of Hope & Change (Part 2)

The following is the second in a series describing the beginnings of Hope & Change:

Arrival

The migration to the campaign is a testament to the lure and reward of entrepreneurship. It is the uniquely American phenomenon of leaving everything behind to pursue the unimaginable. For many of us, the pilgrimage culminated at Obama for America (OFA) headquarters in Chicago, making it a gathering place for idealists, innovators, and risk takers.

While it may be true that the campaign was a magnet for the young who had more to believe in and less to risk, quite a few who’d walked through our doors left behind high-paying employment at law firms, Wall Street companies, private businesses, and consulting practices. It was inspiring to personally witness the number of people streaming in without the promise of a job who were instead motivated by a higher purpose.

It was an electric time in the campaign; spirited, innovative, and hopeful. A highly driven, uninhibited group of people had been unleashed into this competitive environment. The mix of pace, purpose, and passion they brought with them was intoxicating, but in a workplace without boundaries it was a combination that could also become toxic. We didn’t have inherent parameters or organizational history to guide us.

Also, view another clip from C-SPAN's coverage of my talk on Lessons from the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

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