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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v34

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Are you ready for Fall? This time of the year gets me excited – Summer is coming to a close, the start of a school year and the lead up to the crazy of a Presidential year! I wonder if I will ever tire of this kind of excitement? It is a mental game – knowing that there’s still a lot to do and trying to best use the time to get everything done because even though it seems like a lot of time, it really isn’t! I’m getting ready for one last escape and upon my return, it will be managed chaos to get to September 30th. I hope you’re enjoying the remaining days of sun and fun! If you haven’t used all of your vacation time, get on it!!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Finding your power stance and projecting authority – it’s got to do with your limbs and eye contact. A friend of mine told me that my wardrobe is my armor. I have a certain aesthetic that I project when I put on my work attire and my friend is certainly correct in that assessment. I’m often in heels because I stand differently when I’m elevated and as a result, most people think of me as being a certain height. When walking into a room, I square my shoulders and remember to stand straight and walk a little taller. I gesticulate when I speak – official photos of me speaking on a panel or making remarks document my hand gestures. When I look at other principals, I see how they hold themselves and I remind myself that I’m a peer who conveys the same authority. You gotta just remind yourself to OWN IT!
  • There was a time when I was the youngest person in the room. I skipped a grade as a child and therefore graduated early and therefore, started my career a bit earlier. I have the good fortune of my momma’s genes and as a result have always skewed youngish in looks. There was a time when I couldn’t wait to turn 30 so that people could take me seriously! With these factors in mind, I had to work with lots of people who were more experienced and older than me and lead them through many of an election. We’ve got some tips to get through that experience. Remember how you did this as a young person because when you get to be middle aged and older, you’ll want the next generation to do the same for you! I really think it’s about acknowledging respect and getting input. People’s life experiences are meaningful and having institutional knowledge helps in making more educated decisions. However as the leader of a team, you’re ultimately responsible for its product so take the heat if something doesn’t work out and share the credit when it does.
  • Science proves that there are optimal times to get things accomplished. Want a raise? Ask in the morning. Need to make a difficult decision? Be sure that you’ve eaten. Make the most of your day! I am a morning person (if you follow me on twitter @madalenemielke you’ll find that I’m most enthusiastic about my morning routine of going to the gym at the crack of dawn) and I tend to get a lot of work out of the way right afterwards.
  • Isn’t this the time when people do their fantasy football leagues? I have vaguely seen my friends post about it on FB but my equally exciting version of that has been outlined by the New York Times graph of all the different staffers working on the presidential campaigns. Yes, I’m a #politicalgeek.
  • I don’t have to write often in my professional life. My life is usually spent on emails so they tend to be short and sweet. If you are interested in writing, here are 5 ways you can improve your writing. Concise and compelling seem to be the goals.
  • This is so critical in establishing and maintaining communication with your manager. Deciphering their behavior and how they absorb information will help you in keeping them in the loop. My staff has learned to anticipate my questions because they get accustomed to how my brain works and how I process the bajillion things we’re juggling. The more you understand their patterns, the better you’ll be in figuring out your own responsibilities.
  • I’m doing my best to have better work life balance. I decreased my work load so that I could incorporate other activities of interest to me. That’s definitely a privilege that most people don’t have but it’s also a conscious decision to change habits so that I can accommodate the other things in my life that are important. So although I may venture to far flung places, I probably won’t be shopping as much 😉 Here are a few habits from people who have achieved a manageable work life balance. Most people know that my Sunday evenings are spent with my immediate and extended family so I rarely accept any external invitations, unless completely necessary (work travel, friends’ celebrations). If I can’t make it on a Sunday then I also try to schedule a time during the week that I can at least see my mom. If it’s important to you, then you need to make the time for it!

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— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v33

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I hope everyone is having a great summer! I’ve returned to the quiet of DC, where the usual work schedule has been replaced with a more relaxed rhythm. It was great being gone for 11 days because I got a chance to see how other people live their schedules with their priorities. During this time I got to visit with one of my best friends, who is taking the ultimate plunge in our industry (running for elected office!). I couldn’t be more proud of her seizing this opportunity. With everyday you gain more experience and with the right attitude, you can reach your goals. It won’t always be easy but the best way to start is to just start.

Here’s today’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Do you believe that life is always about statistics? In fundraising, the more phone calls you make, the higher the chances that you’ll get better results (that’s also dependent on the type of list you’ve created to make the calls). That’s a statistic. There’s a mathematical principle that’s based on the idea that the more an individual takes the initiative, the better their chances are for getting what they want.
  • I wouldn’t say that this specific rule applies to fundraising but it does help in making a relationship warmer. If you’re applying it to a situation where you are asking for help, being generous of your own time and providing support prior can help you. If you’re going to ask someone to help you, it’s always best to have a track record of you being helpful to that particular person in the past. It’s always about a give and take.
  • This may be the year of the woman in electoral politics and that also translates into more female operatives all across the board. Here’s a great list of just a few of the phenomenal women who are making their marks in politics.
  • We’ve talked before about procrastination and the seemingly endless Jedi mind tricks that we use to get something checked off our to do list. Here’s another approach to remind yourself why you’re the BOSS…..of yourself :)
  • With any set of challenges, there will be times when you really need to dig deep within yourself to stay positive. I have faced challenges where I have wondered if I would be able to mentally pull through. There have been times when I have asked myself, “Is it easier to quit then to keep going?”. Those internal struggles can define how you decide to move forward and having the capacity to make clear decisions can help you recognize what is best for your situation. Here are a few mindsets where you can frame some of those difficult challenges.
  • Opportunities can come in different guises. You need to figure out how you can make the best of these opportunities. You might not need a promotion to get ahead when what you really need is to grow (disclaimer – be sure that you include these additional responsibilities into your portfolio so that you can discuss that at your next review and get the promotion/salary increase!). Titles are free and accomplishments speak for themselves.
  • During my trip, I encountered a conversation about mediocrity and if one could live a life of mediocrity if you’ve seemingly always have lived a life of excellence. We know that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, but how do we manage our own expectations when comparing ourselves of yesterday to today and even tomorrow? On a tangent, I had a conversation about how I was slowly moving into retirement (not taking on more clients, not hustling as much) and I was alright with it because I continue to feel that I’ve done a lot in the 13 years that I’ve had my firm. My professional and personal goals are not the same as when I started in this business and I give myself permission to be OK. Does it make me happier? Do my life choices mean I can prioritize some other goals that I had put aside? Everyone’s definition about being mediocre is different and most importantly, it’s personal. Embrace the life you want and ignore everyone else’s definition of what is excellent.

Thanks for reading/sharing & if you haven’t subscribed, please sign up!

— Madalene

take a chance

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v32

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Mixing in a mini-break along with work travel is a nice combination in the summer. I get to visit with some of my favorite people while raising money so it’s a win win for everyone. I readily admit that I’m not the best vacation type person. I don’t like to have things hang over my head when I’m supposed to be relaxing and when I check out, I really want to check out! My type of work isn’t life or death so not answering my emails immediately isn’t going to set up catastrophe, but I feel like it might. Occasionally, I need to remind myself that it’s OK to take a day off now and then. It’s good to take the time to re-charge! #noguilt

In the meantime, Tuesday Truths!

  • I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mindy Kaling’s first book and with her new book, there has been a lot of promotion. She recently did an interview with Glamour and it was a valuable lesson in building self confidence. It’s nice to see that we share the same philosophy! I’m looking forward to reading more.
  • Do you need a primer on how to get a job on Capitol Hill? I get lots of those questions and this comprehensive list can really get you focused. Another idea is to look at your own natural constituency. I’ve had people talk with me who are Latina/o or AAPI and I tell them to look at the organizations that help to promote diversity. You want to use every natural advantage!
  • There is scientific proof on the ideal length to vacation. In case you’re wondering, it’s 8 days – do you think that’s long enough or do you need more to re-charge? When I take vacationing seriously, I usually travel a great distance so my real vacation time is about 8 days because the days at the beginning and at the end are my travels days. My longest trip has been about 2 weeks when I went to Australia but I’m more known for my crazy let’s leave on Thursday and get back to DC on Monday when I go to Hawaii.  I don’t recommend it for everyone :)
  • If you don’t have time to get to a vacation, you can find ways to make your life a little more idyllic when you try to push out negativity. If you work in a stressful environment, there is only so much you can do to brace yourself so maintaining your mental health is key. Here are ways you can counteract those moments and keep your spirits buoyant!
  • An interesting perspective in working towards your goals is to think about the struggle that you’re willing to endure. It takes a great deal of strength to weather and knowing what pain and sacrifice you’re likely to experience makes you more aware of what it takes to reach those goals. What do you think?
  • Stepping into a role with more responsibility? Get a promotion and not sure how to handle the more challenging aspects? Here’s a checklist not only to think about what deliverables you can produce but also how you can maintain self care and professional development.

Thanks for reading/sharing! If you haven’t yet subscribed, please feel free to sign up!

— Madalene



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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v31

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We’ve started another month and as I get ready to jet out west, I can’t help but think that we’re going to be in full on campaign mode once we return for September! Since I’m a sef-proclaimed nerd, I really enjoyed returning from vacation to start school so Fall has always been my favorite time of year (see, I told you that I’m a nerd). I’m scheduled for a bit of down time so when I get back to the crazy, I’ll be re-charged and ready with new ideas so that I can get to Beast BGM (Busy. Getting. Money.) mode. Hope you’re taking the necessary steps to get some relaxation time onto your calendar.

Here’s to Tuesday Truths!

  • All of us need tips or even a refresher to keep our conversations from going stale. It helps to see where you may need improvement and how you can remedy it. Conversations can come naturally if you’re willing to actively listen and willing to make connections.
  • Living in DC, we get a lot of the same questions about “what we do” and sometimes, the frequency of that question may make you think that’s how you should define yourself. For too many years, I wanted to be taken seriously and thought that my choice of profession would help in making me more of an adult. Now that I take myself less seriously, I know that I have a lot more attributes to my life than my work (yay!) and giving myself the room to define myself how I see fit.
  • I am often asked how did I decide to go out on my own and start my consulting firm. First, I had a mental shift with my work. The organization I was with was going through a transition and I needed to decide if I was staying, going someplace else or get out completely. I couldn’t think of a job that I wanted so I thought really hard of what I wanted. In all honesty, I knew what I didn’t want – and that tangible thing was I didn’t want a boss. So if you’re thinking about going solo, here are a few questions you can ask yourself before you take the leap.
  • When you think about the amount of money being spent on the 2016 cycle, it’s a whole lotta moolah – especially in the race for the White House. Most people think we should fear the corporations with the loosening of election law, but it’s really a small elite group of individuals and their families (fewer than 400 families!) that are determining how money plays a dominant role in these elections.
  • In the “thrill” of politics, we can sometimes get swept away with the emotion that comes with fervent rhetoric and that may lead to political hate – you can read more about how that can be defined and how we can stop it. Don’t you want to have more of a discussion of ideas in a civilized way? It may not bring ratings or energize a segment of a population, but maybe we can get more people involved in how they can shape their own futures. Am I getting a little too idealistic here?!!?
  • Every boss is quirky – we come with baggage, expectations that are crazy high, and we want you to be able to read our minds – well, no problem – you’ve got this! I’ve had associates in my office who totally get me and those associates do really well because they’ve figured out how my brain works and what I’m likely to ask each and every day/week because they understand what I’m obsessed about in my routine. They knew how to anticipate and they knew what I needed before I even realized it. The more you can identify these items in your boss’ life, you’ll find that you’re really managing them without them really knowing it. It’s like having a mind meld.

Thanks for reading/sharing/subscribing! Drop me a line in the comments section – What has been your favorite article and I’ll re-share it to the community!

— Madalene

glass slippers

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v30

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Last week for the House to get it together before they recess until after Labor Day!! Lots of things to do but first and foremost on my list — a BIG thank you to all of the readers/sharers/subscribers!!! Thank you for continuing to be a part of this community as we learn how to create a more well rounded society, professionally and personally. I enjoy reading the articles with you and hearing from you as you share your experiences (feel free to comment – we all benefit from them!). Knowing that you think the blog is timely in your own lives means a lot to me and I hope that I can be there for you as you create a life that you want to live! So, thank you for creating this community!

Tuesday Truths are ready to go!

  • I recently had a discussion about dressing for success and recognizing that each industry has their standard “uniform”. Although I work in politics and government, I don’t work directly in those fields where my de rigeur attire is a charcoal/black/pick your dark shade conservative suit. My professional attire is bit outside of the box so I have more flexibility in what I choose to wear. I also have the benefit of age and although I may not initially appear to be my age, my demeanor and attitude carries beyond what is considered “age-appropriate”. One of my best friends used to work in the House leadership and we could always spot her in a crowd on C-SPAN because she shunned the usual colors for more vibrant ones when she worked the House floor. She has also taken this attitude with her on her move to the west coast in a work place where she’s below the average age and everyone seems to own at least 10 pairs of khakis. She has no qualms in being herself and letting her work be on display even when she’s wearing a print dress.  There are times when we want to blend in – I remember the days when I was an intern on the Hill and worked for a Democratic member in leadership. At the time, the standard practice was to wear white hosiery (!!) and skirt suits. Yes, I complied and yes, I questioned my ability to find my own voice. As actresses fight for more substantive questions on the red carpet beyond “Who are you wearing”, it’s important to not take yourself too seriously when you express yourself in a professional environment. So I’m glad to see that Silicon Valley female executives are ripping up the play book about what to wear! What would you most want to get rid of out of your work closet?
  • Do you need to learn how to overcome the awkwardness that sometimes comes with networking and/or talking with strangers? Hate to tell you, but the only way to overcome it is to practice! Here are a few techniques that you can use along the way!
  • Millennials have become the largest demographic cohort, surpassing the Baby Boomers and as my fellow Generation Xers take the helm of management, this article shares a few ideas of how Millennials can get promoted. I’d enjoy hearing what Millennials have to say about these suggestions. Knowing that this is a broad generalization is a given but also acknowledging that there are differences in work style and how on a generational level, we value them can help us better understand each other’s motivations.
  • I only started fundraising in the AAPI community 11 years ago so although that seems like a long time, it really isn’t in the history of identity politics. As a Democrat, I didn’t necessarily identify with my constituency when I started working in politics nearly 20 years ago. My first and last name don’t identify my AAPI origins, if anything it identifies my German ancestry and only when I started doing AAPI fundraising, did I add my Vietnamese middle name so that people could see that with my email signature, you were probably communicating with an AAPI. This Roll Call article by Stuart Rothenberg analyzes the struggles that Republicans have with identity politics while National Journal columnist Josh Kraushaar writes about how diversity can be just as messy for the Democrats.
  • I recently met up with a former colleague who was a feeling a bit stagnant. Being that she is over a decade younger then me, I told her to relish in a less chaotic schedule. My friends and I would be even a bit jelly of her free time! I’ve come to realize that my life can be overly scheduled and a lot less spontaneous, but that’s not really the point – the point is that every thing that we do, no matter how mundane can lead to success. Taking the time to see opportunities and “recognizing the good” will ultimately pay off. This article was really interesting to me as it also taught me the “Seinfeld Solution” – have you heard it of it and yes, it’s named after the comedian Jerry Seinfeld!

Thanks for reading/sharing/subscribing – Don’t forget to drop me your comments!

— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v29

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This has been an intense weekend of America’ Opportunity Fund (AOF) training (9 hours straight just on Saturday!!) while watching the next generation of leaders drop knowledge of best practices and how to succeed in the fundraising profession. Training/teaching is always fulfilling in seeing how participants connect with the basics of what we’re teaching and creating a more informed corps of professionals. I also had a great time talking with the participants of a brown bag lunch series on fundraising through Democratic GAIN. New faces who stay in the business = a flowing pipeline. To cap it all off, I hosted a Women’s Information Network (WIN) dinner at my home for a program that we have called Linking Leaders. Members get a chance to network with one another while connecting with an Advisory Board member on topics that the Members get to choose. A thrilling few days and I’ve got a lunch fundraiser on deck so let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • One of the topics we discussed at last night’s dinner was how to gain more leadership/management skills if you don’t have a lot of opportunity to showcase them in your work environment, perhaps due to the work culture. This led to more discussion about personal branding and how to differentiate yourself from others. From wardrobe selection to work product to finding a mentor, it was a conversation that really broke down the components necessary to be successful in your career (basic career building) and how you can help others in the process. Here are a few things you can do so that you can be taken seriously as a young leader.
  • Working in campaigns, I know that there are way more things on the to do list than staff who can do them all. As a result, we rely on a team of volunteers to help us knock through the tasks. Obviously, the staff tends to work on the bigger strategic items while the volunteers help us with the items that help us in making those strategic decisions. You’ll find that you have a group of dedicated volunteers who have demonstrated consistency and straight up street smarts so delegate to them more responsibility so that you can get even more things done. The same applies to your office team! If you can’t delegate tasks, you’ll find that you’re not working as a efficiently as a team. It doesn’t mean giving up control, it means taking the time to teach your team how it should be done. It’s not going to be 100% the 1st time but the investment will create more dividends in the future. For those who are being managed, see how you can help your supervisors. It’s a matter of trust – the more I trust in myself as a manager and how I teach in addition to the person I know I’m delegating the task, I’m going to give you bigger projects. Mutual trust.
  • This is a bit of a longer read but well worth your time! There are times when you are unconsciously paralyzing your success. Recognize them and ask yourself if you can create an environment where you can overcome these obstacles.
  • I certainly take the personal branding lessons that Iris Apfel teaches seriously – with 93 years of experience, she knows how to create and maintain a brand! You don’t get to be a fashion icon without knowing how you want others to see you.
  • I got a question last night about how to better network and one of those ways is to be an active listener. You really need to be present in the conversations with the people you’re networking with because it provides for a deeper relationship. We take those types of conversations seriously when we’re talking with prospects and donors because the more people remember the short term conversation, the probability of making a connection is stronger and what is networking really about? Creating relationships! Here are ways that you can network more effectively. You’ll find that listening is the author’s first tip!
  • The power of introverts unite! Part of the dinner discussion was also how to introverts better network? As a combination extrovert/heavy introvert, I really do my best where I can prepare and know when I need to exert “more”. So if you’re in a work environment where you’re surrounded with extroverts, here are tips on how you can best navigate work situations to your advantage.

Thanks for reading/sharing/subscribing! Drop me your comments below!


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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v28

It’s Bastille Day and it also would have been my dad’s 86th birthday! Although he passed away when I was a teenager, my dad heavily influenced my life. I have him to thank for my adventurous palate, my healthy sense of wanting to gather friends/family for impromptu occasions (my mom was quick on her feet in pulling dinners together when my dad would bring home a party!), and he gave me a tremendous amount of confidence being an only child growing up in a multicultural family – yay for German and Vietnamese roots! I hope your week is going well and let’s get to reading!

  • Working in the rather unconventional industry of politics, I know a few things about not having supportive friends/family in my career choice (fortunately, all the people who really matter to me have all been very supportive of my decisions). It’s challenging everyday under the best circumstances so don’t let the naysayers influence your attitude or your actions.
  • Ever since I moderated a panel discussing how to work across generations, I’ve been intrigued about the dynamic between the Gen Xer and the Millennial. I work with a lot of Millennials and every year that has passed since I became a manager and have gotten older, I feel like I’m turning into the cranky neighbor, “Get off my lawn!”. There are a lot of discussions about how to attract the Millennial workforce and yet, I wonder how do we educate Millennials about the the already existing infrastructure and how to best adapt. So for those of you who fall in between the 13-34 age range, here’s how you can work with the Gen X demographic (all within the context that speaking for a group is considered widely general).
  • I often tell people that they need to have a communicative relationship with their manager/supervisor (this sounds a lot like the way millennials like to interact). Why? In my experience, my supervisors were able to see things about myself that I never saw. They were able to assess my potential and envision the things I could do as well as behaviors that I needed to strengthen. Although I’m very hands off (my staff may have a differing opinion), I’m always probing to see what my staff thinks they’re missing from their skill set as well as informing them of what I’m thinking they’re missing. This kind of feedback creates a more well rounded visual of your portfolio and it’s one of the steps that you can use to become a better version of yourself.
  • Even I need reminders that it’s never too late! I take a bit of issue on the article because success doesn’t necessarily mean that every thing you do is equated to monetary success but I get that the gist of the article is meant to inspire you. With that as an aside, remember that there are a lot of other attributes that will propel you along when you don’t have connections, training or wealth (one of them being talent!). Age ain’t nothing but a number!

Thanks for reading/sharing!

— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v27

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I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend! I had the great fortune to spend it with 2 very close friends visiting from out of town and it reminded me how spectacular it is to have female friends who support whatever it is I’m doing. The feeling is certainly mutual and to watch the US Women’s National Team win the World Cup together was just the cherry on top.

We’ve started the 3rd Quarter and with a few weeks left before August recess, there are a plethora of events and meetings to get us through Summer! Next weekend, I’ll be conducting a Democratic Finance Directors training in DC for America’s Opportunity Fund – if you care to apply – here’s the link – so if you want to learn the technical skills to fundraise or if you’re interested in running for office, this is a MUST do training.

  • The soccer tourney was great because I got to see a few empowering commercials featuring women who ROCK! I particularly like Under Armour’s hashtag #wewillwhatwewant and I think there’s so much meaning to that mental attitude. There are certain types of people who believe that they’re fixed beings and can’t change but I come from the “make your own luck” society and those who believe in “What You Think, You Become” are members of my tribe.
  • I’m starting to feel like I’m really focused on my female readers today so guys, I hope you hang with me/us because today is really about the sisterhood that makes everything in life less chaotic. I really do believe in exalting the accomplishments of women and here are a few women who will knock your socks off – they’re so cool for just being themselves and wanting to change the world. They’re awesome role models not just for women but for everyone!
  • I’m really digging the Hill Navigator’s column! In this one she’s talking about how you choose between policy or communications. My experience is a little different with communications and fundraising. I’ve had friends/colleagues who made the transition and my words of caution remains the same – fundraising is a dreaded task and if you’re good at it, you’ll always have a job and people will want you to stay in that field so you need to be dedicated to overlooking any finance opportunities because those will be plentiful and you know, you gotta pay those bills so hold out for the communications position that will come later in the cycle.
  • I’ve had a lot of friends who are or were unhappy in their positions and attitude in the workplace is very much related to productivity. If you’re not recognized for your talent, why waste it at a place that thinks you’re replaceable? Although, the caveat for me is that I always think I’m replaceable since I feel that is the nature of the beast of politics but moving on. So putting that aside, this list talks about how the habits one needs to display for getting promoted, but I also see it as a checklist for the environment one needs to actually exhibit these habits! Use it for your own checklist before you take a job because if the work environment allows you to grow, it will allow you to also get promoted!
  • With the summer in full swing, I do a lot of information interviews with interns (those who are still in college), entry level staffers (who may have recently graduated within the last few years) and brown bag lunches with a mix of people. I get that at this point in one’s professional career that there is uncertainty with the kind of career one wants. There are lots of questions of “If I go this route, can I switch over to something?” and as much I don’t view myself as a guidance counselor, I do understand that the decision for a career can be overwhelming. Here are a few ways you can check that uncertainty and make a few decisions on your own.
  • I’ve been in campaign environments where there were yellers – loud, profane infused yelling directed to individual(s) for their mistakes and I wear my time with those yellers as a badge of honor, however I haven’t taken to that method in my own office. Yes, I do yell and do use a lot of profanity but it’s never directed to anyone in my office. I’m usually just yelling into the air about a situation or circumstance and figuring out how I can remedy it. Those who have worked in my office know that I’m at my most dangerous when I’m quiet. My tone and demeanor when giving criticism is one of a level headed person but sometimes it causes tears because the general feeling is that my staff has let me down. I don’t think I place that pressure on them but they feel it because they know that we are a team and when mistakes happen, I take responsibility for them as well because I didn’t train my staff well enough to get the task done correctly. I genuinely respect my staff because I want them to learn and I want to learn from them (although I did have one former staffer give me “The Devil Wears Prada” dvd as a gift one year – were they trying to tell me something?). Offices that don’t have civility can create more stressful work environments and it makes a difference on the staff’s work performance. It really does count to be nice!

Thanks for reading/sharing! Subscribe so that you don’t miss a post! Feel like sharing? Drop me a note in the comments section!

— Madalene



we are what we believe we are

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v26

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What a weekend! I’m sitting at the Four Seasons in Seattle having my liquid diet that mainly consists of gin and tequila (let’s hope it helps me when I eventually get on my red-eye flight back to east coast Washington). Why was this such a great weekend? I made it out west to do a fundraiser and meet with folks on a client and to conduct a training for the AAPI community, PLUS it was #Pride2015 with lots to celebrate. The training cohort was phenomenal and since I’m partial to my female sisterhood, the class was comprised of all women. Do you know how elated I am to know they there are women who are willing to lead?!! Obvi, it’s not suprising that women would take the lead but it’s so exciting when I have participants from a variety of backgrounds and ages taking steps to become better educated on the process and encouraging one another to make the leap. I see a bright future for the Pacific Northwest.

AOFSEA 2015 AOFSEA 2015 2

We’re looking at the last few hours for the QTR – pray for me as I continue in collection agent mode – I might get a little cranky behind the scenes. I manage to keep my composure most of the time although my internal thoughts are similar to this clip from Entourage – LOL 😝

Excited to share Tuesday Truths!!

  • I share numerous articles on project management because these tools are helpful to me in motivating me to get my tasks completed. I hate feeling rushed so I take the opportunity to plan accordingly so that I can avoid as much of the anxiety that I associate with being rushed. Items on the to-do list can be overwhelming and fear can certainly lead to inaction but these habits can help to create an environment where you can handle a complicated project.
  • So even if you take the necessary steps to handle project management, there will be time when it still feels overwhelming. Here’s how you can take back control so that you’re in the driver’s seat.
  • I don’t have any siblings so my childhood was highlighted with lots of attention (aren’t you smart/aren’t you cute/you can do anything). As a result, I have a healthy sense of self confidence which is critical in the political business because there are lots of other people who have the same measure of self confidence and credentials. I block out the noise and compare myself throughout the years to see how the current version of me stacks up to last year’s version or my version 5/10/15 years ago. Here are a few ways you can stock up on confidence so that you can see your growth.
  • There’s been a lot of discussion of leadership and being self aware. Recognizing your leadership style or at the very least, the kind of environment you would like to have with your colleagues and managers is a start. I find that I’m a combination between a DRIVER + a DOER. I work in small teams and large ones depending on my client work so being able to understand how you fit into your teams can help with how you produce.
  • How do you voice your concerns at work? It’s a rule in my office that if there’s a conflict you need to come with solutions. I want to know how it can be solved and that you’ve taken the time to assess the situation and how it can be remedied. Whiners are not allowed!
  • Do you realize that we’ve surpassed the 1/2 year mark already??? It’s a good time for me to reflect and see where I am in my goals. I already know that I’ve given less priority on one of my goals right off the bat so I’m going to need to make adjustments to get on track. Here are 4 tips to how you can set goals that lead to success.
  • Overall I found this article to be on point with its steps on how to overcome burnout but it was a little wacky that it was sponsored by a skin care beauty line so although I try to maintain a healthy skin care routine, I’m not really sure how much it factors into achieving a more balance life – LOL – but don’t discount the other recommendations!

Alright folks – got questions you want answered or want to share any tips? Put them in the comments section!

Thanks for reading/sharing!


Screenshot 2015-06-22 17.41.44

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v25

Photo credit via

We’re in the final stretch of a full week before June 30th – really putting the follow-up techniques for fundraising into full affect. I’ll be in Seattle later this week to do a fundraiser and training so I’ll have a limited amount of time to get my commitments in the door so BGM (BUSY. GETTING. MONEY) is on blast!

Let’s get to it!

  • So you did a major belly flop with an assignment or you faced a major career disaster head on with lots of collateral damage – how do you recover and make adjustments? It’s bound to happen! I always say that I’ve been yelled at by the best in the business and it has ingrained in me how much I do not ever want to repeat that kind of F-up so that it doesn’t happen again. At the end of the day, it’s embarrassing but I find that embracing it and owning up to it paves the way for resolution. The Harvard Business Review says that there are 3 ways you can react so share with me how you’ve recovered!
  • Working in politics, I see people who are always striving towards goals, mainly dedicated to obtaining a better title (which in most cases requires more responsibilities!) but there are times when people talk about becoming elected officials and ambition seems to be the driving force. As a person who assesses risk on a constant basis for when we need to find a a path to victory, it can be challenging to encourage people to do something as risky as run for office. With that in mind, if you can make the dream into your reality against all odds, screw what others say and go for it. You have to inspire your own work, whether that be in politics or some other field. People might say that I’m an example of being out of the box because it’s certainly not normal to have a Vietnamese American female work in politics (ask my mom – she’ll definitely tell you that it’s weird but yet still be proud of my accomplishments). So even if you don’t have external cheerleaders, you’ll always have your inner voice to move you forward.
  • Sometimes it’s the simple questions that really drill down to our values and as a result, help us to become better at our jobs or find ways to improve our lives. These 2 questions can help in your reflection, but since I work in politics my career certainly addresses these questions everyday.
  • If you’ve read my blog long enough, you’ll know that I’m a big believer in making your own luck and making a real effort to defining success on my terms and not someone else’s. If you feel like you’re stuck although you have ambition and have been putting in the time, these reasons may help you find out why you’re not as successful as you want to be. While you’re at it, if you’ve been wanting to do something in a broader context of a goal, here’s how you can get started to achieving “how to build a better network” or anything else you’re working towards. Small changes everyday will build a habit that leads to substantial changes.

Give me examples of things you’ve done to help make improvements in your career/life! It would be great to hear from you!

Thanks for reading/sharing and if this post or any of the previous ones have been helpful, please subscribe!

— Madalene