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every moment is a fresh beginning

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v8 SPECIAL EDITION

Hello Tuesday Truths Readers!

It’s been a whirlwind since we last communicated and I’m sharing BIG NEWS! See below:

APAICS announcement

Washington, DC – February 15, 2018 – The Board of Directors of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke as its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding S. Floyd Mori who announced his retirement in October 2017. Mori has led APAICS for five years and fostered the organization’s significant growth in membership, engagement, and revenues during his tenure.
Mielke has more than 20 years of experience in political and leadership training and non-profit fundraising. She has spent her entire professional career working to bring diversity to the political process and mentoring candidates, elected officials and staff across the country. Mielke comes to APAICS from Arum Group, LLC., a political and non-profit consulting firm that she founded in 2002.
Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, who founded APAICS in 1994, remarked, “Madalene has demonstrated excellence in leadership and community engagement and I look forward to working with her to grow the organization to new heights.”
Representative Judy Chu (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) noted, “Madalene is an exceptional leader, and will bring APAICS to new levels of success. Now, more than ever, we need to increase the engagement and participation of the AAPI community in the political process at all levels of government. We have increasing numbers of AAPI elected officials and AAPI candidates running for office, and they will all benefit tremendously from her innovative and strategic thinking.” 
 
Mielke added, “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve as APAICS’ next CEO. I look forward to working with the board and our stakeholders to highlight APAICS’ mission while expanding the organization’s platform as a resource to the AAPI community.”
Mielke will join APAICS in mid-March. Mori will continue to work with APAICS through its annual gala in May to ensure a smooth leadership transition.  
The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) is a national non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office. APAICS programs focus on developing leadership, building public policy knowledge, and filling the political pipeline for Asian Pacific Americans to pursue public office at the local, state, and federal levels.
Visit apaics.org for more information. 
Contact: Helen Ruggiero at helen@apaics.org.

I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my career and greatly appreciate all those who supported me during this process.

What does this mean for my firm and Tuesday Truths? I will no longer be working in a paid capacity to partisan groups or candidates, however I will continue to work within the leadership development space and with non partisan entities to encourage voter registration/civic engagement. Tuesday Truths will go on hiatus until I can determine how much attention I can give towards maintaining the quality of article assessment and engagement. I hope that you will continue to read the archives and find the existing articles helpful in your career and personal development.

You can always connect with me via Twitter or through the Arum Group, LLC Facebook page. May you always find your tribe to uplift you and be of service to others who can benefit from your experience. We all have the power to make a difference. Thank you for your readership and for helping to build this community.

Until next time!

— Madalene

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happy life

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v3

I’m so excited to announce that Anna Chu, VP for Strategy & Policy for the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) is doing a Facebook LIVE with me on Wednesday, January 31st at 3:15pm eastern/12:15pm pacific. For those who don’t know, NWLC has been advancing and protecting women’s rights since 1972 and most recently, partnered with the Times Up movement to house their legal defense fund. Be sure to tune in at @ArumGroupLLC to catch this interview (with the new FB algorithm, you can follow the page & then “See First” in newsfeed so that you can see updates) . Send in questions or email me. You can also get a reminder by rsvping here.

anna chu FB live

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • Did you know that it takes on average 66 days for a habit to set? It’s important to track everyday within this period so that you can see how you’re doing on a daily basis. Another important aspect of forming a habit is accountability. I started a project with a small group of friends to help me improve on a habit /mindset and it’s been helpful to know that my friends are there to make me honest. If you want to start a new (good) habit and kill a old (bad) habit, take a look at these techniques.

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  • These days when I’m working, I give myself a break to check social media and I want to cut back.  Since I walk Aurnia in the afternoon that gives me a chance to get into nature, although these days it takes more time to bundle up then take the walk because it’s so cold. I excuse myself on the technology break in that I think I’m seeing the latest news updates when I know that being that updated on the news can actually cause more stress. Here are 5 ways that you can take a work break that doesn’t include your phone.

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  • I really enjoyed reading this article from the NYT about managing your career. It’s always good to take a look at where there may be gaps in what you’ve been doing and taking steps to fill them in. I’ve been in the work force for 20+ years and I still don’t know everything. This article reminded me about where I’ve been lazy or at the very least complacent. It’s a good overview of the pieces that you need to create a strong foundation for your career to grow. I encourage you to take a look!

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  • As a person who works in politics, campaigns are about telling the story of the candidate or if in the case of advocacy, the story of those who are being affected. It’s the same mindset about yourself when you’re looking to create a career. Your success is also dependent on how you tell your story. Don’t be afraid to claim your truth and power.

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  • This is a long read and it’s sooooo worth it. When people come to me for advice or mentorship, I immediately tell them that I don’t have the answers. Every person’s situation is unique. It’s your life/career so you have to take responsibility to dig deep for your truth. I can’t help you figure out “the why” in your life. Once you figure that out, you’ll find that a path is more accessible because you are taking steps to achieve your goals (“the why”). I’m happy to help with the logistics of your journey. The destination is up to you. Bookmark this article because you’ll want to re-visit it multiple times throughout your life.

Thanks so much for reading/sharing! If you found it helpful, please subscribe and encourage others to join this community.

— Madalene

 

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happy new year

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v1

Hi Tuesday Truths readers! Welcome back and Happy New Year! We re-started the clock for 2018 and we’re excited for the next 51 weeks.

Let’s go!

  • In recent months, I’ve had friends who left their very stable consulting jobs for new careers. They basically were burnt out and wanted jobs that fulfilled their passions. When I saw this article in Forbes, it really re-engaged my mind about the ideas that I have in my own mind about starting a new business outside of my current portfolio. These women turned their skill sets into new careers in different fields. It’s an amazing leap of faith (in yourself!) and isn’t for the faint of heart. Remember when we talked about failing bigger in 2017? What ideas have been churning in your brain??

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  • We’re technically in 2018 and although these questions are meant for the end of the year, it’s always good to ask them of yourself so that you can give yourself an assessment of where you are and where you were. My favorite question was, “Who enriched my life in a big way”.  These are definitely not your standard reflection questions and that brings a different mentality to how you answer the questions, and ultimately how you see yourself.

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  • One of the best parts about being a consultant is that I’ve had enough experience to see a variety of game plans and knowing my role, I can develop my own plan within the overall campaign with different clients. As a result, life isn’t cookie cutter and I get to do my own thing. If you’re looking to make moves on your career these tips can help you into the fast lane. All of these things apply to me even working as an independent consultant and even more so. Get out there and show your work!

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  • One of the things that I’m working on for 2018 is to be kind and to engage in more acts of kindness (random or otherwise). As a result, I hope that decreases any internal biases and a level of righteousness that can lead to being prideful. This certainly gets exacerbated when communicating with people who have different opinions/values than my own. It doesn’t help in continuing dialogue and the more time we can spend out of our echo chamber, the better it is to understand those who aren’t like us. Which leads me to the question is it possible to love your enemies? I think it’s an exercise worth trying.

Thanks for reading/sharing & subscribing! See you next week!

— MXM

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v52

This is it – the last Tuesday Truths for 2017! I can’t wait to see what shenanigans we can get into for 2018.

Let’s get to it!

  • The end of the year always brings reflection and scheming for new plans in the new year. One of the best things that I would advocate is to surround yourself with people who will bring the best out of you without drama or negativity. Be with people who will push you to strive for higher aspirations and help you find the motivation that you need to reach for loftier goals. Together you create positive energy and be one another’s support without contempt. Someone else’s success doesn’t cast a shadow on the light that you bring. If you need tips on how to build your own tribe (I hope that you can find community here too!) check it out. Thank you for being a part of my tribe 🙂

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  • Tackling new year’s resolutions? Here’s how you keep your promise to yourself. Incremental is always good. My goal of writing this blog has been going strong – 104 weeks straight and counting. I am a creature of habit so getting into a routine is pretty easy for me because I crave it as part of my personality. For Lent last year I decided that I would do more volunteer time instead of giving up anything so I started going to the DC Central Kitchen on a monthly basis and I will hit my one year mark in January. You’ve got people cheering you on as you make your resolutions so feel free to share them!

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  • Since I’m always striving to be #livinahappylife, this Harvard study piqued my interest about truly living a happy life. I see older couples who have only one another as a source of interaction and although they may be in their late 70s, I wonder if they’re really living a full life because they aren’t spending time outside of their marriage in their own activities. Although I’m an introvert, I know that I will need time with my friends and activities with others outside of my spouse to feel like I’m living a fulfilling life. Close relationships with family and friends are key factors in delaying mental and physical decline. So if you want to age in a healthy way, find your people! Are you seeing a thread in this end of year post?

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  • I think I’m a glass half full kind of person and although I spend a lot of time trying to think positively, I need to replenish the well. 2017 was a Debbie Downer year for me (as well as many others) so I’m going to take a more positive outlook for 2018. If you want to join me in training your brain to think more positively then let’s get going! I’m going to be more active in doing random acts of kindness.

I want to take this moment to thank you for taking this ride with me. I always look forward to your comments and your feedback. If you have a story to share or an article that will help your fellow Tuesday Truth readers, let me know. Your participation means a lot and I get so much joy in seeing you tag me on other social media platforms about articles you’ve read through the blog. I hope you take the time for rest and self-care because 2018 is going to be tremendous. Thank you for liking, sharing, commenting and subscribing. See you next week!

— Madalene

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v49

Photo credit: Alton Wang with photo editing by moi.

Are you gearing up for the holidays? After last week’s U.S. Senate vote for “tax reform”, I’ve turned into a bit of a grinch. I’m looking at all the things that are being eliminated and as a small business owner, it bothers me that the bill targets how I do my business expenses. Of course, we talk about not worrying about things that we can’t control so what I can control is making sure that the House members understand that this would be negligent on their part to pass the Senate version of this atrocity. Trust me when I say that when it comes time to pay my taxes, the response in my household is “Are you sure you’re not a Republican?” because I have a higher tax rate being self employed. My husband reminds me that it’s our fair share and although we don’t have children, we want future generations to have quality public education and hey, we all use that road & bridge so an infrastructure that isn’t crumbling would be nice. **le sigh** If you’re unhappy with where this legislation is headed then get your friends in the states where elected leaders are on the fence to voice their discontent. Getting off my soapbox and sharing Tuesday Truths!

  • Everyone talks about how getting enough sleep is a pillar to relieving stress. Lots of successful people talk about being early risers and maximizing their day. There are categories of people who do best according to how they get sleep. I fall into the “Lions” category where I usually get up before my alarm and when it’s still dark (although I like to exercise in the morning, which is more a “Wolf” behavior). Which animal sleep pattern do you associate with in your sleep activity? Now that you’ve identified which category you’re in, you can also design your day around how you wake up and power down to get rest.

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  • There’s a theory that my generation (45-54) is moving into what’s called Generation Grumpy. My husband is already thinking about retirement in 10 years. While I’m a little bit younger than him, I will probably “retire” soon thereafter, probably another 5-10 years. So why are we so grumpy? It looks like the generation ahead of us are staying in the jobs that we would elevate into but they’re staying in those jobs longer. They aren’t retiring and as a result, my generation won’t be progressing into a higher income bracket or more senior level positions. Something to think about as we get older and stick around longer!

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  • We could all use more positive thinking. I am pretty much a pragmatist. I have had and continue to have my share of disappointments so I always try to find the silver lining, although maintaining a level of optimism can be tiring when others aren’t as positive. I’m still working on meditating because my mind likes to wander so keeping calm is a behavior that I need to practice. Here’s a nifty chart where you can begin your journey of positive thinking.

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  • I shared Tracee Ellis Ross’ remarks in a previous post about her owning her life. Here’s another version of her creating space and giving herself permission to give zero DUCKS. People always comment about how I turn down invitations because I generally schedule my life to fit all the things that I need to get accomplished (I really am a procrastinator at heart). I’m living on the edge here because I had a pretty full weekend so I didn’t write this post during my usual allotted writing time (see! I don’t always follow my schedule!). It’s my life and I’ll live it the way I want. No one else has to face the consequences for my choices. So don’t give others your power. When it comes to your career, those Benjamins belong in your wallet so how you choose to direct your career path is a combination of your financial situation, your obligations to yourself to increase/decrease your portfolio and how you want to live your life. You work hard for your money so when I hear about a young woman choosing to get out of politics because she can’t find the right fit, I want to hug her to let her know that I’m on her side. We lose another woman rising in the ranks yet at the same time, sometimes it makes perfect sense for a person to step out of their once chosen profession to pursue other interests and dreams. We’re not one dimensional and if you want something, fight for it and find people who will champion you. Leave everyone else behind.

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  • It may be annual review time and I gotta give a shout out to negotiation extraordinaire, Tanya Tarr. She’s got techniques and a template on how you can prepare for this discussion. It’s an opportune time to pull together your greatest hits and talk about your major accomplishments. It breathes life into your narrative of why your work qualifies for more compensation, either in the form of a higher salary or more benefits. It’s a self confidence boost that will carry good will in the next year.

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  • When we talk about why someone wants to run for office, it’s such a personal message. You may hear the sound bytes of “We want to build a better place for future generations” or ‘Our children deserve to breathe clean air etc.”. Honestly, I’m not a cynic. What most candidates don’t realize is that campaigns are about values. To get to the generic tag lines, you need to actually dig deep within yourself to recognize the pivotal moment that called you to action. Most people don’t think that they will grow up to be an elected official. It is a job after all and it’s part popularity contest along with some policy awareness. It’s also hard AF to run for any kind of elected office. Those who are truly motivated also recognize that they need to connect with voters and find the moment that ignited the spark to run for office. In my opinion, finding meaningful career goals is a microcosm of what it means to run for office. The tagline may be generic, the moment when you realized that you could affect change by running is not. It’s so deeply personal and is based on what you think are the values you want to explore and share with others. When looking at your career, you should also be aligning your goals to your values. Here’s an exercise that you can do to see what you can do to create meaningful goals.

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  • I’m going to the Politico Women Summit and there will be a plethora of fierce women in attendance. Instead of the “where do you work?” line of questioning, I’m going to use my standard, “Any plans for the upcoming holidays?” which can also lead to “Do you have any fun holiday party/festivities planned?” aka “What are your hobbies?” which can also lead to “Are you planning to see the new star wars movie?”. I’m such a big believer in learning about people’s lives outside of their work titles. Since I’m the rare bird that grew up in this town, I usually ask, “What brought you to DC?” and if I do find another DMV native, we usually end up talking about all our favorite places for (“______” fill in the blank). So the next time you’re in networking land, here are 55 questions you can use to break the ice and get to know someone.

That’s it for this week, folks – thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll see you in 7 days 🙂

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v47 – GIVING THANKS EDITION

We’re a few days out from Thanksgiving and I wanted to give a shout out to all of the readers of this little old blog. I take your comments and feedback seriously and have enjoyed sharing the information that’s been curated so that you can find a path to your own success, whether it’s in your personal life or professional one. Thank you for reading/sharing and giving me feedback. I look forward to the rest of the year and creating a stronger community. I hope you enjoy the holiday with loved ones and I’ll see you next Tuesday!

In the meantime, let’s get to reading this week’s Tuesday Truths.

  • In earlier posts, I’ve talked about scheduling your priorities (no more wish list!) into your life. When I worked as an executive assistant, I had to work with that person’s calendar and I recognized early on that she had her priorities (a good thing!) and it taught me to recognize that she was putting herself first. It was a good lesson amongst many others that I learned. Working in a business where event planning is a heavy component and juggling multiple schedules is a regular activity, I know that I have to budget time for not just the event but also the travel time, the prep, the wind down and so many other details. The event may take 2 hours because that’s the call time; it’s all the other parts that have to be factored into the schedule. I started using a new software for scheduling appointments with people and it’s terrific because when I have events, I can cushion that so that people aren’t making appointments with me when I need to be on the road to my next event. It also allows me to block off time for me to be unavailable because let’s be honest, I actually have to produce work and that takes concentrated amounts of time not spent on the phone or that may mean that I have to schedule my own call time. I want that to be uninterrupted. Time management is so important in making things happen. That also includes making time for yourself to NOT DO ANYTHING. Just about everyone knows that I’m an introvert so when I have back to back days with lots of people in my life for work or even for my own personal time, I need time squirreled away with just me, myself & I. That way I can recharge and just enjoy being alone. Once I get that time, I can come back ready to talk with people again. You can’t be afraid to be still. That also goes for extroverts who need to be with people. If you don’t like having that alone time, then make sure you’re at as many events as you can possibly handle. Just be present and not over schedule yourself so that you’re running around just trying to make the events. For more tips, take a read from this article that talks about managing the schedule of high powered women executives.

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  • I have talked incessantly about women competition. I LOVE IT. I think it allows me to see where I can improve and what I can be doing better to help my fellow sisters. Everyone has different styles and I love learning from others. At the same time, I have gone through a lot of experiences where I can share those moments with those who may benefit from my triumphs and mistakes. Shalane Flanagan is the perfect example of how I like to operate. If you haven’t heard of her, she recently won the New York City Marathon and she’s the first American woman to do so in 40 years! Imagine running 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 26 minutes – AMAZEBALLS! As a former long distance runner who competed in high school in cross country and the mile and 2 mile in indoor and outdoor track, I know a tiny fraction about what it means to dedicate yourself to your sport. I am not a professional athlete by any stretch, yet my work ethic and belief in bringing my best all the time transfers to my professional life. When I read this article, I welled up with tears because 1) it shows that women can be supportive while also working towards their own goals and 2) I want this so badly in the areas where people think that women can’t do the work. This kind of sisterhood I can support. It is not horrible to say that you want to win and to be the best. It’s also feasible to achieve that while helping others.

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  • I’m going from one tear jerker to another and this time, Tracee Ellis Ross has got my number. I have never been one to imagine myself married. Yes, I know that I’m married now and even then it was traumatic to think that I was getting married when The Mister and I applied for our marriage license. I may be all “Pride and Prejudice” and for the most part, I want to see contentment as having a partner yet, I’m so far from a romantic. I didn’t think about my wedding growing up and certainly didn’t think about babies. My women friends who are single, without romantic love on the horizon (they do have love because that comes in all forms from friends and family) and/or without progeny are fierce and individually they may have come to a degree of happiness in their lives, they are amazing. They recognize the choices that they have made and are content. It may have taken them more time to acknowledge it and for public sake, they may not outwardly be hurting. Embracing the gender roles that make us women are defined by society. My own mother didn’t really recognize that I was “grown” until it was officially documented that I was married. For a long time, she would ask me about when I was getting married and because I’m stubborn (I’m my mother’s daughter after all),  I would defiantly tell her, “When I’m ready!”. I didn’t want to move forward on such a life changing event to please anyone, not even my mother. No one gets a say on your life. You may want opinions and you may want people to weigh in because that’s your prerogative. I don’t live your life and my thoughts have no bearing on how it implicates your daily existence. Put yourself FIRST.

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  • Along the same lines, Lidia Yuknavitch defies the stories of who she should be and stands up to create her own destiny. How we live our lives is up to us. Allowing someone else to take ownership of it, doesn’t give you your voice. Sometimes this seems like mumble jumble because when you’re in the middle of it all feeling stuck, you wonder how do I get out of it? When you’re thinking of how life has treated you unfairly without any choices that you made yourself, you can sometimes feel untethered. Feeling grounded to who you are regardless of what has happened to you creates your own story and voice. Yes, these things have occurred and you have prevailed to live another day. Don’t let others project their stories onto you.

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  • A lot of my clients compliment me on my diplomatic responses to somewhat crazy interactions. That doesn’t mean that I don’t release my rage in some other manner. I don’t channel it to my team or to others because I completely disassociate myself from who is being childish and those who have nothing to do with the situation. Sometimes, I feel the residual affects which could mean that I’m a little more cranky than usual or the smallest of actions may annoy me. I try to remember that everyone is going through something and hope that others will give me the same amount of grace. Bottling up anger is not healthy and when I find myself in situations where I’m at a disadvantage, I try to find the words that will allow the other parties and me to come to a win/win. It’s not about conquering anymore because I never feel good afterwards about it. It’s like the scene in You’ve Got Mail and Meg Ryan’s character talks about tearing into someone with all the negative things you could possibly say because it’s the heat of the moment and afterwards she’s really not happy with herself. That’s me because there are a lot of times where I feel that way and I start to lean into that space. It’s not my style so I pull back and find the words to express the situation in a way that isn’t just about me. Empathy is hard because you’re trying to place yourself in someone else’s position. That is definitely not as easy as it sounds. It doesn’t mean you justify other people’s actions. You acknowledge your own feelings and work towards not letting it control the rest of your interactions.

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  • I want to thank all of the wonderful women who stopped by a FriendsGiving I hosted last week! We donated toys, books & money in support of Children’s National Hospital and I’m filled with gratitude for their friendship and generosity. Thank you!

Just some of the toys and books that my fierce women friends donated to Children’s National Hospital

Thanks for reading/sharing and have an enjoyable week. See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

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Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v46

I’ve been in a good mood since last Tuesday with the success of the elections. Voters were unafraid to repudiate bigotry and racism. Diversity and inclusion may seem to be buzz words for the current environment and the truth of the matter is that different perspectives weaving throughout society brings humanity closer together. We are here to respect one another as equals with compassion and a level of curiosity that should lead all of us to better understand those who have had different experiences from us. Civil discourse is about respectful and factual conversation. We can disagree and yet still work to find common ground so that we can finds ways to help society. This was never meant to be easy. It’s hard work to listen to one another and to not discard someone else’s values. I have a difficult time doing it without getting emotional and that is something that I know that I must work on so that I don’t widen the divide. I recently saw an exchange on FaceBook where my peers were discussing gun control and I took lessons from it because it was civil and the person who I sided with in the exchange was respectful and acknowledged the opposing view. Patience is in short supply and I’ll take notes wherever I can find the most useful actions. I hope that you will also join me on this journey together.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • My introduction for this week talked a bit about active listening. It’s having emotional awareness and the ability to acknowledge your own emotions, especially in the heat of the moment to bring it all together. I can usually read people’s reactions and try to work with that when in a challenging position. What I recognize is that when people who are close to me exhibit a type of behavior that I don’t agree with I resort to my more emotional side and get more stubborn. I’m a stubborn person by nature and having more emotional awareness tampers some of that willfulness. I’m going to have to keep this article bookmarked so that I can have it as a reminder for myself whenever I find myself in a situation where I need to improve. With the holidays fast approaching, you may want to use it when you find yourself in a heated discussion with your family.

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  • Priorities, people – you know that you’re going to start figuring out your new year’s resolutions for 2018, which is really your priority list. When we “gained” the hour with the return of standard time, I used my “extra” hour to sleep. Starting to think about that list really helped to set priorities. Your wish list on how you want to spend your time should be how you prioritize your time. Schedule it and stick to it so that it becomes a habit. Being able to prioritize yourself should never be a question. You need to take care of yourself first before anyone else so that you can be the best person you can possibly be so that you can be that version of yourself to help others.

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  • Taking the same attitude about priorities also means that at your work, you need to protect your time. Our immediate response to people when they ask, “How things are going?”, we say, “Busy!” because it’s a thing. If we’re not busy then we’re doing…what exactly? Take back your time and make it impactful. You may not have the ability to control your schedule because you’re a junior member of the staff and you have to roll with everyone else’s schedules first. That’s OK – you can still manage your time by taking the blocks of time that you can control and prioritize the projects and work that will help with your team or your manager’s time.

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  • With so many things that can pull for your attention, it’s bound that stress will occur. Believe it or not, stress makes you stronger. It tests your ability to take multiple pieces of your life and create systems to address them. Whether it’s direct action in addressing the many facets or the mechanisms that you create so that you are working at optimal performance, you are taking stressful circumstances and evolving your actions and attitude to come through the other side. If you didn’t have a lot of stress in your life, adversity may be more challenging for you. When you’ve experienced a lot, you’re able to work through these difficulties because you’ve created the support system you need to function. These skills will help you better manage your stress when those times occur.

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  • This Harvard Business Review article entitled, “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?” certainly piqued my interest and not just because of the title. Charisma and confidence masking themselves as potential leadership qualities are propelling men into roles where transformational leaders are needed. Throw in bias and societies thinking that men are superior to women and we find ourselves in this current predicament.

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  • Does appearance really affect hiring decisions? I’m a believer in branding and that goes with the idea that I’m marketing myself and my work through a visual perspective as well as the work product. My sense of style is to be a little out of the box and the person who cuts my hair knows that I have a thing about not looking like everyone else. I want to stand out because I have a professional yet interesting haircut and an wardrobe aesthetic that says professional yet age appropriate with clean lines and far from cookie cutter as possible. When I pitch for clients, I want my work to stand out and my appearance to be the added benefit. A majority of my life has been spent making people aware that my outward appearance may appear to be one of a young professional who wears understated but finely appointed accessories with the experience of someone who actually has spent multiple decades in my profession. I may look younger, however my demeanor are going to point towards my actual numerical age. How do these factors increase already existing bias? It’s not only the people who go through the interviews, it’s also having diverse hiring managers who can look to diverse candidates for consideration.

That’s it for this week! Thanks for taking the time to read/share the post. See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v44

Happy Halloween – time for tricks and treats! We’re moving into another month so let’s get going with Tuesday Truths so that you can end this year on a high note feeling accomplished and ready to tackle soon to be 2018.

  • There’s always going to be a time when I’m in need of a bit of inspiration. I’m a creature of habit so routines are my jam and I know that it can be a dangerous tipping point towards complacency. So I keep my eyes peeled for others who can drive my creativity and push me to become more innovative. Successful people have doubts and sometimes don’t know their next steps just as much as those who are starting out their careers. It can be daunting to stay inspired when you feel that work has become too much of a routine and others’ expectations of you drive your own calculations when determining decisions. There’s a difference between drinking your own kool-aid and recognizing your own accomplishments. Be confident in your worth and never stop practicing gratitude for the opportunities that you have earned.

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  • When you’re stressed out at work, there are things that you can control to help you relieve anxiety. My time spent in a Pilates studio has helped me better understand how to take advantage of my breath so if you hear me taking deep inhales and exhales then I’m taking my own advice. Along with other suggestions, you may find that you can get a handle of what you can control. Take the time to recognize if you’re putting yourself in situations where you may make bad choices. I recently was at an event where afterwards people were also taking time to casually network after the formal portion of the event ended. Most times I would have gone with them but I decided that it would be better if I went home instead. I have no regrets and FOMO doesn’t drive my decisions. The consequences are what I’m faced with after making a bad decision and I’ve learned from experience that it’s not worth it. As many of you know, I’m not an extrovert so I have to know myself well enough to overcome my gut personality when I know that it’s better for me to engage with people vs retreating. Building your self awareness will help you make calculated choices. Remember to live life once in a while and throw caution to the wind. You know you best.

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  • This is a long read and well worth the time. It saddened me to read about the experiences women went through with their women managers because for the most part, I haven’t gone through anything remotely close to the bullying that these women experienced. Fundraising is usually seen as a woman dominated field within politics and once you rise to senior leadership, you may be the only woman in a room full of men. If women are feeling the need to be the top woman in the room and they’re transferring those feelings to their teams (usually comprised of younger women) then the cycle is going to repeat itself. I’ve had women associates in my firm that I’ve tried to help elevate and mentor so that they can be role models to their future staff. Breaking the cycle of negative and abusive behavior needs to begin with all of us because we can all do better.

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Thanks for reading/sharing & if you haven’t subscribed, I hope you’ll do so today!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v43

Last week I had a terrific time training on the basics of fundraising and connecting with a group of AAPIs interested in running for public office. It’s an incredible feeling to share my experiences and knowledge with those who want to serve and to spend time with one another creating relationships to help our communities. I enjoy hearing the stories of people who have overcome challenges in their lives to fashion a life that provides more economic & educational opportunity and understanding that their children may straddle multiple cultures to forge ahead. AAPIs are not perpetual foreigners in the U.S. and we shouldn’t be afraid to embrace our culture because others will question whether we’re really American or not. We all have gifts to share and I truly believe that representation is important so that everyone can better understand the stories of its citizens. Chris Lu eloquently wrote a piece in Time about how the lack of AAPI representation in media, government, & corporate entities isn’t reflective of our society and how this leads to a lack of visible role models for others.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • A key element to achieving success in fundraising or really almost anything is consistency. That means creating good habits and that’s an important aspect I emphasize. There’s no one way to create habits so search for a system that works best for you. I like familiarity although after awhile I like to mix it up. As a result, I’m always looking for ways to motivate me. I’m always down for trying out different techniques to see if something sticks and to keep it fresh.

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  • I believe that we’re constantly evolving and growing. Who I am now as a mid 40s professional woman is not who I was when I was in my 30s, let alone in my 20s. Experience as well as added wisdom has helped to create who I am today. If it weren’t for failures and accomplishments, I wouldn’t know how I would handle difficult challenges and recognize my strengths and weaknesses. Personality can guide so many aspects of how we behave that by taking note of traits that need shoring up, we can overcome or transform to be a different version of ourselves. Your personality doesn’t have to dictate your behavior. It can actually help to motivate you to exhibit authentic traits that you can further develop over time, only if you take it on as a “personal project”. Don’t let personality limit you to think of yourself in a defined way. You have the ability to take control of your behavior even if you think that you’re predestined to behave a certain way.

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  • Building self awareness is an important aspect to understanding yourself and how you can fit into your environment. It allows you to take notice of how others see you as well as how you respond. Recognizing your self awareness can be daunting because studies show that you’re basically lying to yourself. You need external and internal feedback to get an actual sense of your own self awareness. If you’re looking for ways to start, we’re sharing a beginner’s guide.

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  • I started this week’s post talking about consistency and I’m closing on it because people who are respected when they’re consistent. A cure to my procrastination is that I know that I’m expected to produce on a regular basis. Once I say that I’m going to do something, I have to figure out how to do it because by verbalizing my intent, I have made an informal promise. This means that my words can’t be empty and as a result, it creates goodwill. Respect is earned through your actions and through consistent behavior, you’ll be able to reap the benefits.

Thanks for reading/sharing! If you haven’t signed up for the weekly posts, I hope that you’ll consider signing up today. See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v38

It’s another district work period for the House so I’m playing catch up and getting ready for BSM. For those new to the blog, “Hi!” and BSM is my mood at the end of the QTR because I’m BUSY. GETTIN’. MONEY.

So let’s get straight to it with Tuesday Truths!

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  • I’m a fundraiser so I spend a lot of time networking for my clients so that I can have a varied group of people who are interested in supporting the work that my clients do in politics and in non-profits. Could I ever learn to love that aspect of my work? The key to networking is better understanding the flow of information and how you can be a resource. You never know who you may meet that will have shared interests with you. It’s an invaluable way to meet influential people who may thank you later on for being helpful to them.

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  • Don’t get sucked into other people’s instagrammable moments and forget to live your life. People are starting to get depressed looking at other people’s lives and thinking that they’re not successful enough. Please don’t measure yourself to others because you’ll set yourself up for failure. It’s totally normal to strive to attain a life that’s similar to someone you admire. Also recognize your accomplishments along the way. You control your level of success and most importantly, its meaning to you. Here are 5 signs when you can tell if you’re successful (even when you don’t think you are!).

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  • I have a lot of people who call me to talk about running for office. I always ask them if they’ve had a chance to talk with people who are not a part of our echo chamber and if they’ve discussed their public policy proposals, let alone listened to voters who identify with another set of beliefs. It’s a lot harder than you think to convince someone that your ideas are better when they already hold onto a set of beliefs. Data doesn’t necessary help your case because facts don’t change people’s minds. Learn how you can give people the scenario to give themselves an out so that they can change their way of thinking.

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  • I’m often asked to speak on panels about politics and being an entrepreneur so I basically figured out my schtick, however to keep things fresh, I always need to see who else is speaking so that I can be aware of their accomplishments and figure out the type of audience the panel is addressing. Although I’ve done public speaking for a long time, I still get butterflies talking in front of people. Instead of allowing those emotions to get the best of me, I take a deep breath and remind myself that I’m not an imposter. You’re more likely to be comfortable when you’re more yourself so think of your time as an opportunity to have a conversation and to connect with your audience. Want more tips? Check it out here!

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  • Did you hear that there’s going to be a new iPhone released in a few weeks/months? I saw some hoopla and what really caught my attention was the Twitter flack people gave to an article about how they covered Apple executive, Angela Ahrendts’ attire when she took to the stage to talk about the launch. Ms. Ahrendts is the former CEO of Burberry and currently heads up the retail division of Apple. She’s also the only woman executive in senior leadership for Apple and is the highest paid woman in tech. I’m all about making sure that women leaders are listened to when they speak about their product lines or their accomplishments. Above all else the subject material is the highlight. How they present themselves only amplifies the narrative. Women in positions of power have used their wardrobe choices for visual affect and although the author of the article may not have a direct line to why exactly Ms. Ahrendts decided to wear what she wore on the day of the launch, there is much speculation to her decision. I do think people who are in positions of authority project an image and adhere to that image to maintain the brand. Its only recently that people have seen a less than polished version of me on social media because if you were to ask people what they think of my fashion choices, most people would say “put together” or “dressed up”. It’s my attempt to be more accessible as I start evolving my brand.

Thanks for reading/sharing and I really appreciate your notes when you let me know that something really resonated. See you next week!

— Madalene