Monthly Archives: October 2015

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v43

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I can feel myself getting sick and it really sucks because I usually don’t get sick! I have a crazy immune system so I’m hoping that this one cold is THE one cold for the winter season. Ain’t nobody got time for this!

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths minus the germs 🙂

  • We haven’t talked about branding in a while so here’s a great article that articulates why personal branding is essential to career success. The more you know your narrative and how it makes you unique to others, the more you can differentiate yourself from the pack. Blending in can be a good thing but being distinctive is also just as good.
  • My good friend, Maria Meier has a fantastic piece on her blog about “Should-ing” and why it’s important to be reminded of the difference between should and could. It’s a mighty powerful mental attitude that can help your career trajectory.
  • What is setting back women in corporate America? According to Betsy Myers, it’s the 24/7 work day. Valuing being busy vs being productive is a main highlight and finding ways to change the environment that allows women to be productive has to be recognized as a new norm in the workplace.
  • One of the best parts of my life is working with the Women’s Information Network (WIN) and meeting extraordinary women who are making a difference in this world. One such woman is Helen Babb. She and I met at a WIN event and hit it off. Read more about her journey from Australia to DC and how she’s using her communication skills to help her progressive clients.

Thanks for reading/sharing and tell your friends to subscribe!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v42

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Aloha! If you’re reading this post in real time (Tuesday, 10/20) then I’m likely flying over the Pacific or across the continental US returning to DC from a beautiful albeit short trip from Hawaii. I’ve been here since Thursday night/Friday morning and got back on a plane on Monday night to get back to DC where there are a ton of events going on so I’m super grateful to have a great team in DC helping me so that I can celebrate a dear friend’s wedding. There are times in life when work shouldn’t take precedence and being with loved ones when they’re celebrating a milestone is a true priority. I did spend part of my trip working because I’m a crazy type A personality but at least my “office” wasn’t too shabby 🙂

diamond head october 2015

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • As a fundraiser, I’m constantly following up so much so that I have #FollowupFridays in my office to evaluate what contributions haven’t come in yet and who I need to email/call/send a carrier pigeon to see when I’m getting those commitments in the door. As such there are a ton of other activities that require follow up in other industries (a pitch, book manuscript etc) or the day to day activities of being an entrepreneur (getting an invoice paid) so here are a few tips from pros who can help you master the art of the follow-up.
  • I’m always looking for ways to improve productivity! Here are 15 habits that we can all use – not sure about the tidy desk. I live among piles of paper.
  • Living in a “busy” culture, I try to remember to be mindful to myself and to others. The more that I think about breaking old habits, it helps me to re-focus my energy. Here are 3 ways to help set your mind on track.
  • All in an nutshell on how to ask for an informational interview, what to do to prepare for it as well as how it should go and what to do afterwards. Step by step instructions – gotta love it!
  • Since we’re getting into election season, here’s a great read on what female candidates face when they run for office. If you thought that appearance would be one of the key factors then you’re correct and the bias doesn’t really stop there.

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

— Madalene


Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v41

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One of my favorite times of the year is just getting started – fall temperatures with crisp weather and the excitement of GOTV. It’s really difficult for me to think of campaigning into Election Day when the weather doesn’t involve stepping over crunchy leaves and wearing scarves and gloves while doing honk and waves. It seems unseasonal to be wearing shorts! What are your favorites for the season?

Let’s get rolling with Tuesday Truths!

  • As we talk about the women’s movement, it’s becomes increasingly important to discuss intersectionality and how it affects perspective. In industries such as tech and politics, where the ratio of men to women is rather appalling, companies are making strategic decisions to increase diversity. They’re touted for their approach to include women, but don’t take into account that life also involves other communities of color. It’s understandable to think that the issue can be viewed as insurmountable and that any stride in diversity is seen as a win, but to not address that intersectionality in diversity also adds to the challenge.
  • A history lesson for my AAPI brothers and sisters who may not be aware of the civil rights leadership of our African American brothers and sisters. It’s due to their struggles that we, as AAPIs enjoy those civil liberties.
  • For all of my friends and colleagues who work on the Hill, I salute your service to this country. The environment of being overworked and understaffed while doing your jobs would make most people quit, but it’s your dedication to improving this country that may drive your get-up-and-go attitude. Think Congress is dysfunctional? It can be but it’s still on the frontline of the biggest policy issues of the day.
  • And….we circle back to the reasons WHY people stay in positions in organizations that they hate. Not every day is going to be a GREAT day at work. Sure, it’s fantastic if we have a streak of those kinds of days all the time, but the reality is that we have ups and downs to the work day/week but if you find that the work environment is toxic and causing way more stress, think about why you’re actually staying in your job. Don’t let peer pressure determine where you work.
  • We end on one of my favorite topics – fundraising! Yes, it’s a pain to do and yes, half the battle is motivation but there’s a strategy to all the phone call mayhem. Here are a few ways to identify donor psychology. Sometimes I feel like I’m a part time therapist 🙂

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

— Madalene




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