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 ūüôā

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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 v42

It’s a district work period for the House and I’ve got work travel up to Philadelphia for a training. I’m looking forward to talking with folks who want to learn how to run for office and most importantly, share techniques on how to raise money. It’s not rocket science so those of us who can do it comfortably will always have the advantage of doing. The odds are in your favor when you actually make the asks vs those who never do. So take whatever fear you may have and turn it into positive results.

Let’s get on with Tuesday Truths!

  • I’m generally a good sleeper because I tend to keep a schedule for my body clock and that means I have a bedtime ūüôā I do use an alarm, however I also tend to wake up before my alarm usually turns on. On the weekdays that means 6am. There was a time when I used to get up at 6:45am and slowly that changed to earlier and earlier. I used to go to the gym for a 7am class on weekends until I started taking long walks in the morning so I didn’t really change my sleep schedule, but now if I “sleep in” then it’s 7:30am. I really don’t like to linger in bed so I’m usually on the go thereafter which translates me to going for a walk or going to the gym. I don’t like to exercise any other time of day so if I’m not exercising in the morning, it’s not going to happen. I’m also the weirdo who hates blackout curtains. When I’m in a hotel, I like to wake up with the sun so having sunlight stream in is important to adjusting my body clock, especially if I’m traveling to a different time zone. Articles tend to talk about how entrepreneurs are successful when they are morning people. I don’t prescribe to that idea because there are people who more productive when working at night (I’m not one of them). I do prescribe that people are at their highest level of thinking when they get sleep. Prioritizing this essential habit can help get you to your best work.

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  • I try to stay on the positive side of things whenever I’m feeling challenged. Of course, I have my moments and I try to process them so that I extinguish whatever negativity that may exist. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m especially cheery and goodness knows that I can be grumpy if I don’t have enough sleep (see earlier post). In our current times, it seems that everyday life has been impacted by the news and the overall mood fluctuates from surly to sadness. Living in this constant state of anxiety is unhealthy and can lead our brains to atrophy. We need positivity in our lives to also stimulate our brain to generate creativity and alleviate stress. You can get positive results when you also give to others so give an unexpected compliment to someone you know and recognize the small joys that uplift your spirit. Happiness can be shared and it should be valued.

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  • Is there something that you want to change in your habits? Tim Ferriss has a suggestion for you to help you start thinking differently. I try to find people who I admire who can help me improve my own actions. Have you ever experienced a time when you thought, “Geez, I could have handled that better?”. Watch the video and see if Tim’s suggestion helps you create changes.

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  • I was setting up my Instagram posts for this week and one of the pictures that I chose was that of a statue of Duke Kahanamoku at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. The caption that I put with the photo was basically that I visit this statue when I go surfing in Hawaii because it reminds me that although I have no natural talent with surfing, I continue to try to surf because I know that it helps me become a better person in doing something that I enjoy no matter how difficult. Just like with fundraising, people become more comfortable doing it with practice. You may never be as good as you would like because human nature can be ambitious. Kurt Vonnegut calls this “practice becoming” and this mantra encourages me to be unafraid to do things that I’m not very good at unabashedly. This form of self expression can make you happy even if you’re not that good (see me and my surfing attitude). So sing in the shower (I do on the regular) and live your life becoming.

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  • Last week I shared an article about GenX women feeling a new kind of mid life crisis and there were a lot of comments throughout the interwebs that focused ¬†that there weren’t any solutions in the piece. TBH I don’t think anyone has the answers and the ability to commiserate that there are others in the same conundrum is helpful in itself. Finding solutions in a broad sense seems a little manufactured because everyone’s circumstances are slightly different although we may share the same kinds of feelings. With that context, I’m sharing what millennial women are feeling with their professional careers. Slightly different in attitude, it’s still a conversation about how feminism has evolved throughout the years and how women should consider the many facets of life instead of having the only goal of being successful in your career. Especially now, when women are still making less than our male counterparts and are still facing a multitude of challenges that exist from the time women started in the workforce, placing all your value on your career can lead to a lower evaluation of self. Finding happiness is having the perspective to find joy outside of one’s career and also placing less emphasis of its importance in one’s self-worth. Ambition isn’t a dirty word and it should also include having interests outside of one’s career.

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  • There was an article about how a group of friends purchased a plot of land in a dilapidated area of Texas and created their own version of senior living. That sounds like a terrific way to retire. I may switch out Texas for another state or another part of the world and therefore my golden years will be spent with people who are already friends who I can count on to be a support system for each another. What about if you’re single without children? Building a society of singletons is just as grand and I would want them in my senior living center too! I’m married without children and my closest girlfriends are either single or married without kids. Just having friends who are already your support system living close by in a neighboring area will alleviate loneliness and continue to strengthen the bonds that brought these friendships forth. We wouldn’t be living alone and would have one another to fortify our health and happiness. Family can also be those who you choose to bring into the fold. I like it.

That’s it for this week – see you next Tuesday, same bat channel ūüôā Thanks for reading/sharing and if you haven’t yet subscribed, I hope you’ll do so today!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v39

We’re in the final stretch of the QTR so get your money in for all of the political causes you believe in so that we can have the highest tally on September 30th. As much as I appreciate support on October 1st, it’s a little painful that it can’t count for the 3rd QTR. The flip side is that that contribution starts off the 4th QTR count. Fundraising never ends!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Much thanks to Tanya Tarr for featuring me in her negotiation article about resilience. If you’re getting started in fundraising, you can read more about Tanya’s experience about staying in the saddle even after getting several no’s and how as she continued forward, her asks got bigger and the results got better! I’ve always felt that creating your own luck is essential to getting to your goals and as a result, you learn how to be resilient.

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  • Building teams to execute a project can be challenging and when you’re working in a small organization, there aren’t that many opportunities to mix up the staff to spur creativity. You do have the ability to change up the environment and to motivate your team through incentives to reward them for a job well done. Here are ways that can help you build a better team or at the very least, encourage your team members to feel that the work really is a team effort. I’ve talked about how I’ve taken my team to a weekly staff lunch of their choice. It’s also important to acknowledge each team member for their accomplishments in a public way and I also show my gratitude by purchasing gift cards or something from the road when I’m traveling to thank them. As much as I like being in the office to get work done, it’s important to not always have a static setting when you’re trying to innovate. So step away from a familiar setting to get new ideas flowing.

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  • I mentor quite a few women who are in the beginning stages of their careers and provide career advice for women who maybe¬†hitting their stride in their chosen profession and are likely maybe a decade younger then me. Having these conversations are fulfilling because I hope that by sharing my experiences, I’m helping them navigate their own career path. The benefit for me is that their questions also highlights for me the current trends affecting professionals of their experience and age. When you think about establishing a relationship with a mentor, there will be expectations from both sides so setting boundaries is important and recognizing what you want out of the relationship.

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  • I’m all about sharing a platform for women and women of color. My sisters in the tech industry (where I have some experience being that I have fundraised in that industry since the mid 1990s from venture capitalists for political campaigns and organizations) are fighting against the stereotypes of AAPI women who work in this field. Big props to Tina Lee, a dear friend who heads up a nonprofit to train moms how to code and to re-engage in the work force. AAPI women continue to make strides to be valued for our intelligence and technical ability and I’m looking forward to hearing more success stories of their progress.

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  • When I started in politics, I moved from field to fundraising and at the time, I didn’t know that many people of color who did fundraising. I also was working in a very specific area within the Democratic Party: moderate Democrats so an area that leaned more heavily into the business community and more Southern. Which meant that I spent a lot of time with Caucasian people, both elected officials and donors. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the AAPI community and it wasn’t until I started working with AAPI candidates and elected officials did I start to learn about the AAPI narrative. By then I was an established fundraiser and had already spent time training people with the philosophy that regardless of your ethnic background, your abilities transcends your race. You’re a good communications director, fundraiser, campaign manager and you also happen to be “fill in the blank”. Provide the training so that people from all backgrounds can have the technical skills to advance in their careers. Marry that with opportunity and hopefully you will have a pipeline that creates a diverse work force within the progressive movement. In that context, it irks me to no end when organizations talk about having people of color working in their organizations and they aren’t in leadership positions or they are relegated to only engaging with their constituency. I’m a good fundraiser and I have the cultural competency to talk with my natural constituency and that shouldn’t limit me to only talking to my constituency. I ain’t got time for tokenism and neither should you. Take a good hard look within and around you. We’re not perfect and making changes so that we don’t fall into that trap for show will make for a better relationship for all of us.

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  • I’ve been watching MSNBC for a while and although it’s not Wednesday, I’ve got #WCW vibes for Joy Reid. Most of the time when I’m perusing my twitter feed, I’m screaming “YAASSS!” when reading her comments. She was recently profiled in Vogue.com and it was cool to see that the article pointed out that with tv as her medium, she uses the opportunity to create a full package of herself.

Thanks for reading/sharing and hope to see you next week! Drop me a line if you want to have a particular subject matter shared.

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v26

OMG – it’s the end of the month and end of the QTR and we’re headed into the July 4th recess. Then it’s full steam ahead before the August recess. I’m ready for a break!

Here’s Tuesday Truths to get you through the week!

  • I believe a great deal in what Eric Liu espouses and I hope that people who have recently become active in the political process will take it to heart about being a part of a community and those who have been in the battle, allow space for those who are interested in joining. Civic life doesn’t start/stop at becoming an elected official and it grows every time someone wants to be a part of the collective mission.

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  • If you’re thinking about working in politics, doing it at a younger age has it advantages and if you’re extra fortunate to have the resources to participate, it’s even more advantageous. We’re talking long hours with very little compensation. I often say that working on campaigns can lead to many more opportunities should the campaign win and since campaigns are always understaffed, if you can excel at your job then you’re going to be successful. Campaign work is basically the equivalent of aging in dog years. You get to gain so much responsibility if people can see that you’re producing quality work. Life is good when you’re the last person standing or among the few left who survive the grind. With that mindset, it means that young people are given responsibility a lot faster than in a more structured setting and you may doubt your ability although management may seem to think otherwise. Confidence is a key factor to making sure that you don’t exude imposter syndrome as well as a healthy dose of reality from people who have more experience and are invested in your success. So if you’re in your early 20s you may benefit from hearing about Adam Litt, a former presidential speechwriter who worked in the White House at 24 years of age.

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  • I’ve spent a great deal of June speaking on panels, whether to interns or full fledge attorneys and giving lots of career advice to those who are seriously thinking about running for public office. I get asked a lot of similar questions and it basically boils down to “What would you tell your younger self about your career trajectory?”. I did tell a group that they should consider a purchase in real estate in DC because everyone says that they’re staying for 5 years and then 25 years later, they realize that they should have bought property instead of renting #beingpractical. I have also started saying that life is unfair, get used to it and don’t think you need to take giant leaps to make a difference. I try to be inspiring and in the end, I find that I would rather give practical advice because work life is never consistently rosy. As a result, I’m happy to find that Jennifer Romolini is offering career advice that most people don’t know how to share.

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Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know how you’re doing!

–Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v17

I spent part of my weekend attending a training, partly to observe and partly to participate as a trainer. It was delightful to see the enthusiasm and the energy from across the progressive spectrum in electing a Democratic ticket in the Commonwealth of Virginia. People who were new to the area as well as long time residents were brought together with the intent to make voters aware of how they can become more involved in the electoral process as well as to train people on how campaigns work. Spectacular job for those who organized this summit and kudos to all those who participated on a Sunday. Active citizenry in action!

 

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • This story was shared with me as part of a group that supports Executive Directors of organizations. The purpose of the group is to give one another space to vent, ask questions for best practices, and share triumphs without judgement. An article about the NoVo Foundation¬†was shared and it brought so much joy. Can you see a future where we reach organizational capacity so that organizations that support girls and women of color can make their own decisions on how to utilize funds? That day will come. Listen up everyone else and take note!

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  • In campaigns, we recognize that there is a shelf life. We tell people that politics is a young person’s business because you work for low pay and you’re constantly on the road. Who wants to spend hours and hours on a campaign when you can have more stability and sleep in your own bed? Especially when you hit your late 20s and early/mid 30s. It’s much harder in politics to find stability in the institutional organizations. People tend to cap out by their 20s/early 30s and then you have to decide if you want to stay in this industry or make it on your own or join someone else’s shop. It’s much more challenging to think of what senior leadership looks like when you start to reach the upper echelons of campaign life. Now think about throwing in your gender. In a corporate environment, women are found to be “uninterested” in senior leadership due to the office culture. It’s how the office operates that causes women to feel disenfranchised from the opportunity to grow higher in management. That’s soul crushing and leads to women leaving those types of environments.

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  • No one believes me when I tell them that I’m a procrastinator. Honestly, I really admit to it. How do I defeat it? By making my intention public and by exceeding it. People have such expectations of me which then causes me to have expectations on myself. I’m a variant of a people pleaser (hard to believe when most of the time, I more of a “Who gives a F*CK”). As a result, I end up beating my procrastination because I value my reputation. Needless to say, I just learned that procrastination is part of your genetic makeup! Thanks parentals. So it’s not really me that’s procrastinating, it’s all of that historic DNA ūüėČ

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  • You are not a show-off when you talk about your accomplishments. Rinse. Repeat. Sharing how you bring value to an organization highlights how you can help them achieve their goals. Learn to self promote because if you ever want to be an entrepreneur or shape ideas to how you want to implement things then you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable the first 5 or 50 times it takes for you to talk about you. Want to run for office? Yes, it means talking about how your skills and experience can help others. What are you waiting for? Seriously, if you need help in this area, you can sign up for a 30 minute free consultation with me during my virtual “office hours”. Drop me a note!

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  • I learned recently that the Millennial generation is considered up to 37 years of age. I didn’t realize that it was that high up the age group. So if you fall into this category and are looking for a job, you may find this article of interest. I grew up in an era where my life wasn’t fully documented at all times. We weren’t ‘gramming, texting, Facebooking, snapping etc…I pretty much didn’t have to worry about documentation of my life. I was so against cameras for a while that when The Mister and I eloped, we brought a camera to the courthouse and didn’t use it. BTW cameras are not allowed in the DC district courthouse unless you’re getting married. So I don’t even have documentation of when I really got married! Now, you can pretty much see what I’m wearing on a near daily basis. If you have long term goals of being in public office or what your future bosses may think of your youth, lock it down. Privacy settings or not documenting a less than spectacular moment would be a wise decision. You are a brand and what you share determines that brand regardless of what you say about your brand. Actions speak louder and a picture are worth a thousand words. Be like Beyonc√© and have an aura of mystery. She doles out information on her life with a strategic hand. Who wouldn’t want to follow Queen Bey’s lead?

It’s been a hoot! I’ll 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 2016 Edition v42

Photo credit via

Taking deep breaths! I hope you’re having a great week! I’m ready for Election Day and to head out for a break. Any suggestions on someplace warm I can visit? Remember to give yourself time to decompress and to give yourself self-care. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of others!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Have you been listening to the Mentoring Moments podcast? It’s great and has excellent stories/interviews on how successful women from multiple generations reached their goals. The most recent interview was with the Editor of Chief of Seventeen magazine, Ann Shoket and she’s dropping knowledge on how she got to her current position (after her 3rd attempt!). It’s the journey, people!
  • I’m always looking for ways to help people network (myself included). You can get into a rut that may be comfortable but is it really effective? Here are a few tips for a better introduction. What do you think?
  • I recently had a conversation with a friend who told me that she appreciated my habit of learning new things or at the very least trying new hobbies. I’ve talked before that I’m a Jill of all trades and a master of nothing (basically because I have so many different interests). I think regardless of how long you spend on a hobby and how deeply you delve into it, that hobby¬†is always going to make you more well, interesting. I love people who are passionate about learning something and go all in and become experts (I know who to call when it’s time to hire someone for calligraphy!). I also love the people who take an interest in learning how to play an instrument, only to find that a couple weeks/months later they’ve changed to a different hobby to pursue. It’s all good! As adults who aren’t required to attend school for educational purposes, we’re learning to enrich ourselves and isn’t that what life should be about anyway? If you don’t have time that’s fine too. Life is about spending it however way you want. If that includes changing interests every few days/weeks/months then more joy to you in your pursuit!
  • I was having lunch with a friend who is working a side hustle. There are a lot of things to think about when you start a business and even more work when you’re doing it on the side while maintaining your current work load. Here are some things to think about when you’re working your magic.
  • Since I kinda live in a bubble (majority of my friends are progressive and¬†partisan), I tend to not meet people who are in support of Mr. Trump. With that context, it helps to realize that with any situation where you have disagreement, it helps to ease people onto an exit strategy so that they have room to move in that direction. When you box people into a corner, it’s more common that they will want to dig deeper into their beliefs and fight. This isn’t about providing more evidence or facts/data. It’s about giving people who are in disagreement the space to change course without punishment. It takes a lot of patience on the part of the individual to keep an open mind towards this discipline. The urge to fight back will be overwhelming. This going to be a long road ahead after this election and it’s all a part of the process of unifying this country.

Thanks for reading/sharing! Let me know if you have any tips you care to share!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v39

I don’t know about you, but I am stressed out! My life is constantly about sorting out the details. Where is my client; where are they going; what’s the purpose of this call; breaking it down to tangible and easily consumed pieces of information. Even when I feel overwhelmed, I think that my clients have it worse. They have millions of pieces of information flowing towards them and all that they can do is absorb it and hope to filter out extraneous information to make clear decisions. We are closing in on weeks before the Election and all I can do is do the best that I can to make it to the end (in one piece). Hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I work in short term gratification with my donors. This kind of psychology can only lead to disappointment if you’re looking for immediate results or success so learning to be more patient and to roll with something that doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome is something I need to work on. It’s also considered one of the most important qualities of someone who has achieved great success. Learn more about what else are common practices who are deemed “superachievers”.
  • If you’re looking for inspiration to recharge your career, learn how you can reinvent yourself without quitting your job. It sounds hard to do because let’s face it, there are times when the environment is toxic and it’s working against you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t change the rules. If you’ve been in an industry long enough, you know the players and people’s expectations but you can turn it on its head. I’ve been looking for ways how I can reinvent my own career and these ideas have given seed to a few creative outlets.
  • Along that mindset, I know that I have a few readers out there who are in the same boat with thinking about how to thrive as we approach midlife. You crazy youngins’ aren’t the only ones trying to navigate your way through personal and professional crises ūüôā Once you think that you have something mastered, something else becomes an obstacle. For the longest time, I was the youngest person in the room and now, I’m one of the more “seasoned” operatives :/ Along with mastering a skill, comes the potential of boredom and what I’m learning is that there are always new ways to do the same thing. I continue to carve time out for things for me to learn that have nothing to do with my professional life. So if you see me with my headphones on, I’m likely to be listening to a French lesson¬†and I’m fortunate to be associated with WIN, where the young women who comprise this organization keep me in awe of their audaciousness and espirit de corp of their sisterhood. So to all of my millennial sisters, I welcome you to the next¬†generation who will inspire¬†you as much as you have encouraged me. You’ll probably have a similar situation when you reach your “seasoned” years so keep striving for your goals even after you achieve them.
  • When I’m this stressed out, I tend to go inward. I was on the phone earlier today with a colleague of mine who mentioned that we have inadequately kept in touch (we equally share responsibility). It can be challenging when there aren’t enough days/hours in the week to do all that needs to be done. I recognize that when we get into this crazy mode, we’re¬†channeling as much energy to stay focused. Adrenaline kicks in and we’re wafting through the motions just to get through. I honestly have serious brain drain. As in I can barely think straight. I am so overextended that it takes every ounce of strength to manage my day, get enough rest and to do it again the next day and the next day, until finally we reach the end. So it’s a good reminder that there are 20 different things that I can do to improve my current situation. Do I do all of them – hell no but getting to a couple are making me a more sane person ūüôā
  • Looking for inspiration on how entrepreneurs got their start? There’s a great podcast that addresses that particular topic – How I Built This. Learn about their stories and what they went through to get to where they are today.
  • This is an oldie but goodie article from 2007 and it still resonates today.¬†Becoming the boss¬†isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be because the “control” that you think you have is really an illusion. Managing up and down is exhausting and if anything, it makes me sometimes wonder if I can go back to the days when I didn’t have any responsibility and was a junior staffer. What is extremely fulfilling is knowing that I can engage in teamwork and my team acknowledges that the office is a team. I will stand by them when things don’t go as planned and I will applaud them and give them credit for outstanding work. It’s only together that we can provide the kind of attention to detail and work product that exemplifies the brand that we’ve created.

Alright – that’s it for this week – let me know what you think! Thanks for reading/sharing and see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 edition v28

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Happy Tuesday, Folks! We’re diving into the final week of session before Congress breaks for the Republican and Democratic conventions (are you going to either?). I’ll be in Philadelphia for the Democratic convention (basically the whole time and then some!) so there may be an abbreviated Tuesday Truths during that time (wanted to give you that heads up now!). If you’ll be in Philly, give me a shout and we can get together! Catch me on snap chat to see the latest: madalene.mielke!

In the meantime, here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Being a manager/supervisor can be challenging. Are you giving your team enough feedback; are you course correcting when needed?; are you micromanaging?; are you encouraging your team when they’re doing a great job and keeping their motivation upbeat? Sooo many questions and so many ways to address issues that deal with the team perspective/dynamic as well as individual team performance. Here’s a great article¬†on how often you should be asking for feedback. I like to check in on my team individually and see if they’re having problems as a whole and if they’re learning something new on a project. It ¬†takes more time to get a bit deeper on an individual basis, but I think it’s worth the investment to get a sense of how individuals are connecting with the work. I think it’s so important to understand the “Why” of projects so that it doesn’t turn into a memorized procedure, but more a way of thinking. When I ask my team how to map out the steps and timeline of project, I usually ask them why are they doing it this way. Not to be a douche about it but to see how their thinking process works, as well as to get them to think the same way that I do.
  • After years of working in a variety of teams and continuing to do so today, it’s important to recognize that not everyone gets along with their colleagues. You have to be flexible and tolerant as well as realize that you’re there to do a job. Identifying the annoying co-worker and what exactly bothers the hell out of you means looking internally to see if there’s room for improvement on your end. Not exactly what you expect on how to deal with the situation (grin and bear it!) but it’s at the very least a teaching moment for you. Above all else, please don’t talk about it with your other colleagues. Office gossip doesn’t need any more fuel to the fire.
  • I didn’t go to Catholic school but I do did Sunday school as a child so I have a limited experience of spending time with nuns (other than countless hours watching The Sound of Music where nuns make very clever decisions). I get the sense that they’re matter of fact and get to the task at hand without a lot of hoopla. So if you spent a lot of time with Catholic nuns then you may have fond memories reading this article and if you haven’t had that kind of experience, it educates you on just how bad*ss these sisters are on a daily basis. They’ve got excellent tips for those who are looking for guidance on how to start your career with a level head and get things done attitude!
  • I am sometimes astonished with the fact that I’ve been working for more than half of my life already (I started working when I was legally able at 16) and in that time, I’ve discovered I’m constantly trying to challenge myself in how I get my passion and purpose to align. When I had my “quarter life crisis” and changed careers for a hot minute, I realized that although I found a fun job, it didn’t fulfill my purpose. As a result, I returned to my original career with a different mentality and that has fueled 2 very demanding sides of my life. More recently, I’ve come to a crossroads in re-assessing my life’s work. I still have a lot left in the tank so spending my time doing things that are meaningful is becoming more momentous by the day. I’m getting to the point where my life partner is thinking of retirement and how the sunset of our lives will unfold. It’s difficult for me to think about not working. I joke that my mom, who is creeping into her mid 70s and supposedly retired for years now is opening a restaurant (!!). I have worked in that industry and it ain’t easy. My daughterly concern for my mom’s choice of hobbies in her post retirement life has made me become the parent (“are you sure you want to do this?”). She tells me that she’s bored. I have a feeling that I’m very much my mother’s daughter. If you’re fortunate to have your passion and purpose align, relish in its harmony because you’ll come to realize that they’re not always the same.
  • Have you experienced Mean Girl attitudes with other women? I’ve been fortunate to have been in a work atmosphere where women have helped one another and fostered each other’s successes. I remember back to the days of high school where I had strong female friends, who encouraged each other to do our best both academically and when we competed as athletes. We had our fair share of boy troubles and such but we overcame those obstacles. This article discusses the reasons why some women don’t help other women. I’m fortunate to be involved with the Women’s Information Network (WIN) where the environment is extraordinarily empowering for women and I get to witness how young professional women develop their leadership skills with other women. They are completely welcoming and want women to have the freedom to exercise those skills. Of course, I also have my own tribe (I highly recommend creating your own community) and there is nothing more comforting than to have a group of people who are dedicated to the principles of sisterhood. I technically went to an all women’s college while I was at Tulane and I was in a sorority so a common theme of my life involved having strong women be my peers as well as role models and hopefully I can share in the knowledge that has been passed down to me.

How are you winning these days? Thanks for reading/sharing and feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 edition v24

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As I look to my schedule, I can see that my summer is well planned with lots of work projects. Fall has always been my favorite season because of the change of temperature and we’re in the heady days of campaigning. I’ve always worked in places where we’re bundling up and finishing the night’s work with whatever baseball game is on for the World Series. My colleagues who work in the warmer states, I have no idea what it feels like to campaign in shorts and it always makes me feel a bit out of place in the same way when I’m celebrating Christmas and there are palm trees around me. This is my 11th campaign season as a political operative and although technology has changed tremendously (I remember when it was 1996 and I was using a thermal fax machine to transfer phone banking information!), I know that what really matters is that you understand how your district wants to be communicated and how to message them so that they want to listen to your message. This will always be about connecting with people and talking with them in the mediums that they want to communicate, whether that’s one on one in a face to face (door to door) or by text message. Understand that people want to be heard and will engage when they see that you want to understand them.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Did you get a chance to catch my FB hangout with Tammy Gordon when we talked about the Joys and Challenges of Being Your Own Boss? If not, you can hop over to the Arum Group FB and take a look see! If you thought it was helpful, please feel free to share it! Much thanks to Tammy and her team member, Christina Giordana for taking the time to hang with me and to Arum Group Team members, Hyunju Bin and Samantha Ng for designing the graphic and for setting up all the tech pieces! #BOSS
  • One of the topics that Tammy and I didn’t cover was the juggle of having a life partner in the equation. Occasionally I will get asked this question about balancing my work and the life that I’m creating with my spouse. One variable I don’t have is children, which in itself is a totally different dynamic. I, along with my spouse made a very conscious decision early in our lives that we would not have children and I strongly believe that this decision is unique to everyone. Only you know what is best for your life and I’ve had conversations with people who have vehemently disagreed with my choice. My response to them is “You don’t live my life, I do and your choices are yours so I will also choose to not judge your decisions because I will never really know the challenges and happiness that you enjoy but I will be supportive of whatever you choose.” End of conversation. There are going to be times when you won’t have the attention span to give to your partner and as in the case of the author of this article, she didn’t have an infrastructure for her business when she fell in love. Each relationship can be intoxicating – you’re in love with your work life and in love with your partner. What kind of infrastructure/support system can you create to make it work?
  • We live in a world of busy (which I personally hate) because everyone likes to think that it’s perfectly normal to be out of control with their schedules. Don’t get sucked into the world of busy! I completely understand that the to do list can be crazy! The ability to focus on a large project can be daunting when your to do list is 10 feet long. Here are ways to be more productive. Don’t multi-task and find when you’re likely to do your best work. I know the type of conditions I need to get big thinking, which leads to big doing done. I can’t have music playing, unless it’s classical; if the tv is on then it can be the news and sometimes I can put on a cooking show on mute; no emails and no other social media apps to distract me. Most importantly, I set a timer. I estimate how long it’s going to take me to get that project done and I take that time to focus. I reward myself by checking my social media apps to see what’s going on in the world while I was working. One of the things that I need to work on is meditation. Every article that I read talks about its effects and I need to get on that train! What tips are helpful to you in being more productive?
  • I work with non-profits to help them with their fundraising and we often talk about how donors are “investors” to these organizations. What’s frustrating is that even when we speak in “for-profit” terms, we’re still working with unrealistic expectations for non-profits. If you work directly in non-profits, I HIGHLY¬†RECOMMEND reading Nonprofit with Balls.¬†Every time I read this blog, I find myself nodding my head and laughing while simultaneously wanting a glass of wine because I think it will make it all better. In all seriousness, it provides a serious lens to the environment that many non-profits face. Changing how we view ourselves and what we want others to know about the work that we do will hopefully educate those who think that non-profits are less serious than for-profit entities.
  • I live in the bubble of the Beltway. It’s a very privileged life and I realize that if I want to know what’s going on in the world, I need to listen to those who are not in this enclave. When I started campaigning, I would work elsewhere to see what topics were important to people who don’t live and breathe politics everyday (you know, normal people). Everyone’s¬†financial situation is unique and learning how others live makes me reflect on what money can buy. Here are the stories of 4 women with 4 different incomes and how they afford to live their lives.
  • How much does self doubt rear its nasty head in your life? There are days when it’s screaming in mine, but I take a deep breath and listen to MY voice, the only sound that matters. I think of myself as pragmatic. There are times when I’ve tried a few things that didn’t work out and I chalk that up to finding the right rhythm to get into a groove. Did that work? No, well then let’s try something different. I grew up getting straight A’s – all the time. It’s a horrible feeling! Yes, the joy of having excelled at subjects transitions to Oh shiz, I gotta do it again next quarter, next semester, next year. The 1st time I got a B, I freaked out that my parents would be disappointed in me (they were fine). The kinds of expectations that I put on myself were making me tough and giving me habits to apply to other things outside of school, but it also made me question whether I should do something if I thought it wouldn’t be PERFECT. GAWD – I love perfect – when nothing goes wrong and everything comes out just like you envisioned. Fear of not getting something done perfectly or even done as well as your peers can lead to paralysis. Throw in self doubt and you have created a lethal dose of destruction. Self doubt got nothing on you.
  • Every day that I work in politics, I come to the realization that my job is to be part of the story telling mechanism that promotes my clients. It’s the best productive thing you can do to create a brand and solidify a reputation. When I meet a candidate, one of the 1st things I ask is, “What’s your story?”. Why? It gives me a sense of how they’re pitching themselves to prospects, donors, influencers, the media, you name it! We talk about the elevator pitch and this is essentially it. What makes you unique and what makes you memorable and above else, what makes you relatable to people who you’re convincing to vote for you, give you money, and what other asks you have of them. This also applies to your own individual narrative. You need to learn these skills to be an effective leader. Leading a team involves so much more than commanding¬†directives and project management. It means sharing your vulnerabilities and being authentic. You value people (and brands) when they’re honest and when they’re welcoming. That can lead to admiration and respect – qualities that any brand would want.

That’s it folks – let me know your comments and like/share the post! Thanks for reading!

— Madalene