Tag Archives: leadership

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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mt fuji comfortable

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v7

So many reasons to celebrate because not only is it Mardi Gras, it’s also GALentine’s Day! Having a sisterhood of women who are supportive of your work and collaborate to work on projects = AMAZING! I’m fortunate to also spend my volunteer time with the Women’s Information Network (WIN) and I’ll be doing a WIN 101 with them tonight, a perfect way to start my evening.

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

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  • I’m thrilled to hear of the early ticket sales for Black Panther and I am eagerly anticipating seeing it on the big screen. The question of who’s allowed to wear the Black Panther costume has come up and I’m torn on the implications. Here’s an article from the NYT that delves into whether this is cultural appropriation or not. My personal opinion is that I want see more Black Panthers from kids of color as well as those who are white – role models should be inspired from all races, ethnic backgrounds & religions to be a diverse cross section.

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  • Scheduling can be a conundrum, especially if your work revolves around someone else’s schedule. If you have the ability to control your schedule so that you can allocate time to do your most pressing work, build it into your calendar so that you can fully concentrate. I use Calendly to help me schedule appointments and that allows me to also block out time so that people automatically know when I’m unavailable. Here are some suggestions on how to create a schedule that will work for you.

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See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

elizabeth gilbert

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v4

This has been a doozy of a week: government shutdown, women’s march and a marked increase of activism. It’s madness and yet, we believe in our democracy and our right to voice our discontent. As imperfect as it is our government is dependent on the people who drive it (voters and who we elect). If you don’t work in the industries that perpetuate it, feel free to ask questions and get involved in ways that are comfortable to you. Being an active citizen is important to understanding how your neighbors may be struggling or the challenges that people face in different situations. It’s about learning and acknowledging people’s pain. Society is built on interaction and I hope that we can find ways where we can better understand one another.

Here’s Tuesday Truths:

  • I’ve shared a lot about Career Contessa – they have terrific articles on career development. Give them a follow! In the meantime, take a refresher and remind yourself how to get to back to the basics. They’re sharing templates on how to communicate via email, whether it’s to ask for an informational interview or following up with someone that you met at an event. Perfect items to keep in your arsenal.

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  • Most of you know that I was the Director of Training for the Democratic Party back in the day & my love of training runs deep. I not only advocate for more women elected leaders/candidates but also more women operatives. To reach those upper echelons, women must also work in roles on the campaigns that can lead to management. My specialization is through fundraising and it’s a skill that is easily transferrable as well as highly regarded in any campaign. A lot of women went through the field route and that helps in management because that’s the basis for how you allocate your resources. Women shouldn’t be pigeon-holed into only the finance positions and those with a fundraising background should be senior leadership meetings. This allows you as a fundraiser to understand that allocation and to see how decisions are made. GET IT MY SISTERS!

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  • I was so moved by this piece written by Janelle Harris called “For Colored Girls in Their 30s and 40s Who Feel Life May Have Passed Them By“. Believing in yourself, no matter what stage you are in life is incredibly important to understanding and being true to your story. I want so much to be the cheerleader to those women who want to achieve their own success (however way they define it). Your accomplishments, regardless of how small you think they may be, are the milestones in your journey. No one can take that away from you. Decisions that were made that led to whatever situation can be cross corrected. Be with people who will uplift you and give you the encouragement you need when you’re feeling low. Depend on yourself to be your own friend when you can’t find a listening ear. You drive this train and when you reach your destination, it will be because you believed in your abilities. Your future is yours to create. We’re cheering for you!

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  • In that vein (see above) if your dreams change, it’s OK! There are some articles that talk about not sharing your ambitions with others and keeping them close to your vest. I can see the merits of that perspective. It’s my preference to talk it out. I have a million ideas ALL. THE. TIME. How many of them actually come to reality? A good number of the ones that are attainable do come true. The bigger ones that demand real planning, monetary investment & implementation have not. Simply because they are dreams and not necessarily something that I come back to consistently. When you’ve come back consistently to an idea that doesn’t give you any mojo, you may want to re-evaluate if your goals have changed. Here are other signs that your dreams may have changed.

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  • This is a long read and well worth it. Who doesn’t want to a guide to building successful teams? It seems logical & simple and yet it’s not. If you’ve experienced poor management and back stabbing colleagues, then you understand that no matter the size of the organization, setting the example starts from the top. Key takeaways: have a plan, respect your colleagues, metrics are essential, and accountability. Easy peasy, right?

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  • Did you know that your brain has a delete button? I’ve started to recognize that I no longer remember (let’s be honest, care) about certain aspects of my job because I no longer have a steel trap memory. I was placing blame on me getting old (#truth) and after I read the article, I realized that my brain was simply deleting the parts that I no longer needed to use. Why exactly am I remembering the name of the lobbyist who handles a certain association when I no longer engage with them? The author equated the brain’s function as part of pruning as you do when you garden. I’ve always had a horrible time keeping plants alive so this may be the one time where I’m actually successful in gardening.

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That’s it for this week! Let me know if you have any topics you’d like for me to cover. Appreciate your readership and please share with your network!

— Madalene

 

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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foggy mountains

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v2

How are you enjoying 2018 so far? It’s been a blustery and unusually cold January with the bomb cyclone making its way up the east coast so we’re warmly ensconced reading, writing and making plans!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • When I was a child, I skipped a grade and did math problems over the summer after watching Captain Kangaroo – do you even know who that is 😉 – as much as I enjoyed the accolades of being told that I was smart, I didn’t enjoy it. So much so that when my mom would check my math, I made up numbers as answers instead of showing my work which only made me do more work because I didn’t really do the work in the 1st place. It’s very tiring meeting expectations. There needs to be a balance between reaching your potential and challenging yourself to learn/explore problem solving. This created a mindset for me that I didn’t shake until later in life. I hardly failed at academics and my source of self esteem was from knowing that I was smart due to my grades. As a result, I became more formulaic and relied on the process to get to a positive outcome. In essence, I became lazy and also dependent on not using my talent and learned skills to delve through a problem. I was afraid to fail and it stunted my growth. Acknowledging the situation helped me to better understand myself and teach me how I needed to learn. Whenever I want to learn something new, I recognize that I don’t need to be the best. I embrace the process of learning as well as failing. Its with practice and giving myself the space to learn that I can achieve my goals. That’s not to say that I give myself a gold star for every attempt. If I’m not putting in the work then it’s on me for not getting where I want to go. This growth mindset is imperative to thrive.

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  • As a follow up to the growth mindset is an advice column answer to “Why Am I So Lazy?”. Fear of failing runs deep! If you look back at previous posts, I’ve talked about how I consider myself a procrastinator. I read a lot of articles about productivity and about the efficient use of time. How do high performing people operate? I don’t see them as procrastinators since they have to manage their time to the minute. I used to have a highly organized schedule that outlined how my time was spent. Being over scheduling helped to focus my mind. It also meant that I felt over scheduled (insert 22.5 minutes of fun time here). So, I removed how I scheduled my time and I hit the pendulum in the other direction. All of these things are mechanisms to cope with procrastinating and yet it doesn’t get to the root of the problem so reading this column drives back the idea of being fearful of failing. It’s always the simplest of things that can create the biggest of problems.

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  • Remember to take care of yourself. Running on full steam can cause damage and scheduling breaks will allow you to fully re-charge. Here are 19 things that you can do for yourself. Some of them are more reflective and may cause you to wince. Acknowledging your vulnerabilities sets you up to find the solutions to move forward. One of my favorite notes in this article is taking 100 percent responsibility for your life. All the while, create your own destiny. Let me know what has been working for you!

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  • As a political fundraiser, this negotiation tip from Tanya Tarr really resonated with me. When I work with candidates, especially 1st time candidates, I not only go through the process of asking for money, I work through the frame of mind – the why behind the ask. Most campaigns don’t go through the process of asking what values you as a candidate represent because it is so reflective. Campaigns are at the heart values based so when you start attaching that to money, you are going straight to “the why” you’re running for office. It was also a terrific refresher for me to when I need to put on my big girl pants and ask for money on projects.

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  • We’re in the beginning weeks of a new year so let’s take steps so that we’re not walking down to the path towards burn-out. Hopefully you were able to use part of December re-charging and relaxing. You are hopefully also returning refreshed and ready to go. Let’s use some of that energy to create a work environment that allows for self care and that means if you’re the boss, starting with you setting the example.

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Thanks for reading/sharing. If you know someone who would benefit from Tuesday Truths, please encourage them to subscribe!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v50

Today’s an election in Alabama (maybe you’ve heard of it?) and I’m thinking back to when I was sitting in an empowered room full of women from all spectrums of political ideology at Politico’s Women Rule Summit. Since we last communicated (hopefully you were reading Tuesday Truths last Tuesday, but no worries if you weren’t), we’ve had male Members of Congress announce their resignations, and more “exposed” for abusing their power for sexually harassing their women staff members. Time magazine announced their Person of the Year being the Silence Breakers, women and men who have both publicly and anonymously come forward to discuss their personal experiences of harassment. There has been a lot of discussion as well as heartbreak over the announcement of U.S. Senator Al Franken’s resignation. As a political operative, searching for political wins are usually on the forefront of my mind. How do we win? What do we sacrifice to get to winning? I know that Democrats are not in the majority in the U.S. Senate and it’s not lost on me that Alabama may send a man who is an accused child molester/pedophile to one of the most exclusive institutions in the world to craft public policy. I’m hardly a purist when it comes to holding an elected official accountable to Democratic/progressive values and that’s probably from years of working on campaigns seeing how we will always be disappointed by our elected officials. Governing is much more than adhering to values because we know that not everyone comes with the same ideological core and that means compromise. It’s not black and white. If women on the Hill (where legislation is created for the sake of the public good) can’t be respected as human beings and feel safe in their work environment, how can we expect that people will do the same for women and men in marginalized and vulnerable positions? No one is perfect and those who atone for their mistakes acknowledging their transgressions and working to become more enlightened people can certainly redeem themselves in society. There was a panel at the Women Rule summit that discussed what would it take to end sexual harassment in the workplace and first and foremost is ending the culture of silence. There needs to be zero tolerance of people abusing their power and people need to feel that there are consequences for such abhorrent behavior. It’s important for society to support those who have faced this injustice and to remember that respect should be given to all of us. I welcome your thoughts and hope that we can have a respectful conversation/exchange of ideas.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • Last week’s post had a very popular article about how your sleep pattern can affect your work day. There are a lot of wolves and lions in my universe (go back to last week’s post for reference). As we continue to talk about schedules and productivity, there is also a conversation about Makers and Managers. I’m a bit of both so I need to segment my days to create as well as to manage projects. When I need to do fundraising calls, I usually want a block of time so that I can just hash it out. I try not to create on days when I need to be heavy on the phones because I don’t want to be distracted by call backs or email replies. Since there is a large segment of the readership is dependent on someone else’s schedule, once you become a manager and start to think about how your schedule affects others’ productivity, you’ll be able to see how to fix the gaps.

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  • We’re heading into holiday season where you’re likely to be a guest for holiday parties related to work or your industry. In these settings, you’re bound to have conversations with strangers (or if you’re like me, then you’re hanging out in the corner enjoying the food, don’t be like me). So here’s a short video (11 minutes) where you can learn 10 ways to have a better conversation.

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  • For my friends on the Hill who are looking at their calendars and realizing that the Congressional recess is a little fuzzy, here are 4 ways where you can reduce stress inside and outside of work. It seems really weird to my industry to have a 9am – 5pm job. We do a lot of networking and events before and after we’re in the office. Holiday parties are scheduled for networking and not really for merriment. It’s all part of the work day. So sometimes it’s unrealistic to keep a routine or to get the proper amount of sleep to recharge. Know your limits and know what you need to do so that your work activity doesn’t get you sick.

Alright, friends – thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll see you next Tuesday!

— 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 v45

It’s been an emotional few days with the recent “revelations” in the upcoming Donna Brazile book. I’ve had to give myself a time out on reading the news as well as comments on the various social media platforms for fear that I would be so enraged, my head would combust. There’s an election today and I’m most focused on those outcomes. GO! FIGHT! WIN!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Integrity is an essential aspect to garnering respect and credibility in any industry. I question people who talk about staff or consultants behind their backs in a derogatory manner. Personal attacks are unprofessional and when talking to members outside of your internal team about the work performance of others, it makes me wonder what you say about me when I’m not present. I’m a straight shooter. I will tell you what I think in the most diplomatic of terms because in all honesty, I believe motivating people by incentivizing them to see if they change their behavior, they will get positive results. Belittling people and engaging in office gossip as a member of senior leadership will only breed a toxic environment that deems that kind of behavior acceptable to the junior ranks. I don’t encourage engaging in it and when given the opportunity to change the subject so that comments aren’t based on personal differences, take the high road. Your integrity is valuable so don’t get caught up in the hype that can deplete you of it when others take a different tact.

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  • Taking the temperature of where you are in life requires occasional reflection. If you’re thinking about making a change in your professional life, have you started thinking about what inspires you, when people talk about spark, the things that excite you. My Instagram friend, Grace Chon, has talked about how she was a gigolo of hobbies because she had so many different interests until she found her passion in pet photography. It turned out OK because she started her side hustle and was able to quit her full time art director position to focus on her photography business. If you’re looking for how you can find the flames to ignite your personal spark, then take a read.

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  • I’m all about creating success by putting the ingredients together so that you can make your own luck. When looking at an unfavorable situation, I take the different parts that have created the environment and evaluate each ingredient so that I can see how I can improve the situation with the different variables. As a result, I’m giving encouragement to the parts that are doing well and tweaking the parts that need the most attention. On a personal level, it means tinkering with #livinahappylife because I’m responsible for my own happiness. I’ve toned down my purchases on material things and have thought more about what it means to experience a moment. Studies show that memories of positive experiences can trigger happiness. So if you looking for ways to find happiness, create the environment and you’ll have less work to do to get to a happy life.

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  • Are you feeling overwhelmed with your to do list and yet, your productivity has waned to abysmal levels? Sometimes it’s necessary to re-set and clear away the chaos so that you can reach deep into your reservoir of patience and get with it. I feel a lot of life is about having control and when I feel overwhelmed, I’m losing a sense of control. One of the things that I notice about my behavior is that I can sometimes feel overly scheduled so I have to remind myself that it’s OK to take a break. Thankfully, I have Aurnia to take on an afternoon stroll. A pup is always going to remind you that life isn’t always about you 🙂

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  • I’m glad to see that millennial women are heavily invested in their careers. I’ve never been afraid of the term, ambitious. It’s important to remember that individual success is measured by competing with yourself and not against the comparison of others. It’s also crucial that competition amongst women isn’t back stabbing as long as we keep a level playing field and respect one another’s abilities. It can spur innovation and creativity knowing that you have people who are bringing their A game and you can’t coast. Don’t forget that women who made their way into the workforce and into executive level positions did so under circumstances that weren’t in their favor. Much has improved although we need to recognize that equal pay doesn’t exist and is worse for women of color. More insights: millennial women are addressing their ambition and they want to see the opportunities that women have ahead in their respective companies before pursuing a career with that particular company/organization.. The recession played a factor in how millennials approach their job prospects and it shows when they are looking for job security.

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  • As we head into a new year (yes, we’re weeks away until 2018!) it’s a good time to evaluate your professional trajectory and see if you’re leading your career with purpose. If you decide that you would like to move in a different direction, how do you network yourself into a new career? One of the fundamentals of fundraising is follow up and networking itself is all about follow up. You have no idea the number of business cards that I give where people don’t follow up with me afterwards. It gives me a sense of how serious you are about talking about a particular project you may be interested in doing. Also, introverts make good networkers – we listen instead of talk and that can lead to big conversations from the people we want to connect with at an event.

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Thanks for reading/sharing. I’ll 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