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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!
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