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.

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