This chapter focuses on the foundation of a winning campaign strategy. Crafting a successful strategy takes good instincts, an understanding of politics, historical context, and detailed quantifiable and qualitative research. Driving the process are five key steps that the campaign manager must undertake with support from the candidate, the campaign's consultants, and other key players: define a desired outcome, develop situational awareness, identify opponent's potential strategies, define a winning coalition, and create a strategic communications plan. After taking these steps, this same group must agree on the final strategy and get behind it to achieve success. Every candidate has strengths and weaknesses that must be identified and agreed upon before a campaign strategy is crafted. Before leaping into the process of putting together a winning strategy, every campaign manager must avoid the natural tendency to think as they have always thought.