I survived last week’s crush of events to celebrate AAPI heritage month. It’s always a lovely time re-connecting and forging new relationships with those who are interested in uplifting the AAPI community. There are 21 million AAPIs and we represent 6% of the population so we’re encouraging talented individuals to look at public service as a career. Oftentimes, you’ll find people who aren’t interested in running for office because the sacrifice to run and be in the public eye can be daunting. Compared to pop culture, the majority of elected officials are not “Frank Underwood” or “Fitzgerald Grant”. As a political consultant, I can attest to not ever stealing an election or playing dirty to win. To make policy and politics “sexy”, writers have schemed scenarios that are simply way past anything that any boring campaign/election could ever contrive, with the possible exception of the 2016 presidential election. When faced with squeaky clean candidates, policy discussions and the minutiae of facts and figures can be boring. That doesn’t really draw people’s attentions. If during opposition research, you find information that can be used against your opponent, do you? Whose the messenger? How is that executed? As a political consultant, I’m still a human being. I may compartmentalize my own emotions to work with a candidate/public official but that doesn’t affect how I treat them as a client. I’m helping them to sell their views and ideas, not mine. I’m certainly not going to do anything to jeopardize my reputation and relationships and most definitely I’m not going to jail for them by doing an illegal activity just so we win. Understanding the limits of power is also essential to really understanding what it means to be an elected official. I go to bed at night with a clear conscience that I’m using my skills to help those who are interested in serving people. Working in politics is an honorable profession, regardless of what my counterparts on tv may do.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
I get asked about what makes a good candidate and I always say that it’s important to be an active citizen. Regardless of your constituency, you have the ability to be a part of your community. I’m a DC resident and I travel across the country training and speaking about getting involved in your community so that you can think about being a public servant and get into elected office. That being said, I’m not particularly an active citizen in my own neighborhood. I trust the people who are my neighbors to help me make informed decisions about how I should vote about particular initiatives affecting where we live. I quietly volunteer for a local nonprofit and have gotten to know the people who serve our community in the everyday work that they do. If I were to run for ANC Commissioner, I would need to show up to the meetings and listen to the concerns of my fellow neighbors. I would need to understand what challenges we face and the history of the relationships that have gotten us to this point. Listening is a key factor to understanding what needs aren’t being addressed and learn how I might join the already existing infrastructure to help get those concerns remedied. If you didn’t already know, I read music and have performed for many years playing guitar and have taken many years of voice lessons, particularly in opera. My voice instructor suggested that I switch it up and take jazz instruction. Well, that was a novel idea because as a performer or instrumentalist, I’m supposed to play the music as it’s written and most people have an idea that jazz is an impromptu performance. Let me inform you that it is and it isn’t. In my jazz class, it was required that we learn the pieces as written and then and only then were we allowed to “blow it up”. In other words, learn it as it was intended and then bring your own spin. I can say the same thing about politics and activism. Being an elected official doesn’t mean you are a know-it-all. Most people like the humble aspect of public servants and when you see a problem, learn from the people who have spent years/decades/more time than you on trying to solve the situation before you decide to blow it all up. Although I don’t know the particulars of this election, it’s my understanding that a younger person challenged an older more established person who was the sitting mayor and won. People voted for the younger person in the primary because it appeared from the article that the young person had spent a lot of his youth tending to the needs to the community by revitalizing an amphitheater and voters paid attention to this individual’s enthusiasm for their shared hometown. That is the kind of candidate you want to be, regardless of age, ethnic background etc..
For all those who are in leadership positions in non-profits please take heed of these myth busters. So important that we don’t perpetuate the ugly cycle that causes all of us to have burnout creep. For those who work in non-profits, share it with your leadership so that they can understand that it’s not meant to be normal. Campaigns with its limited life span has similar attitudes but we campaign hacks know that it will last for only so long because election day is looming. There is a way to have work life balance and work shouldn’t consume your life, unless you’re an entrepreneur and it’s just a way of life (totally different topic with a broad array of answers & attitudes).
Going back to the basics when you need to de-stress. Make time for family/loved ones and your tribe who will help you re-charge and release negative energy. I try to not complain because life is bound to have peaks and valleys and so goes work. I enjoy politics and the energy that comes from it (#politicscanbefun) so when there comes a point to when I wonder why I’m doing something, I remind myself of why I got into this industry in the 1st place.
I haven’t yet watch The Handmaid’s Tale (am I the only one?) but I read the book many years ago when I was a college freshman and it was required reading (considering that I went to an all women’s college, Newcomb College of Tulane University, it makes complete sense). Just like in feminism, solidarity to the sisterhood is defined by power and where you are in proximity to it. This article really reflects on how the women villains are so terrifying. This fictionalized novel will hopefully never become reality, however we have had very real situations in history where the women villains have played a significant role. Think back to the Holocaust, slavery, the civil rights movement and there are women who are complicit in the evils that were enacted.
Going from women villains to SHEROS because these Latinas are investing in other women. This gives me so much energy and I love sharing the accomplishments of women, especially those from diverse backgrounds. These stories are about inclusiveness and bringing new stories to the table.
My alma mater graduated over this past weekend – Go Tulane 2017 graduates from this 1994 graduate! Which means that there will soon be an influx of interns and new graduates commandeering the halls of Congress, the streets of DC and the metro tunnels. Every year I want to take a group of these young professional women and give them my 2 cents on what is deemed professional attire. Each industry has their standard and it’s totally up to you if you want to blend in or stand out. What’s important is that you have a work attitude that goes with your attire, one that screams, “I’m a go-getter and I have the brains to match this awesome outfit too”. People will take you seriously if you look the part with your own personality thrown in for good measure. Here are other professional women’s suggestions on what to wear if you’re an intern or if you’re starting your first career job. For the record, most people say that I always look “dressed up” (trust me, I’m not wearing a ball gown) but their definition of “dressed up” is just my regular way of putting on my armor (white hat not included, Scandal reference BTW). Occasionally I’ll get mistaken for a Member of Congress and that’s probably more a combination of someone confusing me for a real Member of Congress, the way I dress & my demeanor. That tells me that I’m wearing clothes that allows people to make that assumption because if I dressed like a “stereotypical intern” then people would mistake me for one.
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May is Asian American Heritage Month and there are a lot of cultural and political festivities to celebrate the AAPI story. Tuesday night will be Asian Prom, where a lot of my colleagues and luminaries will be all gussied up. There’s a lot of going out and networking – just perfect for the introvert in me 🙂 Needless to say, I know how to harness my energy to make it most useful to me. There’s a whole political fundraising schedule for these kinds of events. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has their legislative conference in September while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute does a series of events during Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15) as well. I was asked by a male colleague if I bought a new dress every time I had to attend these galas and my answer is that I have a closest dedicated to formal attire and my dresses go into rotation. It’s a good thing that Facebook has the memories feature because I can see what years I wore what dress. The dress that I’m wearing for the Tuesday night gala is a dress that I pulled from the archives. I think the last time I wore it, I attended a CHCI gala and there aren’t any photos of me in it so it’s new to you! It also helps that I have generally stayed the same size throughout the years so I can continue what’s in my closet without having to do too much damage on my wallet.
I have always said during the many trainings I’ve done that working on campaigns is like working in a start up many many times over during each election cycle. Generally, there’s not a lot of institutional knowledge and the “adult(s)” in the room are in the late 30s-60ish age group. There’s a lot of young people who are looking to move ahead. The big difference is that election cycles are short and when you work in an organization such as a start up, the payoff can be much later. The similarities, however are tremendous. So when you’re looking for a raise, take heed of some of these points and you’ll see that you have a lot ahead of you.
I’m all for women empowerment and showing solidarity for my sister friends who are battling against misogyny. So when people decide that women who are not supportive of other women who are advocating policies that adversely affect women and discriminate against groups due to their bigotry, are anti-woman or not a feminist, I get extremely annoyed. Remove the gender factor and you are left with a person whose values I whole heartedly disagree with on a very base level. It’s almost the equivalent to when I work with AAPI candidates. First and foremost, my values don’t change when it comes to the ethnicity of a candidate. If you share the same values as me and you’re “fill in the blank“, then we’re going to get a long just fine. I may want more AAPIs and communities of color represented in elected office but I will not actively work with someone who advocating for anything remotely related to discriminatory views – selective sexism.
From time to time, I do #ootd posts on my instagram. In all honesty, I am decidedly less creative in the winter months with my wardrobe selection than when the temperatures get warmer. Getting the chance to layer up and to wear more summer attire is more appealing than throwing on a sweater and pants on the regular. However the warmer months also means dealing with humid DC afternoons and office buildings that over compensate with cranking up the air conditioning. I’m fortunate that I don’t necessarily follow the skirt suit uniform so if you’re looking for creative inspiration for what professional attire you can wear in the summer then look no further. Elle magazine is sharing 11 women and their go-to outfits for the summer. #8 and #10 are my favorites!
Got any questions for me? Drop me a note in the comment section or send me an email!
For my people, “Happy APAHM 2017!” – for those who don’t know – it’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month so we’re in full gear to celebrate AAPI contributions to society. So let’s whoop it up, my fellow AAPIs because our heritage deserves recognition for its many accomplishments.
When your mind is racing and you spend too much time analyzing the situation and then mulling it over some more, you may find that the iron is no longer hot and the moment has passed. It’s understandable to take the time to do a risk assessment but sometimes you gotta jump in the deep end and learn to swim. Paralysis can set in and you end up not doing anything at all. Learn the ways you can stop overthinking in its tracksvia Business Insider.
I can not say enough good things about this article by Chris Fralic. A frequently asked question from those who want to run for office is how to authentically connect with people when they’re preparing for a run in the future. It may not happen that year or even in the next 2 years so trying to connect with a lot of people without a lot of breadth can seem very shallow. This article really accentuates the pure aspect of connecting with people. It talks about the “hunted” and in my world, this means donors and influencers to networks who can broaden your scope as a candidate. It’s so important to do a bit of research of your prospect because you need to understand why it makes a good fit for them. Learn these techniques and you’ll build a network that will respond to your requests vs a list of names who won’t be bothered. This is a MUST READ and a terrific reference that you can continue to use throughout your career.
Connecting with people also works in job interviews. Hiring managers already know that there are a number of qualified people for the jobs they need to fill. How do they filter out applicants? By determining if their 1st round of picks have the kind of personality and work ethic that will fit in with the company culture and make for a more productive team. Who wants to have a team member who slows everyone’s progress? It’s important to show personality outside from the standard questions because well prepared applicants will know what they need to say to get into the next round, but how does that make them the best applicants? By connecting with the people who are interviewing them and actively listening for cues where they can find an opening to connect. via Fast Company
I hope you’re energized after January 21st. Seeing all of the fierce women & feminist men from around the world in my social media at the Womens March has been heartwarming & gives me hope for having allies in the challenges ahead. I enjoyed being in New Orleans because I got to meet one of my Tulane/Newcomb Institute mentees in person & help her with her professional goals. Sharing my experiences with future generations of women leaders allows me to welcome those who are willing to share in the struggles & the work towards equity for all women. Minh Ngoc Nguyen was gracious enough to introduce me to wonderful people from the Vietnamese American community who bring resilience & add vibrancy to the New Orleans community such as the co-owners of Drip AffogatoJuley Le & Anh T Vu & community leader Anna Nguyen. I’m thrilled to see how they are using their talents to bring awareness to issues important to all members of society. I have The Mister to thank for taking time to the Bywater area so that I could take this pic (if you have the time to read it, I highly recommend it). It reminds us that it will take sacrifice to protect those whose rights are trampled. Civil disobedience and calling out individuals/groups who think that we will stay silent is necessary in creating equality for all of us. We rise together.
I started journaling more so that I could better recognize emotions from my day and better understand how the root of my emotions affects my work. Described as emotional agility, it allows you to be more productive so you can assess the meanings behind your emotions. Here’s where you can evaluate those emotions and take necessary steps to increase your chances for wellness.
I’ve had to go on a news detox because it was just too much. I’m pretty vigilant about the news sources that I read/watch so when I share materials, I try to vet them before I share any links. The uptick of fake news got me wondering how they were able to get so far in spreading non-facts and luckily, Melissa Ryan not only shares how these “news stories” were used as a form of attack but also how we can use their same tactics to spread legitimate stories.
Thanks for reading/sharing. Got a tip that you want to share? Send it to me! See you here next Tuesday!
I hope you were able to end 2016 on a high note! I’m ready to kick start this year so let’s get blasting into Tuesday Truths…**pew pew**
I think it’s pretty well known that I gravitate towards strong women even when they think that they’re not strong. Acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses is very empowering and that recognition, allows people to take their strengths and use them to their greatest potential. One of the things that others have commented about me is that I tend to give zero F*CKs and I don’t normally have FOMO because I tend to live my life the way that I want. I choose to not regret my choices and that means that every decision that I make is made in consideration in how it furthers my goals (sometimes that means, I share those goals with others and that brings others into consideration). I’m willing to collaborate, be a team player, and live an authentic life that’s true to what I want to accomplish. I really do believe that life gets better when you stop giving a f*ck.
When you’re in need of advice, it’s a good idea to check in with people you admire to get clarity on where you’re headed aka networking. That may mean talking to someone who isn’t necessarily a buddy/pal. To really make progress, you need to network smart. You don’t get brownie points if you have 100 coffees (although if this was fundraising and you were strategic about coffees, I would give you a gold star for every coffee you had that equated to $$, but I’m digressing). This is an exercise of quality over quantity.
Back to my random thought about fundraising from my earlier post where a mix of quality and quantity work to make fundraising successful or for that matter, life. I read this awesome article about rejection. Most people fail at fundraising because they’re afraid of that sensation. Life becomes much more fruitful when you disconnect/desensitize the negativity associated with rejection. Fundraising involves a bit of psychology because we research what motivates prospects to give and it’s the same when you think about asking for something. Jia Jiang – you’re a ROCK STAR!
One of the best gals around is Tanya Tarr (I’ve talked about her writing for Women@Forbes in the past) and she was recently interviewed by Morra Aarons-Mele on her negotiating checklist. She’s got an incredible guide for resources and walks you down the path to clearly mapping out your conversation. Game changer for sure!
Because I want you to start getting active along with pursuing your professional goals, I’m sharing 7 tips to help you keep your fitness goals. I’ve talked about recognizing what your body tells you – get enough sleep, drink more water, exercise when it’s best for your schedule and whether you like it or not, being healthy really puts you in peak condition to do more with your best muscle, your mind. I skipped out on exercise for the last few months of the 2016 election cycle and my body feels it! I lost a lot of my strength and I’m trying to get myself back to pre-election fighting form. To be perfectly honest, I use none of the tips that I shared with you in this post (do what I say, not as I do!). I do regularly schedule classes and make myself exercise when I don’t have a class – all with my work/travel schedule in mind. I’m jazzed when I compete with myself and knowing that I’ve kicked ass on those pistol squats and I have muscle definition from doing weights is what motivates me to keep at it. I’m hardly a fitness guru and I’m fine with knowing that I’m challenging myself physically every day. Getting old is a B*TCH!
What tips do you have to share? Thanks for reading/sharing!
The fog is slowly lifting. I’m re-integrating parts of my life that I put on hold while I was going through the election (expressing myself through my caring and feeding of friends and family, enjoying art, and finding joy in new cultural experiences). I know that there is a new reality. I know that I need to prepare for things to come. We are restless, yet we need rest. There is guilt for wanting to participate in simple pleasures while others are being traumatized. I’m still reconciling those parts of my life. I’m going to practice self-care and remind myself of the flight safety announcements that tell you that should you need oxygen, please put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. I hope you do the same.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
In light of this past week, there have been an increase of hate crimes so if you find yourself in the position to help others being subjected to this kind of harassment, here’s a guide to help in the situation. Here’s also a video that gives you practical ways to be an ally and combat racism. The Southern Poverty Law Center also has a guide on how to respond to everyday bigotry. **I know that it’s tiring and we feel defeated. The more we help one another, the less that we’ll feel small and retreat. You are BRAVE and we each have a light to shine.**
How important is social trust when it comes to having an impact on society? I learned a great deal from this article, however I would add my 2 cents in that although the US has experienced low social distrust in the past (the discrimination of Germans, Irish, & Italians), the people who were immigrating to the US didn’t look that much different than the people who distrusted them. African Americans, Latinos, AAPIs – we look visibly different and that creates social bias almost immediately. When you hear people talk about how fortunate they are to be “White Latinos” that tells you that being “passable” has a lot to do with how people perceive you.
If this campaign cycle has rocked your psyche, let me reassure you that you’re not alone. I felt this kind of desolation after the 2000 campaign. It made me question whether it was all worth it. At that point, I had already stepped out of politics (my quarter life crisis) and made a commitment to go back in only to find myself on the losing side. What if you also wonder if there’s a life outside of politics because you were also meant to do multiple careers throughout your life? Here’s a terrific read on what it means to have more than one true calling.
We’re so close! 2 more weeks and this Election will be DONE-ZO! I’m still raising and collecting money and having meetings to ask for more moo-laaaah. It’s an exciting time and I’m ready to take a break so we can go back to governing. 2017 will be a great year to renew and recharge. I’m excited to see what that time will bring.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
I’ve been working with a lot of women in politics and I’m honored that a lot of them have become friends. Politics has a way of permeating my personal life and there are times when I’m “competing” for work with my fellow consultants. I’m all up for competition because I don’t see it as pitting women against women. We make each other better by always bringing our “A” game and I admire those women who make me become a better version of myself. Roxane Gay breaks it down like no other when she lists the rules of women friendships. Read it, memorize it, take notes, and live it!
Being the boss can seem like a lofty goal and once you reach for that title, it also means that you’re responsible for people’s performances. Your ability to create a team is a result of how you manage people’s roles and motivate them to do their best work. If you’ve been promoted, review this checklist and if you need to re-engage your team, it’s a good marker for how you can improve in certain areas. A lot of people talk about how they want to join the Arum Group staff because of my staff lunches. It’s my way to thank the team and to be in a social setting so that we can talk in a more casual setting about the work we’re doing.
We know that we don’t have enough women in every facet of leadership. We’re only just now getting a women President (I’m trying really really hard to not count my chickens before they hatch but I can’t help it, we’re so close!!) and when it comes to industries that have always been male dominated, how do we as women stand tall and create space for ourselves and for future women colleagues? Here are strategies that were shared at the United State of Women confab over the summer. If you feel that you need someone to talk with about how you can take up space, give me a holler and I’m happy to commiserate!
Lest we forget that we live in times where women are still feared for being powerful, we only need to turn on the news, however it’s important to realize that the insults that women have had to endure have been around forever. Why is it that men feel the need to insult women? Women’s looks are deemed “fair game” while that’s not something most men banter about to one another when they’re trading barbs. A number of qualities such as niceness, the ability to have children, stamina and a myriad of things only attributed to women candidates are considered negatives, but as we move through the modern era and women voters are making their voices heard, maybe male candidates will finally realize that those aren’t the talking points that the electorate wants to hear.
This election season has been polled, polled, and polled some more, but you do you really know what it all means? Trust me, polling is a highly methodical scientific process (I’m not sure if a Drudge “poll” really counts with all of the scientific mumbo jumbo). There are a lot of paid campaign staff who have never seen a poll with the cross tabs and the breakdown of the methodology so when you’re talking with a civilian about all of the factors that go into the survey, the composition of the people in the sample size aka demographics, and the course of time it took to run the poll, you’re talking about the methodology of the poll. Want to learn more about what goes into a poll then read this handy dandy guide on how to read the latest polls.
Even as a woman who has reached the highest levels of leadership in world renown corporations, Sallie Krawcheck was muted due to her high profile successes by male supervisors and in her case, a CEO! It is ridiculous that executives would “punish” a member of their executive team for having a positive image outside of work. We need to be celebrating more, not less when women achieve accomplishments that were once only relegated to the men in their companies.
Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know what tips you would share!
Hope everyone had an enjoyable 4th of July holiday! I took the weekend off and ate my way through Boston while visiting with family. We’re into a new quarter and yes, I have fundraisers scheduled for this week! We only have 2 more weeks before Congress recesses until after Labor Day so there’s a lot to be done before the elections come at us full force! I’m doing a Facebook LIVE for one of my clients (America’s Opportunity Fund) on Thursday, 7/7 at 2pm Eastern to talk about how to get into government affairs and lobbying with Irene Bueno so check it!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
Really great read from former Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on “What Should a Powerful Woman Look Like?” and in my mind’s eye, I think of someone who is a person of color (thank you President Obama) and also a woman. As I mentioned earlier, I was visiting in Boston when I heard someone say that in 2060, Chelsea Clinton’s son, Aiden would be eligible to be President (not verified just a repeated statement) and I couldn’t help to add that her daughter, Charlotte would be eligible before then as she’s the older sibling. Why do people always think that boys can be President when girls are thisclose to seeing a female get elected? Just like I hope to see more African Americans become President, I hope to see an Asian American as well and MORE WOMEN!
In the same vein about image vs reality, former NY Congresswoman Liz Holtzman has talked about her experience being a young woman in the 70s elected to the US House of Representatives (which I’ve shared with you in a previous post) as well as her journey of life as the US Senate candidate in NY and later, District Attorney and Comptroller. She’s a pioneer for all of us and I hope to never hear it’s “not a job for a woman” as a reason why a woman isn’t qualified for any position.
I get asked out to coffee a lot (I don’t even really drink coffee, ask me out to tea and we’re getting somewhere!) because people want “to pick my brain”. Where did we get this gross (let’s be honest, the visual isn’t that great) expression? It’s a term that we fall back on because we hear/use it so often for ourselves and with others. If you’re looking for advice, why not just ask for it? There are times when you just don’t know anything enough to ask specific questions because you haven’t been exposed to it. Better yet, when you ask for the advice, also offer to do something so that the person who you’re seeking advice from can see that you’re resourceful as well as understanding of that person’s time. Whenever you can have a win/win then you’re helping to achieve everyone’s goals.
We’re in the final stretch of an administration and what does that mean for all those people who are political appointees or staff whose bosses lost their re-elections? It means polishing up those resumes and getting ready to see who wants to hire you after working in public service. Here are tips you can use if you’re interviewing or hiring after the elections.
When in meetings, it can be challenging to get a point across when there are people or even a single individual, who likes the sound of their voice. I personally hate meetings because the consequence is that I usually get shackled with more work and they can go on and on if there’s no set agenda. I like my meetings in and out. Let’s get to doing! Alas, often times that’s not the case so you’re in a meeting where everyone feels compelled to talk and talk and talk some more. Yet, your boss has brought up a subject that you think you can provide valuable input – what do you do? Here are the 3 questions you can ask yourself to see if this opportunity is one where you should speak up or remain silent.
I have had many an intern work in my office so I’ve seen a lot and I remember one of the craziest things I’ve ever had to do when I was an intern was wear hosiery. Lucky for my interns, they don’t have an antiquated dress code to follow. What they do understand is that part of the reason that I never had casual Fridays when I interned on the Hill because I worked for a MD congressional member who could easily come into the office on Friday and since we lived in a more conservative time, the dress code reflected that kind of atmosphere. We understood that even though we were interns, we had to dress that way because it was part of the office culture and that summer, I spent a lot of money on white hosiery (don’t ask me why they had to be white). I bring this up because I read an article where a group of interns signed a petition and sent it along with a proposal to their manager on having more leeway with the dress code. Kudos for taking initiative, however not a good idea since the entire group was fired. In my office, when Congress is in session, it means we’re in business attire. You may not have appointments, but I might send you out to pick up a check or we might have a last minute meeting and that reflects on my brand aka my firm. My office has seen me start the morning with a more relaxed outfit and as we move into the day, I’ve changed to more appropriate attire to fit the meeting or event. Having a better sense of what the office conveys in its image also means understanding things as simple as its dress code.
Thanks for reading/sharing – let me know your thoughts by commenting!
Can you believe that we’ve now hit the half way point of the year? This being the 26th post of a weekly blog?! WOWZERS!
Guess what? We’re also 2 days away from the end of the quarter and it’s got me all
So you can tell what’s on my mind: “I got my mind on my money, my money on my mind” – Youngbloodz
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
How happy am I that I get to share my good friend, Tanya Tarr‘s interview for Forbes@Women with none other than former Texas State Senator and all around ROCK STAR Wendy Davis with all of you??? Ms. Davis is dropping knowledge on the art of negotiation. What does she say that’s aligned with my own beliefs? Know your value! #getit (P.S. I can’t wait to see what other fascinating stories and interviews Tanya shares with us in the future – follow her!)
We’ve talked about the Power Pose and how your non-verbal actions can provide insight on your internal dialogue (confident, anxious, nervous etc) so here are a few suggestions of how you can engage your body and hand gestures to appear more bold and confident. I have video of myself when I’ve given speeches or lectures and I’m a full on hand gesturer. I can’t help it! I never realized that there are people who put in hand gestures as part of their presentations to create emphasis. I gesture when I speak ALL. THE. TIME. even when I’m on the phone and the only time when I stop myself is when I’m taking notes. I recognize it’s because I’m comfortable speaking on the subject matter and when I’m doing presentations, my hands are part of my speaking presence. Now that I’m doing more video, I try to keep my gestures to a minimum so that it’s not distracting to the viewers. Always a work in progress!
I’m working with a mentor on her cover letter and my advice is to find your strengths and translate that into how it can help the organization where you’re applying. Personality is essential, even in a cover letter that can be as dry as a burnt piece of toast. Do you know how many of these things get reviewed on a daily basis?? Formulas are good in the sense that it helps to articulate pieces that you should highlight. What are the key things that people expect you to say in your letter? It’s up to you to jazz hands the shiz out of it so that hiring managers will remember why they picked your resume out of all the others. We’ve talked about how you can control your narrative. At this point, you are a blank piece of paper and when you submit your resume for consideration, you are giving people the best version of yourself. Do you know the saying, “It looks good on paper?” well this is a prime example. It can be tedious and most of all, you are forced to be your most creative and most insightful. If you only spend time in going through the motions, you won’t get very far. Here’s a great list of ideas of how you can share some of your best moments.
Change, regardless if it’s chosen or forced upon you can be a transformational moment. How you take that challenge can bring great rewards if you build upon the idea of always creating community and goodwill. I always tell people that it’s more important to help others first because it’s a nice thing to do but in addition, should there ever be a time when you need assistance, people will come to your aid. It’s the same with donor relationships. Donors don’t want to feel that the only time you come to them is to ask for money. I really enjoyed reading the story of Sree Sreenivasan because he lives the principles that I like to share. You have the ability to control the narrative of your own story – whether it be good or bad. Whatever way you want to share your changes is up to you.
We all got fears. Fears of not meeting expectations; fears of public humiliation; fears that we are not worthy; many of them can be rationalized and many of them can’t – are our friends drinking the kool-aid and encouraging us even though they think we’re going to fail? Well let me tell you, we always need a reality check and those friends who can be supportive while also walking through all of the scenarios with you to make sure that you have thought of the pros and cons are who you need in your corner. Do you know who else you need in your corner?? YOU!!! You, my friend need to look in the mirror and trust in yourself. Let me go full circle back to the previous article about Sree. We are not perfect and we can’t be great at everything. Do not let fear be the barrier that keeps you stagnant. You will soon realize (like me!) that 20 years of being in the business that you always wanted to be in has happened (that’s a good thing) and it’s OK to transition into something else that you find meaningful. Don’t give anyone the ability to judge your decisions. That is a gift that you’re giving when you allow people’s opinions to matter. I give that gift to friends that I trust and to people who I admire because I know that they’re looking at for my interests. They will challenge me and will make me question my decisions not for the sake of being dickwads and I give them that opportunity because I know that they care and will support my decision. #YOLO
Women have to work twice as hard to get elected to Congress and to overcome gender bias. It’s incredibly important to have female leadership in elected office and it’s scientifically proven! With that in mind, if you’re looking for ways that you can be a part of a community that supports females running for office, here’s my list:
Identify as a progressive/Democratic woman of color, especially of Asian American or Pacific Islander descent then visit, America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF). There’s a network called The Power of She. (full disclaimer, I’m the Executive Director of AOF).
In the history of the Women’s Information Network (WIN), there have been quite a few women who were members who later became elected officials so the organization has a good track record of supporting from within. (full disclaimer, I’m the Advisory Council Chair of WIN).
The grand dame of pro-choice Democratic women is Emily’s List. Their investment in pro-choice female candidates is off the charts. They have trainings and their endorsement is quite a feather in your cap.
There’s also Ignite, Emerge, Running Start, WeLead, Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, and I know that I must be missing many others. If you have gone through a training or know of other resources, please share so that we can have a more comprehensive list. We never want any female to not know of places where she can go to get the training she needs to run for office.
That’s it for this Tuesday – we hope you enjoy the rest of the week! Thanks for reading/sharing & if you haven’t subscribed, then I hope you will do so today!
As you read this little ditty, I’ll be flying to the west coast for a few days on work travel. People are out and about on Spring Break so although I’m a bit joyous that I get a time-out from fundraising events, the work still continues. When Congress returns, I’ll be going full steam ahead with a barrage of fundraisers, #tistheseason #politicscanbefun
So whether you’re mushing it up in Iceland or drinking a beverage that has an umbrella in it, here’s Tuesday Truths!
We know that diversity is a key issue for all aspects of life. Having a seat at the table is important to bringing a different perspective and to highlight challenges and triumphs. What’s also critical is that women and minorities tend to be penalized when they try to help in that process through their hiring practices. The Harvard Business Review explores the implications of having those kinds of attitudes.
One of the many reasons I enjoy being a part of the Women’s Information Network (WIN)is that it gives like-minded women a safe space to be women and to share their knowledge and expertise with other women. We’re one another’s cheerleaders. It’s long been known that the “old school” method of networking in the boys’ club was via poker, golf, and men’s dinner clubs. As more women join the ranks of senior leadership, they’re creating spaces that allow us to embrace all of the attributes of female empowerment. Yes, we’ll mix with the boys, but let’s remember that it’s OK to spend your work life also socializing with other women. With that in mind, Shelley Zalis conceived the idea of a Girls’ Lounge, the equivalent of the Boys’ Club so that women could “pair and share”. Read more of her efforts here.
One of the things that I’ve learned through the years is that courage manifests itself in a variety of ways. I know my fears and although not fully conquered, I know what I have to do to overcome them: to face them and not allow them to own me. Believe me, I still weigh the risks (such as when others tell me that I’m going to get eaten by a shark every time I go surfing), but I know that I do myself a disservice by not doing the things that scare me. It makes the rest of my life that much less fearful.
Normally on an election year, I tend to focus solely on work. It’s work, work, work, work, work (thanks Rihanna!) and everything else goes to the wayside. I realized that every other year is a fiercely intensive time in my life and even more so when accentuated if it’s a Presidential year. I create my own stress because I’ve left everything else to wither. My health doesn’t necessarily wane because I recognized that I needed to exercise and get enough sleep so that I could continue to function in an optimal condition. So I decided that I needed to give myself goals that would test my commitment to myself and to my future self. I added private French lessons and although there were moments when I really questioned my sanity in taking on this additional task, it forces me to take action in another area of my life. It’s a lot easier to focus solely on work when you decide that nothing else should matter and that’s not how life works. If you really want to be a whole leader, you need to recognize the other aspects of your life because those aspects also matter to your team.
Thanks for reading/sharing and leave your comments below!