Buck Up, Suck Up… was written by two political strategists most commonly connected to the Bill Clinton campaign. James Carville focused Former President Clinton on the economy with the now famous line “It’s the economy, stupid.”
This book covers 12 different rules to help you win in life. The authors, James Carville and Paul Begala, have experience in the political realm, which they say is more impressive than business success as a 49% market share is great, but in politics, you lose.
This book was written in 2002, so it was actually quite interesting to read after this recent political climate. I kept wondering how many of these rules need to be altered in the age of Trump.
My favorite chapter was about Rule 5: Understand the difference between strategy and tactics. In this chapter, Carville and Begala highlight three different parts of analysis: objective, strategy, and tactics. The objective is the overall goal. The strategy is the plan of action. The tactics are the tasks to get you there. Focus on the most important tactics that fit in with the strategies to meet the overall objectives.
I immediately began thinking about this in terms of my faith, family, and work. What are my main overarching objectives in those three areas. What is my plan to make sure I am accomplishing that and what are the items I do on a daily basis to stay on the right track? It’d be pretty bad to either not define main objectives or have the wrong objectives and to be toiling away in futility with endless tactics.
This book reminded me a lot of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, the 3rd book of the 2017 Books of Titans reading list, in that it provided a great framework for approaching a political campaign in a similar way that the 22 Laws book did for approaching a business. It’s one of those books that will be great to open up once a year and quickly run through the rules.