We’re in a new QTR and getting ready for the end of the year. It’s also a good time to reassess goals and strategize any kind of course correction. Over the weekend, I got a chance to talk with a group about basic fundraising and with the women who are participants of the WeLead program through American University’s Women in Politics Institute and with both groups, I reiterated that going through the process helps you to set your goals and move the needle. You can always modify your plans because nothing is written in stone so if you really want to track your progress, write it down! It’s not necessary for you to share your plans or you can choose to shout it from the rooftops. Putting these goals on paper allows you to see what steps you need to take to move forward and you get to celebrate every time you make progress, regardless of how big or small the step.
Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!
- One of the questions I received while speaking at the WeLead program dealt with my self-care. Instead of really addressing what I do for myself, I talked more about what happens with my staff so that they recognize that they need to do it for themselves and for people who work on their team. I would rather teach by example so when people leave for their next opportunity, they will demonstrate the same kinds of habits that they experienced as a staffer in their new role as a manager. These habits shouldn’t limit itself to work. We’ve talked about expressing thanks and living with more gratitude/kindness. These steps can help you in establishing that kind of culture at least in your professional life and hopefully, it can be felt personally as well.
- Along with publicly thanking my team, I also work with them individually and privately on their professional development. We try to meet quarterly so that we can assess where they are on their goals as well as what I may catch as a potential bad habit (which we want to nip sooner rather than later). We initially talk about strengths and weaknesses and develop ways that they can neutralize whatever weaknesses were identified. As we continue to work together, I can provide feedback on what’s working. These can be tough conversations because who wants to point out other people’s flaws? What helps is that you’re both working together towards action items that can show improvement. Here are ideas when you need to give feedback to your staff.
- My office is a training ground for emerging leaders (I am like a proud mother hen!) because I have a slew of former staffers and interns who are making their way in their specific fields and ROCKING it. I like to think that their time with me helped to form them as professionals, not only in their work performance but also with how they work with their teams. Becoming a manager in politics does not come with a manual. When I recently worked with the DNC on a training, there was a session basically discussing how to be a good manager. This included performance reviews, working with people who may be much more older and more seasoned than you, and building relationships that are far flung when you have offices stretching miles across a state. All of these issues are important when you lead a team. Building cohesiveness while providing structure and discipline. All of these points aren’t necessarily taught in a campaign atmosphere because we’re focused on meeting deadlines and goals. What people don’t realize is that if you don’t set the tone immediately as a manager, all of your goals and deadlines won’t matter if your team is back stabbing and lacks the motivation to get through more challenging situations. So guess what? New managers need support and the ability to learn how to be good managers – that means take the time to train them and connect them to others who have the experience to help them navigate a tough situation. If you need help, read this article to figure out what to ask for so that you can get the skills you need.
- Did you know that training your brain to think differently can also physically change your brain? SCIENCE, people! The result is that you will feel less stuck and that helps to ease depression and stress. After reading the article, I thought about the movie, Inside Out, and how a variety of factors work with your brain to determine how you deal with a situation. Gotta love science 🙂
- When you’re thinking about where you are in your career, you should also spend the time with where you are in life. Are you aligned with your purpose in life? Pretty deep question to ponder and it’s one that can provide you with fulfillment. The Japanese concept of ikigai doesn’t need to be grand. It needs to be specific to you and believe it or not, it doesn’t have to do with work or with income.
- One of the questions from the WeLead participants dealt with advice to our younger selves and one of the panelists talked about not being enamored with someone else’s job title. I can wholeheartedly agree with this concept. Placing value on your worth is about your ability and skill. Job titles are free and kicking ass everyday in whatever position you hold is about valuing yourself. Competition is healthy when it motivates you to say that you are working towards a goal or reaching an achievement. Compete with yourself to gain more skills and to be more qualified than you were last year. The jobs that you take in life don’t define who you are so don’t let others use that as a way to create doubt about your abilities.
- These days have left me especially anxious. I’m the queen of compartmentalizing. I usually work out so that I can expend anxiety and that makes me a better person in both my professional and personal environments. So I have to take extra precautions to not let my anxiousness consume me and these tips are terrific if you need to start building in methods to work through it.
Thanks for reading/sharing! See you next Tuesday!