Being a PPC – managing demands

One common interview question, which we used when hiring our Organiser and is used in many jobs, is that of prioritisation: you have lots of demands on your time and are faced with a long list of tasks, which do you do first?

Prioritisation seems to be an ever-present task as PPC. There is only one of you but 1001 things that need doing. Help?!

Yesterday I went through three sets of my list – the first version which I had written the night before on how I would get things done the next day as the asks seemed insurmountable; the second version made at coffee time before rushing out the door to a meeting, of the things that still needed doing and ranking which was most important; and then a third version, a yet-again-revised list of things that had to be absolutely done that day, with a new list of what could be left for the next day.

There is never enough time. Prioritisation is key, with an emphasis on delegating what others can do. I am more and more saying to those around me,  “I am going to concentrate on what I am meant to be doing as PPC.” But in the real world, it never works out that way.

Ideally, I’d like to see more of a structure around PPCs – in target and non-target seats. This is one reason I am keen on the Candidate’s Compact, which is now used much more widely. It sets out what the PPC’s role is and what the Local Party’s supporting role should be. There are clear responsibilities for both, and this can be referenced when conflicts arise.

I think managing demands, which is the title of this piece, goes hand-in-hand with managing expectations. A PPC is a real person, not a super-human. Yes, we should manage the demands placed on us and use our time wisely, but part of that is also saying ‘no, that is not my job as PPC.’

Easier said than done. For those of you applying to be approved as PPCs, be prepared for a roller-coaster ride with all the thrills of the highs and lows. It is a true life experience like none other.

* Kirsten Johnson was the PPC for Oxford East in the 2017 General Election. She is a pianist and composer at www.kirstenjohnsonpiano.com.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

One Comment

  • Peter Chambers 17th Feb '19 - 8:16pm

    Structure is boring but important.

    I seem to recall this was something that sensible people tried to tell the first Blair government, seemingly taking several years to get through.

    More recently Sophie Walker of the Women’s Equality Party stepped down, saying that she wanted to put in place more structure around candidates.

    Just possibly a party that wanted to scale out, and elect a larger number of MPs should look at structure. We tried a hero culture in the twentieth century, breaking though at the expense of the health of various people. We could do better at the next attempt.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Martin 29th Mar - 10:22pm
    @ Katharine, Yes the Resolution Foundation. I had a mental crosswire there!
  • User AvatarManfarang 29th Mar - 10:10pm
    The beach is at the Baie aux Tortues.
  • User AvatarGordon Lishman 29th Mar - 9:58pm
    The reason I don’t use “seniors” is that the UK polling evidence shows that older people don’t like it. The Japanese reference doesn’t only apply...
  • User AvatarJohn Barrett 29th Mar - 9:47pm
    it is interesting how the same group can be described in completely different ways. When it comes to the coronavirus the over 60s are often...
  • User AvatarNigel Jones 29th Mar - 9:44pm
    I agree with the postponement, not because of media coverage but because we need our MPs to think, discuss with us and the public and...
  • User AvatarNigel Jones 29th Mar - 9:32pm
    In similar, but not exactly the same, way, I have long objected to the phrase 'youth crime'. Whenever speaking about it, I insist on talking...