Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v13

Last week was a roller coaster ride. Luckily it ended on a high note with the AHCA pulled from a vote. Constituents must use their voices to convey their concerns. Concerted efforts cause elected officials to take notice. Do not allow people to make you feel that your voice or your vote doesn’t matter because you are not alone. Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Most people know that I am the Advisory Council for the Women’s Information Network (WIN) and from time to time, they invite me to write in their monthly newsletter. In this month’s edition, I shared my thoughts on the need for “Activist Mentoring”. In my opinion, the political climate calls for all of us to help individuals more collectively and for individuals who are seeking mentors to think beyond their personal/professional goals. You can read more here. Since I’m continuing down the mentor/mentee path, here are some ways that you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with your mentor. The best mentoring relationships are organic although that can be challenging because it means that the mentee is in search of and must ask a more experienced person to serve in that mentor capacity. Don’t be shy in asking someone for their advice and give them reason to want to help you by taking the additional step of helping them in some capacity.
  • I’ve been sharing a lot of networking tips because the job market is a little whacky and I’m getting asked on a lot of coffees. I’m going to need to start doing official office hours because it’s getting a little too much for my schedule. For me, networking is massaging my list of contacts. Keeping up with them so that I have enough knowledge of what is important in their lives as well as reaching out to new people who I can possibly collaborate with so that we can have a more dynamic relationship that results in net positives for them as well as for me. I believe in making my own luck so when I invest the energy in building a relationship, I know that luck will come back to me in some other forming the future. Good karma does happen and nice guys/gals do not finish last.
  • Later this week, I’ll be speaking at the GW Women in Business Spring Conference about Entrepreneurship with the theme of “Power Your Purpose”. The organizers asked me to share my thoughts on how I challenge myself and using my business to fuel my passion. I realized from an early age that I wanted to be in politics and it has been an adventure. The most important piece for me is that I also want to share what I know. The purpose is finding your “WHY” and living that so joyfully that it compels you to want to share it. I’ve had a lot of opportunity to work with a lot of people and it’s important to me that I can connect people to create bigger and better things. Fundraising is a lot like matchmaking and the more I can find those matches, the better.
  • I may be preaching to the choir but in case the people in the back couldn’t hear, let me share the feminist glossary. To be perfectly honest, it was good to review it because I’m always down to brushing up on the feminist movement. We missing anything?
  • Want to learn more about how women candidates can talk about politics, parenting and their personal lives? The Barbara Lee Family Foundation worked with Lake Research Partners to conduct a survey to find out what voters think about women candidates and how marriage/parenthood affects their decisions as voters to support these candidates. The findings are reflective of a previous post I shared and gives women candidates a sense of how they should present themselves regardless of where they are in life. Fascinating information for any woman who is thinking about running for elected office!
  • A lot of my colleagues have used the word to describe me as “fair”. I’m always working towards fairness and treating people fairly. When people come to me and ask my opinion on a situation, I try to think about the situation from the other person’s perspective and really give it a 360 point of view. I don’t want to be drinking the kool-aid if it doesn’t really help in gaining knowledge into a challenging situation. I’m not a perfect person and there will be times when I don’t care for an individual, but recognize that I need to work with them and Brene Brown’s advice really makes me dig deep into being a better person. Plus it brings back why I strive to be fair.

Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know what you’re working on these days!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v12

We’re past March 15th and that means we’re at the end of the month (in my vision of how the calendar works). So much happened last week – Muslim Ban 2.0 released & halted in court, the U.S. government had to apologize to an ally regarding the “wiretapping” of Trump tower, the Trump budget was released and on top of wanting to cut the EPA/the State Department etc.., the administration also wants to cut funding to Meals on Wheels among other programs that affect the country’s most vulnerable. Stay strong – there’s a lot to do to RESIST!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I recently spoke with a female undergraduate student from my alma mater and commented to her that women tend to want to be 100% qualified for jobs, whether that job is an open position or running for office while men can be less than qualified and still have the confidence to apply for the position. Women applicants are asked how do you juggle motherhood and your career while men rarely get that question. Mothers who are also candidates for elected office are viewed differently than fathers. Traditional caregiving roles are still intact when mothers who run of office are seen as not fulfilling their roles as mothers. At the same time, women candidates are scrutinized for not having children because they aren’t seen as empathetic or as understanding to constituents who do have children. For now, women are always damned regardless of child status.
  • I’m always trying to find ways to be more productive. I write this blog weekly and there are times when I can’t find the time to get it done during the week so I have to spend part of my weekend reading the articles and giving the analysis. This task is definitely related to my work so it should be done during the work week, however it’s so hard to find the time to shut off my phone and not focus on whatever fire is at hand. It’s a bit of a challenge that I’m trying to improve so that I can think creatively and focus on work that requires the most of my brain. I’m typically a morning person so the most difficult tasks should be done during that time of the day. The amount of emails that I send and receive is a crazy amount so I can’t let that be a time suck. My work also requires me to be super detailed oriented (honestly, I think that’s most jobs, right?!) so there are tiny tasks that take up a lot of time. So handling the big hurdles can really make an impact on how the rest of the day goes. Those tiny tasks can be a temptation and it will kill the creativity. You can separate your lists so that you can keep those tasks that take less than 15 minutes on one while the bigger ones are on another. Benjamin Franklin had the 5 hour rule and it allowed him to learn something that was very deliberative. He wasn’t just concerned with the accomplishments but also how that learning would make him better. It’s certainly a different perspective than completing your checklist.
  • When it’s time for a promotion or a performance review, are you prepared to talk about your accomplishments? Have you recorded the metrics of your work and are you prepared to articulate them so that you can show your value to your organization? These factors are important to management recognizing your value so you need to be responsible for your achievements. Highlighting your work isn’t bragging. It’s being self conscious enough to show that there was a metric attained and that you as a member of a team or you were individually responsible for a positive result. Don’t be a worker bee without getting the recognition you deserve.
  • When life gets out of control, I remember that I’m in control of my schedule. Lately, I’ve been a little overly scheduled and I resolved to take back my time. I barely have time that can be considered spontaneous. Included in that equation is that I’m a bit of an introvert so I need time to re-charge after I’ve expended energy in a public event. There are times when I don’t give myself enough time to re-charge and that in itself creates problems. So returning to my mantra of “Giving Zero F*cks”, I’ve realized that I need to protect my time so that I can be a better person and to do it without regret.

What’s up your sleeve this week? Thanks for reading/sharing & see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v11

Are you in the throes of March Madness? You must be thinking that I’m talking about basketball – well, no I’m not but I can see how you would 😉 We’re fast approaching the end of the 1st QTR and we’re 1/4 done with 2017 (thank the stars above!). I honestly thought that this year would drag and in actuality, life is moving much faster than I anticipated.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I recently was on a phone conversation with a congressional candidate who was frazzled and obviously was rushing to get to our appointed call, instead of taking the time to prepare for the call. He confused who introduced us and was talking a mile a minute, where I had to interrupt him and ask a basic statement/question, “Let’s start from the beginning. Who are you and what’s your story?”. It’s not the best way to introduce yourself, no matter who is on the receiving end of the dialogue. I’m 2 people removed from him so I don’t need to give him the benefit of the doubt so nailing your introduction is key to starting your conversation. My business is based around providing strategy to those who want to run for office so I’m unusual in that I’ve heard a lot of pitches. Your story may not be as compelling as others but it can be succinct and tight enough for me to ascertain your experience and why you want to run for office. Refining your introduction takes practice and multiple edits to get the right combination of what describes yourself. Lucky for us there are handy dandy templates for non-political situations so you can rock that introduction. Better yet, you can do it in 20 words or less so that you’re not listing your resume but capturing who you really are in a tight message.
  • If you can introduce yourself in 20 words or less, you can also follow the instructions to apply for a job (which would seem pretty basic to those who are applying for an entry level job or any job for that matter). For those who are applying for entry level positions, give these tips a read because it seems from the author’s experience, there are a lot of inexperienced 1st timers out there applying for jobs.
  • Most people are surprised when I say that I’m an introvert because people tend to see me in settings where I’m with crowds of colleagues and others in our industry. They’re right in that I’m not a full blown introvert and likely more an ambivert that does well in an extroverted setting but needs more recharge time as an introvert. With that context, networking can be challenging for those who are fall solidly in the introvert category. Networking is possible in 20 minutes are less. The version of networking described in this article is really about being around people who basically know you and isn’t networking really a way to deepen relationships and get to know people better? I see it as relationship maintenance. You will still need to pay attention to the larger events, but you can network within your existing circle so that you can deepen relationships or get in touch with those who may have not been touched lately. Maintaining these relationships requires active listening and taking action to show that you were actively listening! I read a lot of articles and sometimes those articles appear in Tuesday Truths, but oftentimes I read an article that will matter to someone in particular to my network. I won’t share it in the weekly post but I will email that person a quick note along with the article. It’s a touch that doesn’t demand a lot of time but has high impact.
  • Life would be so much more productive if meetings didn’t exist. I get why meetings are important. Face to face time to review materials creates stronger team spirit. Conference calls that are more than an hour should be in the 5th circle of hell. My teams and I have started to use Slack so that we can reduce emails. I don’t subscribe to Team Email Zero. I am OCD enough to open emails to read them, but I have a horrible habit of waiting a few minutes to respond because I’m caught up in the middle of something else and then, it’s quite possible that I didn’t respond later. People are going to start to wonder if I’m actually as productive as I say I am 🙂 Being more productive at work means also putting a halt to all of the nonsense that creates more work. That can be challenging if you don’t have a leadership role in your organization but if you frame a situation where you can create more efficiency by showing how your management team can get more done, then perhaps you can start to move your team into a more efficient mind frame.
  • We’re living with more anxiety, whether it’s because we’re seeing the adversity of the current environment or we’re (in)directly affected by loved ones being unemployed, loss of a loved one, or serving as a caregiver. Different stages of life can bring added anxiety of facing a less than lukewarm job market regardless if you’re looking for your first job post graduation or you’ve been in the work force for over 20 years. Here are 5 ways you can relieve anxiety so that you can face those challenges with a renewed spirit.

Thanks to all of you who took the readers survey. You want more anecdotes and skills sets so stay tuned for more of what you want! If you haven’t taken the survey, you still can so share your feedback!

See you back here next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v10

My last day off was on February 26th and I’m looking at Wednesday, March 8th with so much longing. It’s a day where Women can show our strength and I’ll get re-energized knowing that there are Women across the country who will be celebrating/supporting other Women. Here are some ideas that can help you if you can’t take the day off or if you need to have a conversation with your manager about taking the day off. Do you live/work in DC? Here’s a map where you can support women owned businessesWhat are you doing on March 8th?

We’re pausing Tuesday Truths this week to ask if you could do a reader survey! It will help us improve our content as well as better curate the articles that we share with you.

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and tell us how we can improve.

See you back here next Tuesday!

— Madalene