(Campaign) Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall…

September 5, 2018

The quote above, sans “Campaign,” is from F. Scott Fitzgerald. It always excites me when things get going again in late August.

While the weather in Oklahoma is nowhere near crisp, you can begin to detect the days changing, as the northern earth starts its’ drunken swing away from the Sun.  Those of us who hibernate inside through the hottest part of the Summer think about venturing outside.

Soon, my Basil plants will notice the reduction in the hours of light, and the trigger will go off.  The leaves will shrivel and the days of homemade pesto will be over.

Last week we released our 2018 Campaign class of Loaned Executives (LEs for short) from their training.  They found their way to their new cubicles, set up their voicemail and email, and yesterday started the work in earnest in helping raise over $25 Million for our community.

Our Loaned Executives are not all truly loaned anymore; while some of our good and staunch campaign companies will still “loan” us an employee for the 12 weeks of our campaign, some choose to give us funds for the purpose — we then go and hire folks for the duration.  I say it’s the best-paid leadership training program in the Tulsa area.  Many go on to join area nonprofits or join us, and others go back to their firms with a renewed zeal and a new set of skills that improves their value to the company.  If they come in with doubts about their public speaking ability, that vanishes after they’ve given numerous talks at campaign events.

This is my Eighth Loaned Executive class to come to know.  It changes the org culture immensely when our staff suddenly doubles in size.  All the cubes are filled with new energy.  The most amazing part is watching folks come in who MAYBE aren’t fully psychologically invested in our mission.  They’re nice and all, but you can just sense that they’re not ALL IN. After a couple of weeks of training, touring some of our partner nonprofits, and after taking part in our communitywide Day of Caring, something clicks.  They now see the need in the Tulsa area, see also how incredibly giving the people of Tulsa are, and you can’t stop them from doing their part.

I remember reading in David Ogilvy’s book “Ogilvy on Advertising” that you can’t truly sell a product if you don’t believe in it, and I think that applies equally at TAUW.  You can put in the hours, and maybe you can be somewhat successful.  But you won’t truly be an evangelist for the needs of your community, and people can sense that.

Every LE cohort is different in personality.  Some have welded together as a cohesive unit.  Some have embraced the electronic tools in a big way.  This cohort appears to be very no-nonsense, task-driven individuals.

I can’t wait to see how they do at the end in early November.

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