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.

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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!


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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v25

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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

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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v24

Last week was really an amazing time for me because I had the honor of being given the Karen Mulhauser award from the Women’s Information Network (WIN). For those who do not know, I am an Advisory Council (AC) Board member for WIN and have been very blessed to work with such inspiring women. Here is my little love letter to them (who I also know are such great supporters of this little blog o’mine).

When I was first asked to join WIN’s Advisory Council, I was certainly delinquent in keeping up with WIN on a regular basis. I had been a speaker in some capacity throughout the years for their signature event, Women Opening Doors for Women (WODW) and had participated sporadically throughout the years in other ways. Having established a formal relationship with WIN, I was committed to meet my AC responsibilities and serve as a resource. Little did WIN know that my spending time with the WIN membership and leadership also fostered a growing desire to share whatever knowledge I had gleaned from my years of professional development. Whatever I was giving back was certainly returned to me tenfold by the women who felt that I was helping them through my AC role.

Fast forward to last week where I was not only given an award, but I was also voted to be the next AC Chair by the WIN Executive Council (the cherry on top!). I thank them for their confidence in me as WIN’s AC Chair Emeritus, Karen Mulhauser has been the AC Chair since the inception of WIN 26 years ago – it’s a new model for the organization and a new adventure for me. Karen has been such a stalwart and advocate, guiding WIN as it develops and she will continue to be a valued resource.

My fellow AC members are all uniquely qualified to be Chair and their talents serve WIN in so many ways so I look forward to working with them as WIN continues to support Democratic pro-choice women. Thank you WIN for this opportunity to serve and please know that you can count on me to support your efforts.

On to Tuesday Truths!

  • When I do my fundraising trainings, aspiring candidates always ask me what would be my one piece of advice about fundraising that they could start today even though they aren’t officially running for anything. My answer: grow and nurture your network. Sometimes it can seem unwieldy to manage a lot of contacts but having the ability to authentically connect makes for a deeper relationship. So even if your network is small that can sometimes bring more value than a broader network that isn’t very deep. Size does make a difference.
  • When you think you have nothing say when meeting someone new, here are 7 ways you can connect. I have to establish rapport everyday when I’m fundraising and so do my clients – a little behind the scenes research helps to figure out commonalities but when you’re at a conference or in an environment that may seem overwhelming, breaking the ice to allow others to talk will help get you going.
  • My political colleagues and I have conversations about emerging leaders in our fields and whether or not they “get it”. We sometimes talk about how certain political skills can be learned while others are much more innate. A big part of that is how much common sense an individual possesses. LAWDY – common sense is BIG in my book – putting the dots together and reasoning an outcome = I want you on my team. It’s just one of the factors that can trump book smart intelligence and when it comes down to a job interview, those components together can make you a great candidate for the position.
  • This is just so on point – you’ll notice that most of these leadership commandments are about individuals taking action and about helping others.
  • It doesn’t matter the type of job you have or the industry/field where you specialize there are mad skillllzzzz you need to survive as well as thrive in a professional career. Learn them, be one with them and you’ll find that they’re transferable wherever you go. The negotiating skill is KEY – if you need training, check out Tanya Tarr and ask her about an upcoming workshop.
  • People don’t think that I procrastinate, but I do! You may have read in previous posts that I mainly work in triage – bumping up priorities according to meeting my deadlines (which miraculously I seem to not blow – I will not say never!). Recognizing what motivates you can get you going as well as taking heed of the type of procrastinator you are so that you can work to make it a bit easier on yourself.

Thanks for reading/sharing – if you found this post or any of the other posts helpful, please subscribe!

If you have a comment or want to share an article that you think will be helpful to this shared community, please post in the comments section – I’d enjoy hearing from you!

— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v23

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It’s a busy week filled with more events and the start of a new intern. Any advice you want to give them for working in my office 😉 How are you getting on with your interns this season?

  • If you’re new to Washington, DC & the insane hierarchy of Capitol Hill offices, you may want to re-consider your social media presence, at least when it comes to how you decide to share your adventures.
  • I’m working on a project for the long haul. There are some immediate results (hello, fundraising!) but there are other points that will take time to piece together to see a broader result. As a consequence there are moments when I wonder, “why exactly am I doing this project? what did I sign up for?” so I have to dial it back and stop looking at the things that I hate about the project and see that there is a future where once the project is successful, it will be worth all of the frustration. So when you start to think that your goals are out of reach, these suggestions can help you get over the rough patch.
  • There was a time in my life when I ditched politics and went into a different industry to pursue an interest and see if I enjoyed it enough to start a new career. I was extremely privileged to be able to switch careers but I probably wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t feel the burn out of fundraising. It was a great learning experience for me but it also taught me how to manage my stress so that I could continue in politics without allowing stress to control my life. Here are some ways that you can manage your stress to prevent burnout. Tell me what else you do to give yourself some peace!
  • If you need to have a brainstorming session, recognize that you have introverts and extroverts as well as ambiverts who can bring their A game to the session as long as you give them the right environment to propose ideas. Set your team up for a successful session by taking these approaches – you’ll find that you’re getting better results!

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

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v22

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Much thanks to the incomparable Simone Ward for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with the folks who attended the brown bag lunch last Tuesday! Simone is the DSCC Political Director and is the first African American woman to hold the position. I love that she’s breaking barriers and working towards a Democratic majority in the US Senate. If you missed her at the lunch, read her interview with National Journal! #ladyboss

We’re in high gear for fundraising – by now, I’m most likely on a plane headed to the west coast for a client fundraiser. I get a break from the crazy DC humidity and will take the opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends for my less than 48 hour trip.

If you haven’t scheduled it on your calendar yet, you better get with the cool kids and join me for the Women’s Information network (WIN) Women Opening Doors for Women #WODW annual reception and dinners on June 11th. With 20+ different dinners to choose from with a wide range of topics, you’ll find a new group of like minded women to connect with in DC.

Hope you have a great week!

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • I feel like we’re always in networking mode and I feel it the most in the summer when interns come to town. You know the scene: people congregate with the people they already know and there are moments when it’s interspersed with people who know one of the people in conversation. What if you don’t anyone?? Do you hang out with the refreshments? Don’t fret – here’s 10 ways you can get that conversation started. “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” – just kidding!
  • When I talk about branding, I like to tell people that it’s about how you want to be remembered and to be consistent in your work so that you actively portray those descriptions. This will lead to tangible results but it requires some internal reflection. This is how you discover how amazing you are and so will everyone else.
  • I have a job that is a nice combination of work that I believe in and work that I do to pay the bills. Is it really necessary to have a job where you’re happy? Research says that it actually does matter! When I was unhappy in previous jobs, I felt disengaged and less committed to the mission of the organization. There may be times when we don’t have a choice and circumstances dictate that we stay in job where we’re not happy, but if you can make adjustments to get you to a happier workplace then it’s a win win for everyone.
  • Sometimes, I fashion myself as a private investigator because I’m always looking up potential donors – their bios, political participation etc and with the internet around, I have so many resources to figure out someone’s story. It gives me a snapshot of what this person may be interested in and what motivates them to participate. So if you ever need to do some quick research and become an “expert” on a topic or person, here’s how!
  • I try to remind myself of these tools when I’m talking to people who aren’t friends. I find that I don’t need it as much when I’m teaching/training since I’m very comfortable in the material. I also find that the way I communicate via email (in very concise sentences) is how I try to strip away excess in my verbal communication. It’s obviously a lot easier when you email because you can edit, edit, edit.
  • This article was intended for those individuals who are looking to friends and family to invest in a start up or kickstarter but I also found it pertinent for those who are running for elected office. You gotta ask for $$ and your friends and family are the early seed money investors for your campaign. It’s very similar and can be transferable to when you start your early stage of fundraising.
  • Before you can really start fundraising for your campaign, you really need to have a strong compelling narrative. The fine folks over at Campaigns and Elections put together a great article on to do that – one major takeaway – it’s a not resume!

Thanks for reading/sharing – what’s been your most helpful article so far?? If you haven’t already, please subscribe!

— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v21

It’s a district work period for the House and Senate and we’re gearing up for a pretty event heavy June with the 2nd quarter fast approaching. Sometimes I look at the past posts and realize that I could be commenting on some kind of sports game when I’m talking quarters.  My colleagues in the fundraising profession and I have “trained” donors to recognize short term gratification by creating an environment where deadlines are just ways to get to your contribution faster (thank you FEC!). I hear so often that people are tired of the barrage of email solicitations that come with the end of the quarter that it just turns into white noise and we’re still looking for innovative ways to capture people’s attention. Engaging with people in a way that makes them comfortable so that they can decide to click on the contribute button (that’s part of what I do for a living!).

Let’s get going with Tuesday Truths!

When you need to focus on convincing an individual or a group on making change or investing into a project, here are ways to win over their hearts or their minds. Great article that really translates well to campaign style too.

The original post was intended to help those who are hiring millennials but after reading the questions, I realized that it would be good to tweak them when it comes time for an employee review. I greatly believe in investing in staff – having managers who can recognize talent in the ranks and nurturing it because sometimes individuals don’t recognize their own talent unless someone sees it first and taking the time to see if people believe in themselves enough to have people push them further than they envisioned for themselves. These questions may bring broad strokes to who a person is (it is after all, a list of questions for when you hire) but these questions can be re-visited later to see if people have the ability to change their perceptions of themselves as they continue in their professional careers.

Authenticity and sincerity are the keys to making people aware of your accomplishments as well as your weaknesses. So even though we discussed humble bragging in last week’s post, there seems to be a scientific way to talk about yourself that highlights your strengths. Interesting article, indeed!

3 life lessons that can help you become a better leader. I’m still working on getting better on each aspect. Everyday I remind myself that each small step moving forward is still progress.

A really great post on the types of people that can help you as you build your career. It seems so elementary but yet so very true to maintaining a network. It’s especially important if you’re considering ever running for an elected office.

I like that is article is about listening and the techniques you use to show that you’re actively listening to someone. It will certainly make you memorable and people will want to have your ear. Which leads me to best practices for more effective communication. Campaign professionals talk about campaigns as a conversation between the voter and the candidate – a communications model. This ultimately is a back and forth so that we can get feedback. These techniques can be helpful for when you’re communicating with your peers, supervisors or with anyone who can help get your ideas across.

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— Madalene