staying stuck

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v4

Photo credit via

Winter is barreling ahead full steam so we’re bracing for some crazy snowfall up and down the mid-Atlantic so I hope everyone on the east coast is staying safe and keeping warm. It might be a good time to get in some Tuesday Truths!

  • Regardless of what level of seniority you’ve obtained, you’ll always looking to improve. That might mean taking on more responsibility so that you can get to the next level, or wanting a promotion because you’re feeling professionally stagnant from mastering your current position. As a result, there will be skills that you will need to learn. Undoubtedly, you’ll encounter moments where you will have no clue how to do something. No one wants to feel like an “impostor” but you want to appear like a competent person as you maneuver through this experience. Here are some tips on how to best fake it til you make it so that you can continue to show confidence while learning along the way.
  • My colleagues and I are always on the lookout for talent and for individuals who exhibit qualities of future leaders. How can you show that you’re a leader if you’re a staff assistant or have no management skills? One quality that I look for is when someone helps others, not just to those who are their managers but also to those who have less experience. If you don’t manage the interns, but interact with them, how do you help them succeed? Your actions, as well as attitude determines whether people can see your leadership abilities and potential so take advantage of doing more than what is your scope of work.
  • Which leads me to when you have to manage someone who you may not particularly like. There are going to be times when a you have a member of your team who you may not have hired, but you have to manage. I tend to get along with everyone as I try to respect everyone’s roles. As long as you respect my role, I can respect yours. That includes understanding my position within the hierarchy of the management infrastructure as well as my history with the principal(s). I may look like I’m in my early 30’s but I have experience that exhibits itself by my actions. Whenever there’s a team member who rubs me the wrong way, I try to remember that as a manager, I’m above the drama and it’s my goal to have the team work as efficiently as possible by tapping into the strengths of the individuals and helping them with their weaknesses. If you’re the person rubbing people the wrong way, you don’t have to please everyone and personality doesn’t necessary fit into a neat box but you should recognize that some traits can be improved upon with a bit of polish and a boost of confidence. It’s really a relationship of all three articles.
  • I am a total believer about making your own luck. Does that make me a hippie dippy/glass half full/unicorn chasing rainbows kind of gal? Perhaps but I also try to pair that attitude with a high dose of pragmatic reality. I’ve had my share of disappointment but I don’t think I was ever really disillusioned. It’s about setting a mentality that allows for failure (yes, failure because we’re not perfect) while looking towards achieving attainable measures of success.
  • Since a lot of my clients happen to be men (OK all of them are men), I recognize that as a woman, I’m giving counsel to people who trust me for my political acumen. Fortunately, I’m not the only female to provide expertise on these teams so it helps to have a welcome environment to express opinions. I’m an only child so growing up I always had my family’s attention and with an AAPI mother, I was taught to have a more AAPI attitude towards deference to my elders (if there’s ever a hierarchy, it certainly dwells in an AAPI family) so talking back was certainly a no-no. I didn’t find my voice with my family until much later in life but I always had my voice for those people outside. I’ve enjoyed reading how we can nurture our younger females so that they don’t ever lose their voice. Which also leads me to how adult women can get their male colleagues to stop “mansplaining”. I have an Irish American husband who is the oldest of 5 and when I’m at his family’s house, I have to take a break because I’m not accustomed to having such a boisterous family lovingly talk over one another – a managed chaos that comes with family habits but not one suitable to business meetings when someone (gender neural at times) hijacks an idea or interrupts you when you’re speaking. This is assuming that you’re expressing yourself with authority and doing it in a manner that demands attention. I speak at meetings only when I feel like I’m adding to the conversation. This may or may not work for you. If I feel that my assessment or summary is worthy of discussion, I don’t hesitate to initiate it when appropriate. People have noted my style as to be calm and deliberative so that when I speak, people listen. When I’m talking and someone decides to talk over me, I speak louder because I don’t allow the person to be a distraction. I work with people who have been in politics for a long time and as such, we have worked on multiple campaigns together and provide mutual respect. So don’t hesitate to demand that respect by how you present yourselves and SHUT IT DOWN when someone thinks that they can.
  • Have you ever thought about taking a life audit? I’ve done it informally throughout my career so I could assess if I was creating a life that I wanted to live and love. I have felt, at times that I wasn’t living up to my potential and made choices accordingly. One of the reasons why I started my consulting business was because I wanted to be my own boss. It’s times like these when I have had my best periods of self discovery. Although challenging, this personal journey can make a difference in how you view your life. I’ll share my results if you share yours!

Hope everyone is staying safe on the east coast! Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know your comments!

— Madalene



Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v3

Photo credit: Martin Luther King, Jr. quote

This week has a lot of fun things ahead and that makes my work that much more interesting. Hope you’re having a great week!

  • If you haven’t heard, ABC will be premiering Fresh off the Boat on Feb 10th and I was fortunate enough to be invited to a special screening at the Newseum. The AAPI community is nowhere near parity in seeing talent that look like ourselves but we’re making strides. It helps to have a strong grassroots community to show their support. Here are a few AAPI bloggers who certainly help the cause. To read more about Eddie Huang, the inspiration for Fresh off the Boat, read his interview about his experience of turning his life into a tv show – both poignant and hilarious.
  • From Silicon Valley to sports to recruiting local candidates, these African American leaders are taking the lead. I look forward to seeing more of their work!
  • I went through a quarter life crisis in my mid 20s and as I face my 40’s, I’m experiencing a change in my own career that isn’t quite as linear. So if you’re in your mid 30s, meet Sharon Chang, the former Chief Creative officer for 19 Entertainment (the company behind American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance) who decided that she wanted to leave that position and make a career change. If anything, experience that comes with age makes you more self aware. So if you’re feeling like you’re getting stagnant, it’s a good read to self reflect.
  • This article was written for millennials to teach them how to manage talking on the telephone but I was more intrigued about the info graphic on how to handle the calls itself (basically how to sound natural, the best time to make the calls etc). It’s a great tool for those of us who hate being on the phone (that would be me) and for those who need to be on the phone to do fundraising call time (political candidates!).
  • As a political consultant, I spend an enormous amount of time helping clients with strategy. Some of my clients have been clients for a long time so I know how to work with their personalities to reach a shared view. Here are a few tips to how you can “disagree” with your manager and get back to working towards the same goal.
  • A few months ago I was asked to do a branding presentation for one of the Capitol Hill staff associations. It is such a challenging presentation because so much of it is self reflection and requires the individual to really take the time to assess their own goals. Here’s a great step by step process that can help during that self reflection.

Thanks for reading/sharing and if you find the posts helpful, feel free to subscribe!

— Madalene



Girl You Be Killin Them

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v2

We continue to see gloomy weather in DC and I think we’re still reeling from the announcement that Senator Boxer will not be running for re-election this cycle (coincidence?). I hope you’re having a good start to the work week wherever you’re situated!

  • The US Senate has always been considered an exclusive club. Can you believe that there have only been 44 women who have ever served? 44 – EVER in the history of the US Senate. With the recent announcement from Senator Boxer that she would not seek re-election to his Senate seat, is this a chance for another woman to take a place in HERstory? Reading this recent Politico article about the women who have served in this elected body was quite fascinating and I thank all of them for all of their work in making the Senate a more equal institution. We still have a long way to go but these women have certainly paved the way.
  • Most of you know that I advocate mentoring/championing those who are less experienced. As a woman of color, I especially believe that we need to support one another and teach those who would benefit from our experiences. Finding mentors within our communities shouldn’t be challenging yet this article shows that it can be quite a hurdle.
  • Although I’m no longer a young professional, I could heed some of these time management tips myself!

Thanks fore reading/sharing! If you don’t want to miss a post, remember to subscribe!

— Madalene


goal digger

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v1

goal digger

Photo credit: Goal Digger

Aiiiggghhhttt – time to hit it! I hope you had a cracking time during the holiday season but it’s time to put down the eggnog and get to business. I’m in the process of getting a new project started that should be announced shortly so I got a deadline to keep myself. In the meantime, get to reading those Tuesday Truths!

  • So I tell everyone who wants to be a campaign consultant, get working on some campaigns (outside of DC, of course!) because the camaraderie you share on those campaigns can forge life long friendships and business opportunities. There was a time in my life where I thought I would never date a colleague because I would just leave my work at work (well, was I ever wrong!). Now, making friends on the job is certainly different than dating, and having colleagues who have your back is like having a few extra aces up your sleeve.
  • Today is the start of the 114th Congress with newly elected members being sworn into office. This Congress is the most diverse EVER (yay!) which comprises of nearly 20% women and a little over 17% non-white.  So let’s do a little basic math = this means that the Congress is still comprised of 80% of men whereas the population is more than 50% female and white non-Hispanics comprise of 63% of the population. Nowhere near a true reflection of the population in representation. How can we take steps to have a more representative Congress in the future?
  • So happiness can produce success – ways that you can bring more happiness to your life. I like this strategy and it continues my way to #livinahappylife

Hit me up on the comments section and let me know how your 2015 goals are coming along!

Thanks for reading/sharing and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already!

— Madalene



Tuesday Truths

time to drink champagne

Photo credit: Time to Drink Champagne but probably not dance on the table if you’re at your office holiday party :)

I’m officially taking a holiday from work so if you’re doing the same, I hope you’re enjoying yourselves and if not, I hope this post is helping you get through the work day!

It’s the end of the year so that usually means resolutions and an even more determined effort to get it together for the start of the new year. My new year’s resolution (almost every year!) is to have more fun! Everyone tells me how much I work but to be perfectly honest, I think of work as fun (yeah yeah – there are definitely times when I get frustrated and want to do bodily harm but MOST of the time, I’m feelin’ pretty good with where I am in the world). Remember you’re only competing with yourself so don’t compare someone else’s story to yours. We ALL come with our own baggage and that means we also have different paths to reach our definition of success. I’m always open to improvement!

So get to reading!

  • So in that vein, I read an article about Career Choices – granted, people may not have a lot of options when it comes to making career choices. You may have been “Funemployed” for longer than you anticipated so taking a job out of necessity may be a priority because we all got bills, bills, bills but if you could decide how to move ahead in career without much consequence, these choices make a whole lotta sense!
  • There are sooooo many lists of things that successful people do everyday – really??? I would get confused making sure that I was doing everything but this list makes so much sense and it’s totally do-able. Remember success is personally defined! My biggest problem is actually the “stop planning and just do it” – Perfect is the enemy of the good :)
  • I like to think that I’m a good wing woman for my single female friends when we’re out and about but you should consider being a career wing”person”. So take a look around your office dynamic and see who’s got your back. They may be helping you more than you know!
  • My fellow #APIAs what do you think about why we excel in academics? I skipped a grade when I was younger, probably due to the fact that my mom used the summers to help me increase my math and reading skills. I usually hated those breaks because while the other kids were out playing and having fun, I was doing math problems but hey, I loved being the youngest person in all of my classes ;) I may or may not have been the snotting kid in class #justsayin’
  • Why mindfulness may help you achieve your goals – living in the present may help that attention deficit.

Enjoy the holidays! If you liked the post, feel free to share and subscribe! Thanks for reading! See you in 2015!

— Madalene







Tuesday Truths


In the past few weeks since the election, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been doing informational interviews for those interested in getting into politics or at the very least, political fundraising. We’ve got a lot of people who have come off of losing campaigns, the Hill where their members of Congress lost their re-elections, and just overall job fatigue. So it got me to thinking about how we make New Year’s resolutions to improve our job skills or to take a fresh perspective on how to wrangle the time we spend at work. I’ve taken a step back from my own fundraising firm to brew up a little something different (still under wraps but soon to be revealed) so I totally get wanting to be challenged in the work front. So it’s just not the millennials who get a little antsy about job satisfaction!

In the meantime, let’s get to a short exercise and to reading!

I am

  • When I first saw this on Pinterest, I thought about how I would finish this sentence so here’s my first draft:

I am wickedly strategic in finding ways to expend my energy.

This was never going to be about a job title but more of a mantra. What say you? Drop me your I am ______ in the comments section!

  • In the vein of doing informational interviews, here’s a Millennial’s take on how to get the job you want. I’m also going to include that a majority of the points apply to those who don’t fall into that age category.
  • I’m a HUGE believer in knowing as much as possible about my prospects and knowing the pressure points for how to create rapport. How does that apply to when you have to charge your way through the masses to get a cover letter written to accompany your resume? Start thinking about it as a pain letter vs a cover letter.
  • I’ve been a mentor for a few years and I’ve always come into the relationship with the realization that I’m a reference point for those who are asking me questions. If you’re looking for a mentor, you should be looking to create this type of environment and mentors can also learn quite a few things from you too.
  • So you’ve got the job you want and now you gotta make an impression. Here are ways you can learn on the job so that you can get the job done!

Got any comments? Let me know!

Thanks for reading/sharing. Feel free to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on a post!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths

 Little Girls with Big Dreams Become Women with Vision — Unknown

We’re rolling into the last month of 2014 and it’s really all about getting ready for the 1st QTR of 2015. The glamorous life of a fundraiser!! In all seriousness, I’m going through closing reports and reviewing what was raised, where it was raised, and who it was raised from – my life is about analyzing numbers and seeing the sources of income. Basically looking at the “sales history” and predicting how this will unfold for the 2015 finance plan.

So in the meantime, enjoy the Tuesday Truths!

  • Guilty as charged with the messy desk but it’s weird since I’m a little OCD.
  • Looking to answer the interview question of “Tell me about how you solved a work problem”? Here’s how Elon Musk evaluates your ability. (video)
  • I’ve been fortunate to mentor individuals in their career paths so if you’re not an entry level professional but want ideas to find a mentor, here are a few ways that you can start your search.

As always, hit me up on your comments and feel free to share with your networks! Thanks for reading.

– Madalene

Tuesday Truths

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”Chris Grosser

I’m so Type A but there are moments when even some of these habits would drive me CRAY CRAY.

Goals vs Systems and how that leads to success. Good thing I’m into having a process.

I’m always meeting people in fundraising so having them “like” me enough so that they will return my calls or even answer an email is a priority enough for me to practice these techniques. Especially since in my line of work, it’s never about me but about those potential donors!

We’re always trying to find more ways to be productive – here are even more suggestions from folks who know how to squeeze every minute for what its worth.

This Fortune magazine article says for women to get a promotion, they need a boss who has a career focused spouse. What say you?

Want to meet CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines? Well, how about a little insight on how she got to where she is today…she also owns a cafe!

Are you unhappy with your job? Here are three ideas to get you motivated to “work”.

Hit me on the comments and let me know how you’re doing. Thanks for reading and if you find it helpful, feel free to share! Don’t miss a post by Subscribing!


Tuesday Truths

thing worse than being blind

Photo credit: The Only Thing Worse Than Being Blind is Having Sight and No Vision

We’re heading into a short work week so it might be a good time to brush up on your resume, start making new goals for the new year (I’m too much of a planner) or maybe just bail out of work early to get in some holiday cocktails (is that more your speed??)? In the meantime, all you politicos looking for a new gig, you can read up!

  • Post election funk? It’s a good time as any to be reminded about an older post I wrote around this time last year (here). The day after Election Day, I put away about 8 weeks of dry cleaning that was sitting in my closet so laundry gets a lot of play post election! If you’re looking for the next opportunity and haven’t joined Democratic GAIN, then you should do so immediately. Looking to set yourself up for 2016? Then take the time to read this article from Democratic GAIN COO @lucyMWhall for Campaigns & Elections.
  • For those who are still nomadic political hacks, it’s the start of the Off Year election cycle and prepping for the crazy that is 2016. Have you ever wondered if our industry has gotten better in pay during the off years? If so, this article is just for you!
  • My friends over at the Campaign Workshop shared with me a fantastic info graphic on call time. As a person who lives and breathes call time all the time, this is really great to help those who need additional help to stay on track or just to get on track. Committing to call time is half the battle (right, fellow fundraisers?). Thanks so much to @joefuld for sharing & bringing it to my attention!
  • I remember the days when people would look at me and wonder if I was old enough to manage staff (the benefits of having good genes that make me look youthful!) and having to combat those questions by my actions. If you’re ever in want of respect and building good will then use these techniques because if you do it consistently then you would have earned it.
  • Everyone talks about will power or habits that successful people utilize or don’t participate in but how about some exercises to help improve your mental strength? @AmyMorinLCSW has a few tips to exercise the most important muscle you can ever have in life.

Alright folks, hit me up in the comments section or tweet at me @madalenemielke. If you found the articles interesting, please feel free to subscribe so that you don’t miss a post and share the post with your network! Thanks for reading!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths

every successful woman

Sincerest apologies in my lack of communication. The last few months have been challenging with work obligations and the like but I’m back in the saddle and ready to roll!

Of course, everyone is talking about the elections. Who am I kidding??? Not everyone as evident with the lack of voter turnout but for those in the business or at the very least, the business of civic engagement, all I got is “We’ve got a problem, Houston” metaphors.

Since I have such a commitment to communities of color and especially, women of color this article has got me thinking, exercise that vote!

Recently, I did a presentation on personal branding and found a couple of videos (here & here) that may be helpful in your personal journey to make your own Beyoncé moment.

Ladies: real talk on how to progress in your career from a woman who knows how to forge ahead in a male dominated industry (basically, don’t give a f*ck)

My world revolves around always asking for things, specifically money (probably one of the most difficult things to do) but once you become comfortable with this skill, you an ask for just about anything. (For those who want to ask me for something, read the article before you ask me!!)

Life wouldn’t be fun without some truth to the fun and let me tell you, this article about the difference between celebrities and members of Congress is SPOT ON!

Photo cred: Behind Every Successful Woman is Herself

Alright, readers let me know how you’re doing, what you’re doing and how you’re getting ahead. Hit me up in the comments section or tweet at me @madalenemielke. Thanks for reading and sharing!!