Tagged: african american

It’s Not Everyday When You Make NBC News

Yesterday was a big day! I was honored to be a part of a speaker line up for the launch of the National Association of Diverse Consultants. This mission of the organization is to increase awareness to progressive campaigns, organizations and allies of consultants who can bring cultural competency and experience.

If you care to read more about the organization, check out the website, Facebook (where you can search for the launch in videos) and twitter. If you’d like to be a part of the organization, you can also sign up to become a member.

It was terrific to see that we were trending on twitter and got some incredible news coverage. Much thanks to Chuck Rocha (if you don’t follow him on twitter, get on it!) and his team, Solidarity Strategies for being the driving force in making this organization a reality.

Since I’m a fundraiser and we do our darnedest to not be in the press, it’s not everyday that I get quoted in NBC News ūüôā

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v21

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..

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  • 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).

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

Thanks for sharing/reading! If you enjoy the posts, please LIKE Arum Group on Facebook! Appreciate the support ūüôā

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v5

It’s been a rough week. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m in a constant headache. It has been fast and furious and not in a good way. This has been brutal for the heart, soul, & body. Remember that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • This past week has shown how swiftly the WH is moving on immigration. Here are ways that you can help fight these policies. Share them with your friends and network who don’t live in the Beltway because that’s where we need the movement to grow.
  • CNN Contributor¬†Jeff Yang has some insightful thoughts about the WH for their explanation of the exclusion of mentioning Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day.¬†Make sure you follow him too!

  • Interesting PBS piece on the stigma of being young, black & Republican. As a lifelong Democrat, I hope that the Democratic Party and the progressive allies that align with our values don’t ever take for granted the constituencies that support the Progressive Movement. Outreach and being welcoming, among other actions are clear indicators in making constituencies feel valued.
  • I work with c3s that are looking into more flexible funding for their organizations because of the changing environment. This piece from Inside Philanthropy is important because we all need to recognize that having the flexibility to address needs quickly will help those communities who are in desperate need.
  • We need more women leaders in elected office, not just because it’s representation but also because women govern differently and as a result, things get done. The 2016 cycle had a decrease in women governors and an average flatline in the US House & US Senate. I’m imploring my fellow women activists to take the reins. We need you!

Whose interested in getting together for a group hug? At the very least we can give one another some moral support but we can also do a daily action together! Thanks for reading/sharing & let me know how you’re doing! See you back here, next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v4

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 Affogato Juley 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.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • 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!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v1

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!

See you back here next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v46

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.

Thanks for reading/sharing!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v43

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!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v35

This is it! the last week of recess and I start a bit early as I have a weekend work retreat. I’ll be in a new venue so I’m looking forward to working with the team there. As I’ve mentioned in the past,¬†working as a political consultant can bring a variety of tasks. We do what needs to be done so that the events that we execute are as flawless as possible. It’s really not strange to think that my colleagues and I would get into a stranger’s car to ride with them 3 hours to a mutual destination because our flight was cancelled and we need to get to our event before our guests. Campaign people are generally left to their own devices and as long as our decisions are ethical and legal, we’re going to do what it takes to get the job done. This type of environment lets us really think on our feet with very little supervision. More often than not, it all works out!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Do you have dreams about having “inbox 0”? I’m pretty responsive with emails and I get a little antsy when I’m supposedly on vacation with my autoresponder saying that there will be a delay in response. I mainly respond quickly because I want it out of the way, but with anything that requires a more thoughtful response, I want the time to articulate my thoughts and that requires the most important resource, time. When you think your email is spiraling out of control, here’s how you can master your own email destiny.
  • Not every day is perfect. There are times when everything seems to be going in the wrong direction and negative thoughts start to overwhelm me. I remind myself that things can be worse and that I have it pretty good. There are always going to be obstacles in life and how we handle them teaches us how to be better people. So when you’re faced with a situation where you doubt your abilities or wonder how to get through a dark period, use these techniques to get to a more positive attitude.
  • When you’re facing challenges at work, especially in a campaign atmosphere, it can lead to a downward spiral. Managers can provide a bit of reassurance but when you’re feeling it as a supervisor, you need to pull yourself together so that you can provide a steady hand for your team. I always like to take a team effort approach to projects even though I’m ultimately responsible for the outcome. Seeing where you have obstacles and putting people who have the most skills to tackle the problem can create an environment where creativity can be fostered. Here are other ways that you can work through those challenging situations.
  • I do my best thinking in the shower. I also spend a lot of time singing so I’m probably the worst person when it comes to water conservation. Nonetheless, I think the idea of having the water wash away my doubts helps me to get to another place that allows me to walk out more confident and ready to take on what may be crowding my mind. The shower also lets me be my most vulnerable. Tears can flow and the private nature of the moment gives me the opportunity to face any negativity. I know that I don’t have a lot of time so it does limit me to wallow. It’s reasonable to question your actions and to give pause to a situation, but don’t allow those thoughts to determine your actions.
  • Sometimes it seems like I have all the time in the world because I’m reading, practicing French or just having non-scheduled time to do nothing. While all of these activities are important, I know that I also need to spend time thinking about how to move my career forward. These tips are helpful just as a reminder to myself to stretch outside the boundaries of only doing the work.
  • Communicating with people in any organization can be daunting. Group emails, reply all, should you call vs email…the list goes on and on. My philosophy is that I will communicate with you however to best get your attention. I work with donors who will only give if I fax them while I have other donors who I know will give if I text them the information. Not only do you have communication protocols outside of an organization, you have them for people who work with your organization. As technology changes, I find that younger people would rather snap then text but as with any hierarchy, communicating with your manager should be done in the way that is most comfortable for your manager. Learning to be flexible as well as establishing office protocols will allow you to know when it’s truly an emergency to respond. Travel also comes into play because team members may be in different time zones and knowing that before you communicate allows them to know that a response is OK during their business hours.
  • I always like to read how other fundraising professionals brand their organizations for donors. In political fundraising, Emily’s List taught us that there are only 4 reasons why political donors give and that kind of psychology really works in thinking about how you craft a message to donors to get them to contribute. When you’re dealing with development and working towards an individual donor program with a long term vision, you’re asking individuals to invest into a bigger picture than just an election. Here’s a great article of how you can¬†keep your donors invested in your organization.
  • I do not pretend to know what my African American colleagues experience in their lives as women and if you didn’t realize how difficult it is for them, then you should read this article because if you’re not outraged by the time you’re finished, then there’s nothing anyone can do to help you. It’s a sisterhood that should be acknowledged and uplifted. We rise together!

Thanks for reading/sharing! Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v33

Photo credit via

I’m back in the office after taking a few days off to visit with family up and down New England. Lots of driving the past few weeks for me so I’m happy to relinquish the car for at least a few days and be still. While I was “off”, I was also notified that my information may have been hacked due to the security breach at the DCCC (fun times!) and lo and behold, I started getting random phone calls (like disgusting racist ones) and lots and lots of spam texts and emails. Needless to say, I spent the majority of one morning changing passwords and dealing with the crazy. This definitely is not when #politicscanbefun ūüôĀ

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • This has been such a crazy year in politics. I can’t wait to see the results and how political scientists will assess the environment for the history books. As a political science major in college, we learned of the historic pendulums that led to the dominance of the Democratic and Republican parties and to live during a time with so much history being made, I enjoy reading about people’s experiences on the campaign trail. MSNBC/NBC Reporter Katy Tur discusses her adventure covering the Trump campaign and it is WILD! Major props to her and to all of those who live the road warrior life.
  • If ever there’s a time when I need inspiration to live a more authentic life, I see Baddie Winkle as my spirit animal. She’s a BADASS and I would want to live my life as freely as she lives hers. She has no problems being herself. At 88 years young, she has lived a lifetime where she can give zero F*cks so, why wait?

Thanks for reading/sharing and drop me a note in the comments!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 edition v27

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!

— Madalene