Tagged: candidate

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v25

We’ve got an election today in Georgia 6 so we’ll see what happens after the polls close and we left everything on the field. #Flipthe6th

In the meantime, let’s dish about Tuesday Truths!

  • We’re in full swing with interns in DC and that means a lot of young people running around getting coffee and making copies (seriously, does that happen anymore? c’mon people, aren’t we more environmentally friendly?). Nonetheless, there are going to be people who will think that there are jobs that are not worthy of them. I may complain about it because after 20+ years working in politics, I know that when there’s work to be done, I’m going to get it done, regardless of the task. At the end of the day, I greatly respect the people who have taken years to master the simplest of tasks because before they move on to the next accomplishment, they have achieved perfection. If you’re on the 1st rung of the ladder and want to reach the top rung, you’ll have to work for it and there maybe a time when you can take several steps ahead of others. To do that, you need to have a positive image of yourself as well as your abilities and where you want to go with your goals. Take this time to mold your scope of responsibilities to something that you can be proud of on your road to leadership.



  • Can you believe that the U.S. ranks 101st when it comes to gender equity in our national legislature?? China, Iraq & Afghanistan outrank us (frigging unbelievable). In years past, American women declined to jump into politics, but the political climate has ignited a flame within women to run for office. It’s partly our jobs to build the bench. I always like to remind people that being in politics really means being a public servant. Women warriors, we’re going to call you and I hope that you’ll take the leap!




  • The joke from my friends is that I must have a endless wardrobe collection and I’ve had fun documenting my fashion choices via Instagram and FB. One of the 1st questions I got was when I was going to repeat wearing the same outfit. I do admit to having an extensive closet so although I have repeated, it would be many months and sometimes years in between. Who knew that it was a fashion faux pas?

Thanks for reading/sharing and don’t forget to subscribe!

— 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..


  • 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.

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

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v14

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the GW Women In Business Spring Conference about Entrepreneurship.

Here are some of my thoughts about the questions that they asked:

Introduce yourself:
I am a political campaign strategist and I help people get elected to office. (Going back to the templates of ways that you can introduce yourself in under 20 words).

What is a risk you have taken in your career path?:
I got into politics and then I left politics to pursue a job in another industry which I thought was interesting (I started a catering business & worked in a James Beard winning restaurant) and then I left the hospitality industry because I wanted to get back into politics. My career hasn’t been linear. I’ve left my 1st career choice because I felt burnout and I thought I needed to try something different that I thought was my passion. It taught me to maintain relationships and to listen to my instincts. It’s OK to not have all the answers and even when you think you know what you want to do, you may find that it’s not cracked up to be in reality. Everything in life is a learning experience and you can do whatever you set your mind to do, but you also need to recognize what makes you passionate about your work. Since my return to politics, I haven’t had the sense of burnout like when I was in my 20s because I better understand myself and my limits. That’s not to say that my goals won’t evolve into something totally different from where I once started. That’s life – people change and how they want to approach life. “If you get tired, learn to rest not quit.” – Banksy

What advice do you have for students who have a passion for starting their own business but fear that it won’t achieve long term success?:
Have a clear vision and definition of your success. Success is a personal goal. Do not become consumed in comparison to someone else’s instagrammable life. Long term success can be 6 months, it can be 2 years, 4 years, 15 years – a lifetime – it’s all up to you. If you know that you have a quality product or service that resolves a challenge or is innovative then you can go to the market place ready to compete. Try to be socially responsible. Always be a student and learn from others. I still take other people’s classes on subject matters where I’m considered the subject matter expert. I don’t have the answers to everything and neither should you.

How did your experiences in college and your early career impact your drive to create the Arum Group?:
When I was a child, I skipped a grade and later tested into a math and science high school program. I was an athlete and was student body president. So, I was basically every single Type A person with the grades and extracurricular activities to go with it. My father passed away when I was 15 and from that moment, I became an adult. Fast forward to turning 17 then starting college 4 months later so I have always been quite independent. I was a bit naive which only helped me to dive into the deep end without much fear. I was fortunate that I was raised with enough praise and expectation that whatever vision I had for myself was always positive and that my own ambition wasn’t questioned. My parents instilled in me that I have value and that whatever project/job/career I chose, I would make an impact. So that’s a lot of self worth. Temper that with a bit of curiosity, willingness to learn things that I knew were my weaknesses and a lot of go get it attitude. All of these ingredients mixed together with a dash of I don’t want to have one boss created Arum Group. I couldn’t find a job that allowed me to be the things that I knew that I could be so I created my own luck (with everything that I try to do) so that it could lead me to the opportunities that started my own consulting firm. There are times when I think I want to close up shop but I know that I wouldn’t be happy so I have to continue to create opportunities that I find fulfilling so that Arum Group can be a company that fulfills my definition of success.

If you’re beginning your professional journey and in your 20s, you have a lot of life ahead of you to experience a lot of different things and even as you get older, you need to keep learning. Like I mentioned earlier, you need to be willing to be a student at every opportunity. A former colleague of mine was featured in the NYT about her journey as a seasoned professional at 52 and how she used her network to find the right opportunity for her.

Do you have any questions you want answered about being an entrepreneur or working in politics? Drop me a line and I’ll give them a go!

More Tuesday Truths!

It’s #EqualPayDay and we “celebrate” it so that people can be made aware of the causes and impact that are created by the gender wage gap between women and men. I’ll be training about Salary Negotiation in DC and if you can’t make that training, my colleague and friend, Tanya Tarr will be doing a free webinar on Negotiating as well. There are ample opportunities to get trained in these skills so take advantage of learning how to value your worth. If you can’t join either activity, you can read how science teaches us when to make the first offer.

Since I was talking about Entrepreneurship to a Women’s Conference, I wanted to highlight the challenges that women face in this space and guess what, the challenges are somewhat similar to what women face when running for elected office: ability to raise capital for their venture (campaign fundraising), starting earlier in life, as well as how women spend more time as a caretaker.

There are days when I can’t get my sh*z together and need to reflect on how I can better optimize my day. If I ever get to this point, can someone send me a life preserver filled with a trunk load of vodka or gin? I’d rather drown drinking a cocktail, thank you very much!

Thanks for reading/sharing & let me know what’s going on in in your world!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v6

We’re officially 2 months into 2017 and rolling deep into the 1st QTR. I already feel like I’ve been hit by a MACK truck due to all of the intensity of the year. There hasn’t been any easing up so the mantra is to continue forward by collaborating with others and group hugs with your tribe.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Maybe you’re not down with protesting – totally get it – maybe you’re a consumer who wants to make an impact with how you spend your hard earned moolah so you decide that you’ll patronize establishments/brands that have your shared values. Recently we saw that with the #deleteUber trend and #grabyourwallet where Uber and Ivanka Trump’s brands were affected by consumers making a statement with their purchasing power. It also works when you have a brand such as travel expert Rick Steves making a commitment to donate to the ACLU if you spent money on his products on Inauguration Day. I’m an advocate for companies to have good corporate social responsibility and when they do, I want to support their efforts. Not all companies are perfect because humans aren’t made to be so I believe that customers can make companies aware of how to improve and if actions are taken, support them for course correcting. What do you think? Do you think about corporate social responsibility when you support brands?
  • Living in DC makes every Executive Order even more acutely meaningful. I also have a life where my professional life is fully integrated with my personal beliefs. I may not necessarily agree 100% with my clients but I know that their intentions are well meaning and a policy disagreement isn’t going to dissuade me from working with them. As a result, I’m keenly aware of my personal definition of living a meaningful life through a professional context. If your professional/personal life makes you want to take action in a more meaningful way then you can create projects or join in projects that align with your own values and personality.
  • I’ve talked about having more headaches lately, but did I also mention that I’ve been feeling more anxiety as well? It helps that I’m spending less time watching the news, although I keep informed with reputable news sources so that I can stay updated on what’s happening around me. Another activity that I’ve been incorporating into my daily life is the practice of grounding so that I can feel my physical being while separating the anxiousness that has bubbled to the surface. There are times when you just want to curl up in the fetal position, but remind yourself that you’re not alone and use these tips to get you back up and ready to go. For those who consume alcohol, a glass of wine also helps 🙂
  • More than ever, we need to look out for one another. Living in DC is slightly different than living in other places because a lot of us work in the political sphere in some capacity so it’s extremely important to remember that other people don’t live in such a politically charged atmosphere. We need to help one another in an intersectional way so think about our sisters and brothers in other places so that we don’t feel so alone. It can be challenging to be in an area where you’re opinion is the dissenting perspective. Reach out to one another and let’s welcome more people who share the same concerns.
  • With the #NoBanNoWall and a myriad of other Executive Orders as well as expressing our opinions to elected leaders, the congressional switchboard has been in overdrive. Making calls can be challenging for those who don’t really talk on the phone, but this kind of outreach is the most effective in swaying elected officials to take their constituents’ opinions seriously. Practice helps which means making more calls (something I routinely tell my clients when making fundraising calls) but it may help to know that psychologists can explain the source of your phone anxiety.
  • With the change in administration and the end of the campaign season, I’ve been doing a lot of coffees with people who want advice on how to transition to their next position. Here are Do’s and Don’ts for going to your next coffee. I would also add send a thank you note (email/written note) afterwards! It helps us to remember who you are and let’s us know that you’re inclined to have good organizational skills and attention to detail.

Thanks for reading/sharing – see you 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

The Day After

Hi Everyone –

I know that you’re accustomed to Tuesday Truths so thank you for indulging me this additional post and if I start to ramble, it’s likely because my brain hasn’t quite geared up since I’ve had about 3 hours sleep.

It feels like I’m on an emotional roller coaster going from despair, disbelief, disappointment, and the urge to fight. I know that I’m not ready to fight another day right now. It rings hollow because I haven’t given myself the space to absorb this new reality. A lot of you are probably feeling similar reactions and I encourage you to allow yourself the time to recharge and be surrounded by your tribe. Love on them and one another. Be kind to yourself and give each other the time we all need to process these emotions in the ways that are most beneficial to each of us.

We have invested time and energy to building a country where inclusivity and social justice/equality levels the field for all and to see our fellow citizens choose divisiveness, xenophobia, and sexism cuts me to the core. We are a nation that celebrates its diversity (we have a record number of diverse women serving as U.S. Senators in the next Congress – Senators Elect Tammy Duckworth, Kamala Harris, & Catherine Cortez Masto) and breaking barriers (First Vietnamese American woman in Congress with Congresswoman Elect Stephanie Murphy; First African American woman to serve in the Delaware delegation, Congresswoman Elect Lisa Blunt Rochester; First Somali American to serve in the country as a member of the Minnesota State Legislature, State Representative Elect Ilhan Omar). These accomplishments are to be applauded and reminds me that our country values our diverse voices in the conversation. These women will be in the room where it happens and I hope that they will take us with them (they’re going to need reinforcements!).

Maintaining hope is difficult when the darkest of days are upon us. You’re probably feeling drained and exhausted. I hope that you’ll keep in mind the people who you may have connected with while on this journey, complete strangers who may live in places that you may have never thought to visit or know. We’re rooted in our ability to welcome love into our hearts from all sources.

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and I am thankful for the community that we’ve created. **group hug**

In the meantime, let’s all hold onto the words of the indefatigable Rep. John Lewis,”….those of us who are committed to the cause of justice need to pace ourselves because our struggle does not last for one day, one week or one year, but it is the struggle of a lifetime, and each generation must do its part. There will be progress, but there will also be setbacks. We must continue to have hope and be steeled in our faith . . .”



Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v44

One more week! I’m looking forward to closing this chapter of the 2016 election and optimistic for what’s to come. In the meantime, here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Most of you know that I volunteer with the Women’s Information Network (WIN) — check out their newly designed webpage! — and one of the objectives is to create an environment where women can find mentors organically and maintain a deep relationship so that it’s beneficial to all those involved. What’s important to remember is that regardless of where you are in life, you can always help those who are in the beginning stages of their career. If you’re a staff assistant, you would know the trials and tribulations of working as a junior member of a team. You can help those who are looking for their first jobs after school and it would be meaningful to them to know how you navigated to your 1st professional gig. We all have the ability to pay it forward. It’s a matter of us taking the time and if you’re not sure how to go about it, you can take a look at these mentoring tips.
  • In my 20s, I spent a short amount of time out of my current field to entertain the idea of trying something new. I switched career paths and found that although my new position was interesting, it wasn’t particularly fulfilling. I decided to go back into politics and I think there’s going to be more career changes in my future! If you decide to make a change, here are stories from 8 women who learned what it meant to make a career change.
  • Life is never perfect. Your professional life isn’t always going to be perfect, no matter how many times you think that you’ve achieved your goal of obtaining the “perfect” job. Learning to cope with the obstacles will allow you to maneuver the bumps as you move forward in life. There will be times when you need to exercise your brain to re-focus when you’re facing a challenging time. All it takes is 3 seconds to find your joy!
  • Making friends can be a daunting task, especially when you get older. Social media these days has allowed us to get better with making connections that are real, although not necessarily IRL. I’ve had some delightful conversations with people who I frequently talk with on twitter or instagram and even though we haven’t met IRL, I know that I would find them to be as interesting. When you’re in the flesh, making friends is really a ritualistic form of courting someone. How do you know? By making an impression through interaction. My closest friends aren’t in the area anymore so I’ve had to adjust to finding new relationships that would make life a bit happier.
  • I’m all for more women running for office. If you’re progressive and also from a community of color then I’m all even more for it! One of the things that we’ve learned about engaging women to run as a candidate is that it takes multiple overtures for us to get women to run. We face self doubt and a huge case of imposter syndrome. So how can you help in closing the confidence gap? Encourage a woman to run!
  • Is this another Year of the Woman, where Congress gets an influx of women elected officials? Will it help to fix Congress in having more women legislators? According to this study, Democrats will not have a problem in encouraging women to run, however the GOP will face a massive crisis if they continue to lose women in their recruitment.
  • So I gotta close out this week’s edition with an article written by Tanya Tarr on defining trust in negotiation. I was recently a part of a speed mentoring event and we touched on negotiation as part of what you’ll have to face as you progress into your careers. Ask these 4 questions each time to test the waters of trust.

One more week! Thanks for reading/sharing!

— Madalene




Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v41

This has been a roller coaster ride of an election! Having worked in politics as an operative for over 20 years, this made me re-consider my profession. People already think that I work in a “dirty” business and add to it, I deal with money so that in itself connotes “pay to play” or “quid pro quo”, ideas that I do not advocate within my work (I ain’t going to jail for anyone!). The tone for this election has been unbelievable. I am reminded that in earlier campaigns, prior to email, twitter and all the other social media platforms, days when it was in the halls, pubs and parlors where people gathered, ideas and reputations were defended and propagated, a lot of unkind things were said. Politics has always been a rough and tumble profession. It’s for those who are tough skinned and determined to push forth an agenda that may not be that popular. I think of the disadvantaged and of those who are under represented. I have the privilege of working in this industry and I will do all that I can so that there are others like me bringing awareness to our leaders so that they know that people should be respected for their worth everyday. There are no 2nd class citizens and your skin color, sexual preference, gender, or religious beliefs should never be discriminated. For those who believe in the agenda that the Republican presidential nominee brings forth, I will be there to make sure it doesn’t happen. I chose this profession because I thought that I could make a difference and if that means being at the front lines to remind people that we’re all Americans, even when we don’t look a certain way, then you will find me there.

In the meantime, Tuesday Truths!

  • I spend a lot of time reassuring people. Raising money does that to you when you’re looking at an awfully BIG number to make your goals. So there are times when I need to reassure myself that I’m not smoking crack to think that my team and I can achieve a goal or that we’re just badass (because obvi, we are!). Encouragement from within means so much so when you start to hear the obnoxious voice of doubt, learn to listen to the voice that tells you that you’re more than OK.
  • So ignoring my opening for this week’s post, I know that every cycle I reach peak burnout as we collide with the deadline of Election. Adrenaline fuels my get-up-and-go vs the passion that pushes me through to see results. I also go more inward and that results in less time with friends and loved ones. When you think burnout, you think that it will happen in the older years of your life. I felt it when I had my “quarter life crisis” and my entire work ethic was well below it’s usual height. Regardless of industry, watch for the signs and hopefully all of us will recognize how to best retain people in our respective fields so that they continue performing at a level that everyone deems excellent.
  • Looking for mentors and role models can be challenging for women and for communities of color. Here’s a great resource of what to do when you need to improve in a certain area of skill. Observation is key in making mental note of how you want to accomplish tasks and be perceived.

Hope all is well in your world! Thanks for reading/sharing and if you know of someone who thinks these posts are spectacular, ask them to subscribe!

— 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 v34

I’ve started getting antsy for Fall. DC has been given a break from the heat and humidity and has returned to more “normal” temperatures. Less air conditioning and more windows flung widely for fresh air. So when the weather starts to turn, I start to think about back to school (my favorite time of year!) and of course, the elections. With 76 days left until E-Day, the excitement has already surpassed the usual buzz. All around me, people are organizing trips to swing states and are ready to fire up their personal cell phones to get to phone banking if they can’t travel. The frenzy has begun! It’s time to dive into the deep end 🙂 In the meantime, we’ve got Tuesday Truths!

  • I’m cutting some onions here! I couldn’t get through the entire article without welling up. Whether you’re for Hillary or not, you can’t deny that there are bonds that are forever forged through friendship. The people who surround her, whether they are people who met her when she was First Lady or those who know her from a shared childhood, these women are in this together. That kind of friendship is one that I’m fortunate to share with women who are part of a shared tribe. We may live thousands of miles apart but we have shared the highs and lows because this sisterhood makes us stronger. Yes, I hope this article sheds light on a different side of Hillary for you (if you didn’t already know), but what really struck me was it only confirms that women are the strongest advocates for one another.
  • Should Secretary Clinton win the White House, I truly believe that we’re going to see much more crazy comments about having a woman as President. I remember when I was elected as VP of the student body at Tulane, I was one of six women to lead the student government. It was the 1st time the entire elected executive council were all women and the 1st thing that people asked, “Are you going to paint the student government offices pink?” – is that crazy?! That was over 23 years ago. As a woman elected official, there is just so much more crazy that you put up with than when you’re a man. Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
  • I’m fortunate that I have friends who are well versed on expressing themselves in their wardrobe choices, from vintage finds to high end designer outfits. Your style is a statement of your personality and one woman who has always brought style to the DC aesthetic is Huma Abedin. She has been in Vogue on numerous occasions and with this election cycle, the spotlight has been especially intense. She’s had a full spectrum of experiences, from staffer to candidate’s spouse to Vice Chair of a presidential campaign. With such a high profile life, she has had to endure evolving from a young professional to the person she is today and she’s always held her head up high.
  • If you haven’t read this open letter to managers who have women on their staff, you need to do it now, especially if you’re a man. I know I have some male readers! Respect your talent by advocating for them and obviously, (but not so obviously as this kind of crazy has been going on forever) PAY HER for equal work.
  • Need a reminder that your self doubts are full of air? Then check out Women@Forbes video. They’re waiting to burst your bubble(s)!.

Thanks for reading/sharing and if you have tips you want to share, leave them in the comments!

— Madalene