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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v40

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Whew! We made it through the 3rd QTR which means that we’re really gearing up for what’s to come next year. Full speed ahead! To prepare myself for #Election2016 all the time, I know that I will need a break from all that discussion to think about something else. As a result, I decided that I would brush up on my French language skills so I’m working with a private instructor to use a different part of my brain. I have a love for Harry Potter for the sheer fact that it saved me during the 2004 Election because no matter how late my day ran, I ended my evening reading a book to step away from the crazy. What do you do to take a breather? Share with me your ideas!

Here’s to Tuesday Truths!

  • When I get laser focused, you can bet that I don’t have a lot of time for extraneous activities in life. I weigh my commitments heavily and commit to them so that I can meet expectations. Here’s an entire list of things that I no longer do because experience and age have told me that it’s not worth it.
  • DC can be rather intimidating in its culture and it’s so important to have people who are in your corner. YOUR TRIBE! I truly enjoy seeing my friends succeed. They push me to do better and they know that I will help them to reach their goals. I’m not perfect and I try to check myself when I start moving along a path that isn’t healthy. Here are a few ways to remind yourself how you can be a better cheerleader and a true friend.
  • My professional life as a fundraiser has had some really extraordinary moments: presidential fundraising dinners, working with some incredibly wealthy people who really do have a lot of informed opinions on how this town and the rest of the country should work, getting irate calls from donors when something doesn’t go their way, and of course hiring a mariachi band and placing an order for 50lbs of pork butt. The fun never ends! Most of my work pertains to donor management. Matchmaking in a sense. Listening to donors when they need an ear with no action behind it. Compared to some of my other colleagues who work in development, campaigns can be a fast moving ship because at times, we can re-direct conversations about policy. Bigger organizations that do development have a much bigger bureaucracy to navigate and as a result have less power to wield in meeting a donor’s “recommendations”. It’s a fine line in pitching to a donor and accepting their money while taking their advice.
  • I have a degree in Political Science and although I work in politics, I don’t really use the theory of what I learned in college in my everyday life. I always say that there is an art and science to doing fundraising. Research (science) allows us to see people’s giving habits and how they are swayed by particular issues. It’s the art of articulating that information that allows us to get a message across that shows that we’ve done our homework. Life is also a mix of art and science. I’m equating art with instinct and there are times when you have to listen to your inner antennae. Sometimes all you can do is trust that your instincts are taking you beyond what you’ve researched. I can write different scenarios of how a call or meeting might go but it’s the moment that teaches us so much more.
  • Are you working towards building your confidence? Here’s a terrific infographic on how you can put the pieces together to get your mojo flowing.
  • Relationships thrive under active listening. People in those relationships are making a concerted effort to understand how each person is dealing with specific issues. The more you understand how a person operates, the more you can make them feel significant. My MO is that I cook for the people I care about and I enjoy having them over at my home or dropping off whatever meal/cake I made over the weekend for us to share. In my professional life, I make an effort to remember people’s narratives so that the next time I see them, I can ask about a particular moment that they find memorable. It’s those small things that make people feel that you care.
  • Working with finance committees aren’t that different from nonprofit boards when managing personalities and getting people to meet their commitments. Here are a few tips that you can use to help you if you’re dealing with board management.

Thanks for sharing/reading & if you haven’t already – subscribe!

— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v39

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It is cray cray time – lots of events this week so if you catch me around town looking slightly crazed, I’m trying to remember where I’m supposed to be and therefore trying to remember where my clients are supposed to be too! Last week, I was really fortunate to attend the White House arrivals ceremony of Pope Francis and it was well worth getting up at 4am. If you ever get the chance to attend an arrivals ceremony, I hope you make arrangements to participate. Definitely a DC moment – to be perfectly honest, I was thinking about past movies that feature WH ceremonies or events that happen on the South Lawn, particularly the scene from X Men: Days of Future Past – check it out! When Hollywood goes completely wacky!

white house pope

On to Tuesday Truths!

  • When life gets this crazy, I get a little anxious and that’s when I know that I really need to go to the gym so that I can release some of that excess anxiety. It’s also the same when I get in a bad mood or feeling overwhelmed. So when your life is getting out of hand, step away from the crazy and take a breath. I’m a thinker – I think about all the different scenarios when I’m stressed and that usually means all the negative outcomes. After I’ve thought of all the possible things that could go wrong, I try to focus on the best outcome and prepare myself for the worst so that I’m not so frazzled. Life is too precious to let the crazy control me. I try to be a positive person and when I’m around negative people, I start wanting to butt heads with them and that’s not good for anyone either. I’m also a realist because as much as rose colored glasses can make a situation better, I also want to be pragmatic. Life is about moderation and I want to experience it as fully as possible on my terms. I recently watched Inside Out and thought my own core memories that have made me into the person that I am today. Every experience has been a learning one and I look forward to experiencing every aspect that it can offer.
  • If you look through my twitter feed, you will find that I follow lots of restaurants, chefs, politicos, my fellow Democratic/Republican operatives, and fashion folk. One of my associates gave me “The Devil Wears Prada” dvd as a gift (not really sure what they were trying to say there LOL) but Anna Wintour has a reputation for being quite decisive aka bitchy. I think I’m decisive once I have input. Let’s collaborate on ideas and feel out all the different ones to reach a decision. Women leaders who are deemed decisive don’t get the same level of respect of their male counterparts who carry the same attitude. Don’t shy away from knowing what you’re doing and empower those who work for you to do the same.
  • I’ve always talked about defining your own version of success and not comparing someone else’s journey with your own. Did I plan to be in this particular place when I started? No, but as I was going along I made decisions based on the current situation and tried to plan accordingly. Hustling is not part of my DNA so I had to learn to do it and do it well enough so that I could get clients. I believe in creating my own luck and one of the ways to do that is to imagine the life you want and make it happen. Is it better to work all the time so that you can have a more relaxed life later? That depends on how you want to do it. A door closes and a window opens. There’s no perfect clean way to do life – sometimes it gets messy and sometimes it can present itself with a pretty bow.
  • At the request of a friend/colleague, I recently met with a young woman who works at a large organization as a fundraiser. She hasn’t been at her position for very long (maybe 3 months) and she felt a little out of place. There was some resentment from the junior staffers of her hiring because they were passed on a promotion. She’s a mid level fundraiser so she has a supervisor while she also manages an assistant. We talked a great deal about making her own tribe. Sometimes it’s not with the people in your department and as a woman of color in a mainly Caucasian organization, it may mean looking for people who may understand first hand what it means to work in that kind of situation. It’s important to have some social ties with people in a professional environment for the sheer fact that it builds relationships. They don’t need to be your BFF but being sociable and understanding some of each other’s key interests makes us better humans. If everything was transactional, there would be no personality to your work and as a result, no willingness to compromise or “see” one another when you’re in an environment to collaborate.
  • I often tell people that regardless of your age or experience, everyone can give back. You might wonder, I don’t have any management responsibilities or this is my first job – all great experiences to share with those who are looking for their 1st professional endeavor. In my perspective, I don’t lead an exceptionally exciting life but there are people who want to have a similar life and want to know how I got to this place. If it helps them achieve their goals, I’m happy to share my story and help them along the way. Networking works both ways – you share your experiences with those who are in need of a person to help them and you share your experiences with those who can help you.
  • I’m a BIG fan of my colleague, Joe Fuld’s political consulting firm, The Campaign Workshop – he has a blog as well as great “how to” e-books on running a campaign. One of his staffers wrote a fantastic post about down-ticket races and tips on how you can win. Check it out and follow Joe on twitter @joefuld for great campaign advice!

Thanks fore reading/sharing & if you haven’t subscribed, get on it!


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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v38

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It’s supposed to be a “quiet” week with the Jewish holidays and the Pope visiting (which I’m fortunate enough to have a ticket to the arrivals ceremony at the White House) but with all of these events this week, I’m getting ready for a wedding next weekend out of town and when I get back, all crazy will be breaking loose with back-to-back events the last week of September. Which means I really need to get my life together so that whatever happens the last week I can go with the flow. I like to be as prepared as possible which is kinda funny because believe or not, I’m a HUGE procrastinator. No one ever believes me when I say that because they think I’m a little OCD and a list maker extraordinaire. I LURVE to make lists, it’s the checking things off that can get a little tedious. That sensation of seeing an fully checked To-Do list is pretty exhilarating. I hate when things hang over my head so the procrastinating tends to get curbed because I like knowing that I don’t owe anyone anything. The ball is in your court :) If you’ve read the blog long enough, I’m a triage type of do-er. I’m constantly evaluating my priorities list to get the most important to do items out of the way first. If you’re in DC, I hope you get to telework during the Pope’s visit. I hear the traffic is going to be insane.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Living in DC, I oftentimes feel like I live in a bubble and once I depart the confines of the Beltway, can I accurately get a sense of what living in the US can truly mean: regular people who don’t talk about politics at a Saturday night dinner party or think about the next maneuvering of the budget. I spend my time with a very diverse group of people who tend to think very similarly as me so my experience of microaggression is not the same as those who work in larger organizations or engage with people who are not accustomed to seeing people who are not like themselves. Microaggressions occur from people who unwittingly don’t recognize the impact of their words and how it affects the position of power. We’ve become more aware of it as we have become a more diverse society and the more we learn about it, the better we can address the issues that are behind it. Is it better to have blatant racism vs the microaggressions? Can you tell the difference if someone is well intentioned vs slyly sneaking in a comment? This world is a tough place and it comes from all sides. We are not perfect and every experience is a lesson.
  • This is a longer read but well worth the time. I was raised in a multicultural house with a Caucasian father and an AAPI mother, where I spent a lot of time with Caucasians and was fortunate to live in a diverse neighborhood with AAPIs and African Americans. So when reading the article, it helped to educate me about the privilege that exists within a much bigger ecosystem than I have personally experienced. Checking your privilege can be a challenge when you’re thinking, “I just want to be an ally and show my support” and it’s even more challenging to maintain your composure when racism occurs in your community. My takeaway: put others first.
  • There are times when I think I want to pick up and move to Star’s Hollow (for all you non Gilmore Girls fans, it’s a fictional town in Connecticut) and become a regular at Luke’s diner. What that contemplation really means is that I would like to live in a sleepy town where I have no adult responsibilities but I think due to my personality, I would either help a candidate run for Mayor of Star’s Hollow or start my own small business selling party supplies. So regardless of where I lived, I would still be “adulting”. My point in all of this is that there are times when instead of contemplating moving, I should just take a breath and not be so hard on myself. Here are a few reminders of how you can take a break from being an adult so that you can get right back at it later.
  • Hey Type A Millennial this Generation Xer doesn’t have all the answers either, although I tend to ask myself constantly, “What’s next?”. Remember! Don’t compare yourselves to your peers and definitely don’t compare yourselves to those who have been around the block a lot longer. I spend a good portion of my time with women who are younger who I have seen grow in their careers and although our relationships have evolved into being colleagues, I still have more years on them and with that a certain amount of stability. It’s not a competition and there’s certainly no judgement on how you envision your life.
  • For those of us who work in politics and especially in the niche of communications, messaging is crucial to position your narrative the way you want others to see it. Apply those same techniques to your own story when you’re up for a promotion or a job interview and you would have flipped the script.
  • I’ve got an article for more seasoned readers and that might mean managers who are starting out. Things that you’ll need to consider as you continue to ascend into your career and become less reliant on a support system to help you. It can be lonely at the top so you’ll need people to bounce ideas but know that you’re standing alone because you make the decisions. Self reflection can make you check yourself as long as you stay honest.
  • Want to be a good employer/leader of your team? Here are the top complaints from direct reports about their bosses. Effective communication is key. Recognize a trait that you need to strengthen? Assessment is half the battle!

Thanks for reading/sharing & don’t forget to subscribe!

— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v37

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All sort of fun this week with fundraisers and call time as we race towards the September 30th filing. I’m also excited to be speaking on a panel about Women in Politics later in the week. Any tidbits you care to share that I can pass along?

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

On any day of the week there are a bajillion networking events happening in DC. We have networking tips from experts for days but this is an absolute must read. When people ask me about my favorite networking tip, I always advocate for being helpful. I always remember those people I meet who want to help me with my projects and when I’m meeting someone, I see where we have synergy to work on programs int he future.

When reading this article, it really resonated with me because one of the things that people say about my work personality is that I’m nice. Donors mention it to me; clients talk about my style in working in teams; past staff have used it as a model to motivate their donors to action; it’s the same attitude I carried with me when I was a manager of a James Beard winning restaurant. I have such great role models such as the formidable Lindy Boggs, a leader raised in the South who also understood the aura of being a strong woman. My being nice doesn’t mean that I’m a pushover. Actively listening helps me to better understand what motivates the people I’m working with in any situation. Using that information allows me to use all the tools available. This builds a better relationship because trust is established and everyone wants everyone to win.

Having tough conversations is all part of becoming a manager or a member of leadership. Remember when we talked about being nice? Learning to have these conversations can make for a better working environment even in the toughest of situations.

One of the most challenging things about branding is that it’s a lot of internal reflection. I’ve done workshops on it and every time I feel the participants are looking at me thinking that I would have the answers for their brand. If you hire me, then yes I will have answers to your brand, but if I’m talking about the process in which YOU create your brand, then you’re going to have do some serious reflection. I’ve shared step-by-step articles, infographics to better visualize the process and I’m adding this article because ultimately, it’s always about your narrative that creates your brand. I do this all the time with candidates and when they talk with me, I always ask – “what’s your story?” and it’s not a list of the who, what, where, when variety. Know your story and be proud of it!

So now that you have your narrative, you can write an About Me page on your webpage or your LinkedIn. Here are tips that you can use to create a page that reads like it’s about you and not some random person that has your picture on it.

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions because I’m always thinking about improvement throughout the course of the year. I’ve always like to say that my New Year’s resolution is to have more fun! I like to think that we always have room for a fresh start regardless of the time of year. Are you need of one? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself as you prepare to make changes.

As we’re getting into campaign season and for those who are moving into GOTV (YAY to almost E-Day!), we can always use tips for self care and to better manage the chaos that happens on campaigns. Here’s a great checklist for those campaign managers who are starting the cycle and have November 8, 2016 as their target date.

Thanks for reading/sharing & subscribe if you’re inclined!

— Madalene



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Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v36

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Welcome back from the 3 day weekend! I’ve gone from a leisurely pace at work to warp speed as we count down to the September 30th fundraising filing. As a Board Member for Democratic GAIN, we’re dedicated to increasing diversity within the progressive movement in our operatives and candidates. Join me on September 10th as we honor Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid and Rep. John Lewis for their commitment to workforce diversity. Tickets can be purchased here. If you attend, I’d enjoy saying “hi”!

As we start a new season, what goals do YOU want to accomplish before the end of the year?  I’ve been mulling a video project so I’m determined to get that going.  Let me know what you’re working on and how I can help! You can share in the comments or just email me.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

Thinking about pursuing a new professional opportunity? That means reviewing your resume and getting it into tip top shape. Here’s a few tips to get that resume polished and ready to go. What if you decide that your current career isn’t for you and want to make a mid-career change or maybe you were like me and had a quarter life crisis (remember when I talked a little about my going into the hospitality industry after working in politics??). How about reaching out to your network to let them know that you’re looking for a change? It helps to be specific so that they can help you get from point A to point B. I would also recommend doing individual follow-ups so that you can talk more with those who may have more insight. What else have you done to let your network know about your search for new professional opportunities?

Now that you’ve got the resume out the door and your first interview scheduled, here are great questions that you can ask the interviewer. With all things, doing your research certainly helps to make you look like you cared enough to look into the company and its mission.

I hear a lot about the Myers Briggs test and its ability to help determine what type of job is suited with your personality. Have you tried the Enneagram personality test? I discovered that I’m an “3”, the Achiever. There is an abbreviated test that takes about 10 minutes and when I was going through it, I realized that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more nuanced. I started questioning the scenarios because I could imagine the questions as situations which made me recall actual memories of specific situations related to the questions. With more experience, I was a combination of the extremes so trying to remember my initial reaction was something where I needed to focus. Let me know if you were surprised with your results!

We only have a few more months before we start 2016 so we can still achieve a better work life balance for 2015 by incorporating a few of these exercises. Doing a little bit at a time can help get you onto a more balanced path. I was so excited that I put a rather concise out of office email while I took a few days off which let people know that if it’s not on fire, it’s really not an emergency so it can wait. Sometimes we all get a little self absorbed about how important our work lives can be and there are definitely times when that’s the case, but life will go on without answering that email.

We haven’t touched on branding for a while so I’m sharing a great infographic that has the ABC’s to help you get on your way to creating your own version of Beyoncé/Sasha Fierce.

Everyone has room for growth and I try to not let too much time pass doing nothing. I like my alone time but I also know that it’s important to cultivate my relationships with friends who have stood by me and those who are new to my world. Being open to new situations can open up so many new opportunities/experiences and that kind of openness can attract success.

As I asked earlier in the post, what goal(s) do YOU want to accomplish before the end of the year and how can I help you ACHIEVE that success? Drop me a line in the comments or send me an email!

Thanks for reading/sharing and please don’t forget to subscribe!

— Madalene


Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v35

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It’s the last week of congressional recess and we’re gearing up for the start of the return of the Members from the August break. There’s going to be a rush of fundraising events for the next couple of weeks to get to the end of the September 30th filing deadline. I got a chance to get away and really not respond to emails (!!) which was really an amazing feeling. So now, I’m ready to focus and get going with my to do list. It’s not the end of summer – it’s the beginning of fall!

Today I’m saying a “See you later” to a dear friend who I have known since we were young adults in college. We’ve gone through a myriad of personal and professional ups & downs and she’s following her dream by joining the Peace Corps. As a result, she’s traveling across the world and I won’t get to see her for 28 months!! We’ll Skype and go old school and have written correspondence but without the physical aspect of giving one another a hug when we might need one. Her tenacity to accomplish this goal inspires me to reach for mine (who needs New Year’s resolutions when there are people everyday who are on their own personal journey!). I hope you have someone in your life who can inspire you as much as she does. Which leads me to 13 fantastic women who are coming to my house for dinner tonight. I’m hosting the Women’s Information Network (WIN) Executive Committee and anyone of these ladies is an inspiration. If you haven’t joined WIN yet, don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of a great organization of up and coming leaders. Find your tribe and no matter where they are and what they do, they’ll keep you engaged and reaching for your own goals.

So let’s serve up Tuesday Truths!

  • I’ve always talked about fundraising and the crazy that can go with it. It’s a constant conversation about how fundraising has changed in the 20+ years that I’ve been working in politics and the results of its evolution. With the plethora of presidential candidates, here’s an infographic of how the different types of organizations are supporting the work of their preferred candidate.
  • “Tough times never last but tough people do” – my favorite mantra when I’m feeling the struggle. Here are some other motivational inspirations to get you over the bump in the road.
  • It’s been a while since I did a post on negotiation so get a refresher or learn some new tips. Making a precise offer down to the dollar is one trick. Do you have any techniques that you care to share?
  • Not sure why you’re being passed up for a promotion? Need some ideas of how to improve your chances? Here are the 3 reasons why you’re not getting that new and improved job title. On the opposite side of “how come everyone is being promoted” is how to tune out negativity and be the best version of yourself. We talk about not comparing yourself to others and digging deep and staying committed to what makes you well, you. Looking for glory may not be the best motivation so finding your north star can help you stay true to your goals. Then there’s the happy balance! Don’t be afraid to live your dreams because along with hard work, you can find your definition of success.

Thanks for reading/sharing/subscribing!


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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!

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

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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.

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— 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



Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.34.28

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v31

Photo credit via

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