Tagged: mentoring

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v20

May is Asian American Heritage Month and there are a lot of cultural and political festivities to celebrate the AAPI story. Tuesday night will be Asian Prom, where a lot of my colleagues and luminaries will be all gussied up. There’s a lot of going out and networking – just perfect for the introvert in me ūüôā Needless to say, I know how to harness my energy to make it most useful to me. There’s a whole political fundraising schedule for these kinds of events. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has their legislative conference in September while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute does a series of events during Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15) as well. I was asked by a male colleague if I bought a new dress every time I had to attend these galas and my answer is that I have a closest dedicated to formal attire and my dresses go into rotation. It’s a good thing that Facebook has the memories feature because I can see what years I wore what dress. The dress that I’m wearing for the Tuesday night gala is a dress that I pulled from the archives. I think the last time I wore it, I attended a¬†CHCI gala and there aren’t any photos of me in it so it’s new to you! It also helps that I have generally stayed the same size throughout the years so I can continue what’s in my closet without having to do too much damage on my wallet.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!


  • I have always said during the many trainings I’ve done that working on campaigns is like working in a start up many many times over during each election cycle. Generally, there’s not a lot of institutional knowledge and the “adult(s)” in the room are in the late 30s-60ish age group. There’s a lot of young people who are looking to move ahead. The big difference is that election cycles are short and when you work in an organization such as a start up, the payoff can be much later. The similarities, however are tremendous. So when you’re looking for a raise, take heed of some of these points and you’ll see that you have a lot ahead of you.




  • I’m all for women empowerment and showing solidarity for my sister friends who are battling against misogyny. So when people decide that women who are not supportive of other women who are advocating policies that adversely affect women and discriminate against groups due to¬†their bigotry, are anti-woman or not a feminist, I get extremely annoyed. Remove the gender factor and you are left with a person whose values I whole heartedly disagree with on a very base level. It’s almost the equivalent to when I work with AAPI candidates. First and foremost, my values don’t change when it comes to the ethnicity of a candidate. If you share the same values as me and you’re “fill in the blank“, then we’re going to get a long just fine. I may want more AAPIs and communities of color represented in elected office but I will not actively work with someone who advocating for anything remotely related to discriminatory views – selective sexism.



  • From time to time, I do #ootd posts on my instagram. In all honesty, I am decidedly less creative in the winter months with my wardrobe selection than when the temperatures get warmer. Getting the chance to layer up and to wear more summer attire is more appealing than throwing on a sweater and pants on the regular. However the warmer months also means dealing with humid DC afternoons and office buildings that over compensate with cranking up the air conditioning. I’m fortunate that I don’t necessarily follow the skirt suit uniform so if you’re looking for creative inspiration for what professional attire you can wear in the summer then look no further. Elle magazine is sharing 11 women and their go-to outfits for the summer. #8 and #10 are my favorites!

Got any questions for me? Drop me a note in the comment section or send me an email!

Thanks for reading/sharing! See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene



Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v16

Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to vote for the “Diversifying the Progressive Movement” panel for Netroots Nation. Appreciate your support!

Is anyone else feeling the affects of Spring in DC? I’m feel like a bit of a zombie with a foggy brain and my head is either going to explode from congestion or I can’t stop sneezing or rubbing my eyes -__- BLECH! It’s so hard to function when I can’t breathe which always makes for fun call time for me because it sounds like I’m crying while asking for money @_@ –> neither a good look or sound!

It’s another Election Day so I’m crossing my fingers and toes for GA-06! Let’s get going with Tuesday Truths!

  • I’ve talked before about my dislike of being asked “to have my brain picked” – the term just annoys me to no end. I don’t see myself on the zombie menu. Needless to say, the term needs to die a quick death. Along with it, the notion that all of my advice is free. As a fundraiser, I know the significance in the “time is money” mantra. As a consultant, my work is based off of getting clients and utilizing my time to bring in more clients or getting work done. It’s hard to say, “no” and protecting your time is essential so take a cue from my colleagues, Tanya Tarr & Tammy Gordon and learn this tactic so that you switch from free advice to getting paid.
  • There are times when people get promoted in an industry and you wonder how is it possible that they have reached this level of seniority and yet, have no idea how to work with people? Motivating and keeping staff on the same page towards a common goal is tricky business. To compound the situation is if you work in an industry where there isn’t room in the budget for leadership development or people don’t make the time to learn skills that will help them manage. Some say that there is a difference between being a leader and being a manager. Regardless if you’re managing or leading, everyone’s concerned with results and results are dependent on how you work with others.
  • I get asked a lot about career advice and how to succeed in a tough market such as politics. The fact of the matter is politics is seasonal work and staying in business as long as I have (15 years and counting) is considered an eternity. Evolving my skills as well as the types of projects I want to work on are essential to staying relevant. It’s also important that the people I work with in this industry can rely on my ability to deliver. Regardless of what industry you’re involved with there are common themes that thread throughout in determining how you can guide your own career destiny.
  • Are you pitching yourself for client work or just trying to pitch yourself into new responsibilities at work? The key to success is to show how you can solve a problem to that potential client or supervisor. I’m a big believer in “Why” – Why a business exists, why an entrepreneur is motivated and they why is equally important to the potential client in why they have a problem because you’re going to find the solution for them. Pitching yourself is never really about pitching yourself — it is more about how you bring unique ideas to solving their problems.
  • I am a Type A true and true. Although I lean on the procrastinating side which is a little wacky since Type As are always on the go with their time. Maybe I’m mellowing ūüėČ Are you and if not, what does it mean to work with a Type A?

Thanks for checking it out – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene


Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v15

In the midst of this month, I’m on the road traveling every week so there’s a lot to do on my schedule. I was in Boston over the weekend to do a training and was energized by the work of the participants who want to get more politically engaged in their areas. It was also incredibly rewarding to see young AAPI women in high school and college who are already leading the way and who have a desire to do more. BIG LOVE to all those who participated in the training and who are making strides to increase their political engagement. #AAPIResist

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

Being able to grow with a company can be important to your career & Sheryl Sandberg has a quick tip career advice. My 2 cents is that you should spend time with your manager/supervisor to get their feedback on how you can strengthen your weaker areas. I usually spend time with my staff so that they can get an assessment so that I can also learn from them what we can do better as a team in communicating ideas and what they want to learn. Having this kind of conversation in professional development prepares you for when you need to do a formal performance review.

Need to learn sound leadership advice? These definitely fit the bill. I’m always working to be more well rounded so that I can be more self aware and better in bringing forth an environment that allows for creativity and innovation.

Over the weekend, I was conducting a campaign management training and we started talking about the Myers Briggs test (I’m an INTJ BTW). The ability to analyze a situation through intuition or data is really the basis for how we made decisions. That’s why when we train political operatives, we talk about the head and the heart. It’s a combination of data and street smarts that creates political strategy. Intuition plays a valuable role in making these decisions.

Assertiveness is an important asset. Knowing when to use it is just as important as being a leader itself. Men are lauded for it and women are considered…loud @_@ Whatever! I’m all for saying what needs to be said when it needs to be said. My demeanor in meetings is basically a sit and listen. I want to hear what’s happening and when questions come to mind, I write them down so that I can voice them when it’s appropriate. My role as a fundraiser is all about being assertive. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be able to raise money. Making asks as well as following up on commitments demands that you enter into uncomfortable situations, whether for you or with others. Time to get jiggy wit it and get comfortable with getting out there.

When it’s time to depart from your job, you’ll need to give notice. That means telling your boss and handing in a resignation letter. Honestly, you’ll feel like you’re riding a roller coaster and your stomach is probably doing backflips. It’s normal. I had a boss who was considered a bit of a curmudgeon but he was also a teddy bear. Understanding how they will react can also help tailor the approach in which you deliver the news. He was fine afterwards and I probably was a little overly concerned to how¬†he would react. I’ve had to inform clients that I wouldn’t renew contracts. Just as awkward and I still have to see them at events for other clients. No need to burn bridges because you never know when you’ll have to cross the bridge again for a future opportunity.

Politics can be seen as a popularity contest.¬†In a lot of cases, people are attracted to the virtues that include high energy and charisma. Humble may prove to be more rewarding but it doesn’t necessary highlight the “superhero” in the way that a narcissistic leader does.¬†Read more to why we make this kind of choice in our leaders.

I think I made $26,000 a year when I had my 1st job at the DNC which was over 20 years ago! Here’s what women are making now after they graduated from college and the industry standard.¬†#Adulting is challenging!

Thanks for reading/sharing! If you haven’t already, please subscribe – see you next Tuesday!

— 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 v13

Last week was a roller coaster ride. Luckily it ended on a high note with the AHCA pulled from a vote. Constituents must use their voices to convey their concerns. Concerted efforts cause elected officials to take notice. Do not allow people to make you feel that your voice or your vote doesn’t matter because you are not alone. Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Most people know that I am the Advisory Council for the Women’s Information Network (WIN) and from time to time, they invite me to write in their monthly newsletter. In this month’s edition, I shared my thoughts on the need for “Activist Mentoring”. In my opinion, the political climate calls for all of us to help individuals more collectively and for individuals who are seeking mentors to think beyond their personal/professional goals. You can read more here.¬†Since I’m continuing down the mentor/mentee path, here are some ways that you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with your mentor. The best mentoring relationships are organic although that can be challenging because it means that the mentee is in search of and must ask a more experienced person to serve in that mentor capacity. Don’t be shy in asking someone for their advice and give them reason to want to help you by taking the additional step of helping them in some capacity.
  • I’ve been sharing a lot of networking tips because the job market is a little whacky and I’m getting asked on a lot of coffees. I’m going to need to start doing official office hours because it’s getting a little too much for my schedule. For me, networking is massaging my list of contacts. Keeping up with them so that I have enough knowledge of what is important in their lives as well as reaching out to new people who I can possibly collaborate with so that we can have a more dynamic relationship that results in net positives for them as well as for me. I believe in making my own luck so when I invest the energy in building a relationship, I know that luck will come back to me in some other forming the future. Good karma does happen and nice guys/gals do not finish last.
  • Later this week, I’ll be speaking at the GW Women in Business Spring Conference about Entrepreneurship with the theme of “Power Your Purpose”. The organizers asked me to share my thoughts on how I challenge myself and using my business to fuel my passion. I realized¬†from an early age that I wanted to be in politics and it has been an adventure. The most important piece for me is that I also want to share what I know. The purpose is finding your “WHY” and living that so joyfully that it compels you to want to share it. I’ve had a lot of opportunity to work with a lot of people and it’s important to me that I can connect people to create bigger and better things. Fundraising is a lot like matchmaking and the more I can find those matches, the better.
  • I may be preaching to the choir but in case the people in the back couldn’t hear, let me share the feminist glossary. To be perfectly honest, it was good to review it because I’m always down to brushing up on the feminist movement. We missing anything?
  • Want to learn more about how women candidates can talk about politics, parenting and their personal lives? The Barbara Lee Family Foundation worked with Lake Research Partners to conduct a survey to find out what voters think about women candidates and how marriage/parenthood affects their decisions as voters to support these candidates. The findings are reflective of a previous post I shared and gives women candidates a sense of how they should present themselves regardless of where they are in life. Fascinating information for any woman who is thinking about running for elected office!
  • A lot of my colleagues have used the word to describe me as “fair”. I’m always working towards fairness and treating people fairly. When people come to me and ask my opinion on a situation, I try to think about the situation from the other person’s perspective and really give it a 360 point of view. I don’t want to be drinking the kool-aid if it doesn’t really help in gaining knowledge into a challenging situation. I’m not a perfect person and there will be times when I don’t care for an individual, but recognize that I need to work with them and Brene Brown’s advice really makes me dig deep into being a better person. Plus it brings back why I strive to be fair.

Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know what you’re working on these days!

— Madalene



Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v12

We’re past March 15th and that means we’re at the end of the month (in my vision of how the calendar works). So much happened last week – Muslim Ban 2.0 released & halted in court, the U.S. government had to apologize to an ally regarding the “wiretapping” of Trump tower, the Trump budget was released and on top of wanting to cut the EPA/the State Department etc.., the administration also wants to cut funding to Meals on Wheels among other programs that affect the country’s most vulnerable. Stay strong – there’s a lot to do to RESIST!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I recently spoke with a female undergraduate student from my alma mater and commented to her that women tend to want to be 100% qualified for jobs, whether that job is an open position or running for office while men can be less than qualified and still have the confidence to apply for the position. Women applicants are asked how do you juggle motherhood and your career while men rarely get that question. Mothers who are also candidates for elected office are viewed differently than fathers. Traditional caregiving roles are still intact when mothers who run of office are seen as not fulfilling their roles as mothers. At the same time, women candidates are scrutinized for not having children because they aren’t seen as empathetic or as understanding to constituents who do have children. For now, women are always damned regardless of child status.
  • I’m always trying to find ways to be more productive. I write this blog weekly and there are times when I can’t find the time to get it done during the week so I have to spend part of my weekend reading the articles and giving the analysis. This task is definitely related to my work so it should be done during the work week, however it’s so hard to find the time to shut off my phone and not focus on whatever fire is at hand. It’s a bit of a challenge that I’m trying to improve so that I can think creatively and focus on work that requires the most of my brain. I’m typically a morning person so the most difficult tasks should be done during that time of the day. The amount of emails that I send and receive is a crazy amount so I can’t let that be a time suck. My work also requires me to be super detailed oriented (honestly, I think that’s most jobs, right?!) so there are tiny tasks that take up a lot of time. So handling the big hurdles can really make an impact on how the rest of the day goes. Those tiny tasks can be a temptation and it will kill the creativity. You can separate your lists so that you can keep those tasks that take less than 15 minutes on one while the bigger ones are on another. Benjamin Franklin had the 5 hour rule and it allowed him to learn something that was very deliberative. He wasn’t just concerned with the accomplishments but also how that learning would make him better. It’s certainly a different perspective than completing your checklist.
  • When it’s time for a promotion or a performance review, are you prepared to talk about your accomplishments? Have you recorded the metrics of your work and are you prepared to articulate them so that you can show your value to your organization? These factors are important to management recognizing your value so you need to be responsible for your achievements.¬†Highlighting your work isn’t bragging. It’s being self conscious enough to show that there was a metric attained and that you as a member of a team or you were individually responsible for a positive result. Don’t be a worker bee without getting the recognition you deserve.
  • When life gets out of control, I remember that I’m in control of my schedule. Lately, I’ve been a little overly scheduled and I resolved to take back my time. I barely have time that can be considered spontaneous. Included in that equation is that I’m a bit of an introvert so I need time to re-charge after I’ve expended energy in a public event. There are times when I don’t give myself enough time to re-charge and that in itself creates problems. So returning to my mantra of “Giving Zero F*cks”, I’ve realized that I need to protect my time so that I can be a better person and to do it without regret.

What’s up your sleeve this week? Thanks for reading/sharing & see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene






Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v9

Photo credit via

It’s a new era at the Democratic National Committee with the recently elected Chair (the 1st Latino to helm the organization) as well as a diverse group of leaders providing support to the communities that will organize across the country. We have no time to waste so let’s get to work!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Over the weekend, I spoke at American University’s Women in Politics Institute and I was part of a panel that spoke about fundraising. One of the things we discussed was call time. Two very familiar words that candidates and elected officials must learn to endure when they want to run for office. Oftentimes during call time, you’ll be calling people who don’t know you asking them for money. One of the things that must happen is the candidate/elected official needs to establish a rapport with the other person. That can be challenging if you’re an introvert or borderline introvert. Connecting with people draws them in to your ideas and your candidacy. Here are 5 tips to establish that rapport.
  • Wonderful graphs and diagrams to better understand how to get smart. I try to work on each aspect a bit although the book reading is more challenging. I like reading smaller amounts of a lot of different topics and reading a book can sometimes be too much of a commitment. It’s obviously more than just reading because life demands you to be present on different levels. Noticing others while understanding people’s “whys” leads to better understanding how to layer that information.
  • I’m always up for friendly competition. There are a great deal of women who are in my field and most of us have worked with one another or have referred business to one another. ¬†That kind of competition is healthy because it makes us each work at our highest level. Regardless of the kind of¬†industry you work, business trends are hardly¬†stagnant and being on top of the most innovative concepts brings new ideas to the table. Be sure to use¬†healthy competition as a way to turn it to your advantage.
  • Would you mind sharing your opinions with me? Please take this annual survey (4 questions) so that I can bring you the types of topics that you find most important. Thank you for taking the time!

Thanks for reading/sharing! Look forward to hanging out with you here next Tuesday!

— Madalene



Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v8

Photo credit via

Spring Training is on its way and we’re doing the same to get ready for the 2017 and 2018 cycle. I’m doing a training in March and will be on the road traveling to 10 other cities so let’s get to recruiting and training! Know of someone who wants to take a campaign management training, hit me up! #RESIST

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Taking this personality test, I see myself in 3 out of the 4 leadership types. My predominant feature is likely to be the Leader personality with a heavy dose of People personality with a reluctant but necessary Task personality. My nature is more Free-Spirit vs Task but I know to be successful, I need to curb my tendency to be a little free wheeling. Knowing these personality types may help you as your navigate your office and work to resolve conflicts as well as find ways you can shore up your weaknesses.
  • I’ve shared my philosophy on Giving Zero F*cks and who better to illustrate that than Anthony Bourdain (I think he really has my dream job!). He shares his number one rule for workplace happiness. When it’s out of your control to ensure workplace happiness in the Bourdain fashion, you should at the very least be comfortable in who you are so that you can attain success in the way that best suits you. Knowing your values and what grounds you does wonders in having clarity in how you can work towards your goals.
  • So aside from the crazy of work and this administration is life. There will be moments of joy and extreme moments of sadness. To help friends and colleagues who may need you during those moments of profound sorrow, this article gives you wonderful ways to be that friend who can be counted on as well as make life easier. One of my reminders are my friends who have battled cancer. The initial announcement can bring a torrent of emotion from people who want to show their support & the journey that a person takes when they go through treatment can sometimes be a lonely process so I schedule a note to myself to check in and send a card so that they know that they aren’t alone. I don’t need them to acknowledge the card. I just want them to feel supported.
  • More self care tips – this time from Arianna Huffington! Suggestions to how you can stay engaged while taking time to give your soul a break. We need to recharge to go full steam ahead. It’s bad enough that we have the added layer of constant DJT 24/7 so when you’re trying to balance life in general, you need to step away from work so that you can be a more productive and valuable asset to your organization. I did that today when I was feeling particularly anxious. I had already turned down the opportunity to visit with a friend (even though it was technically a holiday) because I was too busy with work, but I saw the sunshine and felt the warmer temperatures and knew that taking a walk with my favorite furry friend would be a good release for some of that anxiety. Trying to take some of the advice I share!

Thanks for reading/sharing! See you back here next Tuesday!

— Madalene







Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v7

Over the weekend, I was in Baltimore for the DNC Future Forum supporting one of the Vice Chair candidates, Rep. Grace Meng in her re-election to the DNC. Years ago, I worked on another Vice Chair race for the DNC when Rep. Mike Honda was elected to that position and this go around reminded me why I’m a Democrat (not that it really takes much to remind me of my personal values). I hold particular personal views about who I am as a Democrat and my travels around this country have always reminded me that my version of being a Democrat isn’t necessarily someone else’s version, but it doesn’t lessen the significance when we talk about our allegiance to the Democratic Party. We talk about the D Party being one of a big tent: welcoming those from different faiths, gender, ethnicity – the whole gambit. Yet when we talk about how much of a progressive are you, we start towards the slippery slope to having a litmus test. I once worked at the New Democrat Network and was deemed “Republican lite” from my colleagues in Labor and the more progressive wing of the Party. That doesn’t sound very much like a welcoming attitude :/ Every person should be allowed the space to evolve in their views. With education and awareness, people can actually move towards ideas that were once not so welcomed into their personal sphere. Respectful discussion can create opportunities for evolution. Any kind of talk where attack of character or the disdain of geographical difference or industry only leads to more conflict. Understanding each other’s perspectives and teaching one another contrasting stories helps to educate and better understand what it means to be in someone else’s shoes. Just like we can’t expect all of the U.S. to fit a particular model, we can’t expect a Party that has diversity as its greatest asset to be of one particular mindset. We may all share core values and want to promote those values together so let’s also welcome the diversity of ideas that allows all of us to proudly say that we’re Democrats.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • A common habit that I’ve noticed in people in senior leadership positions is their inability to listen to feedback when having a tough conversation. I totally understand what it means when someone is coming at you with negative criticism. When I share feedback, I do my best to come from a place where everyone involved understands that I want us as a team to do better together. When one piece is dragging, it brings everyone down and if we’re performing at our peak then we’re hitting all the right notes. When you represent a client or a MoC or someone in a hierarchy, your actions also reflect on that person and/or organization. I’m all for nipping bad habits in the bud so that they don’t continue and they don’t spread. When a supporter shares feedback, it’s to help and to figure out how to do something better. When you’re not present or when you try to win the “battle” of this is how we’re doing a certain task, it doesn’t endear you to your supporter. In fact, it can cause them to walk away because you’re not listening. The urge to be right can be overwhelming. OMG – it’s like a drug – the feeling you have when you KNOW you’re right and you want to stomp out your opponent. Guess what, when people are on the same team and giving you constructive criticism, you want everyone to be right.
  • More self-care tips! This time related to not going crazy when you’re following all of the DJT news. On my personal twitter, I keep lists and that allows me to step away from the constant political barrage, but there are times when even on my lists for “fashionista” and “culinary inspiration”, tweets seep in regarding DJT and that’s OK. Just the act of reading something else un-related to work can help soothe my constant feeling that I need to be doing something for the resistance.¬†It helps that I journal more and that allows¬†me to recognize how much gratitude I have for life itself. There are times when I feel some guilt for having fun and that’s not good for me. Being able to spread and share joy into the world is important so I hope that you’ll take the time to do that for yourself and others. Vogue has ideas on how to manage anxiety as we continue to move forward in a DJT administration.
  • I don’t consider myself a fashionista (I can’t tell you from which collection an accessory or piece came from — Spring, Winter, resort etc but I do have a sense of what I like) so it’s cool when my social media feeds gets populated with more fashion news than usual. New York Fashion Week (NYFW) has started so seeing designers weigh in with political commentary through their creations is an added benefit. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has partnered with Planned Parenthood of America to create pins. Choosing how to dress as a political statement has been historical with how women have chosen to push the boundaries. Being forced to wear a corset vs being Madonna and doing it whenever you want is about choice & not social conformity. PoliticsxFashion is an interesting intersection.
  • If you had to read one thing in¬†Tuesday Truths for this week, read this! Excellent outline on how to re-shape or course correct your life. It’s not just about today because every action you take leads to something else so that it brings you to your destination. Stop moving long enough so that you can take strategic steps to get to your bigger picture. I find that most people who talk with me about how to move forward in their careers aren’t thinking about the big picture because they haven’t stopped long enough to recognize what they truly want. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can think BIG and you can work towards those bigger goals when you take the time to reflect.

That’s all for now, folks – looking forward to seeing you next Tuesday! What self care measures are you taking this week? Drop me a note in the comments section! Thanks for reading/sharing!

— 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 ūüôā
  • 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