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!

–Madalene

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

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

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