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every moment is a fresh beginning

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v8 SPECIAL EDITION

Hello Tuesday Truths Readers!

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

APAICS announcement

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

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

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

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

Until next time!

— Madalene

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confetti rainbow

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v5

It’s the last Tuesday of the month as we roll through winter. For those of you watching the State of the Union tonight, may you have fun drinking games to entertain you and for those of you who are not, it’s OK to have this moment of self-care. I’m undecided because I know that it’s likely that my blood pressure will rise so watch my twitter to see what I decide to do!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Regardless of whether you own your business or you’re a staffer in a firm, you have a voice to narrate your story and accomplishments. It’s important to own that and to silence any internal dialogue that may cause self-doubt. It’s normal to go through a checklist to assure yourself that you’ve dotted your “i’s” and crossed your “t’s”. Once you slide into territory that questions your abilities, then you need to nip that in the bud. Here are 3 beliefs that can harm your confidence.

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  • If you love the Myers-Briggs personality test then you’ll enjoy reading about the Enneagram personality test. Combined with the Myers-Briggs, you’ll have a more rounded profile of what kind of work environment is suited to you. I’m a #8 “the Challenger” with a splash of #4 “the Individualist”. Share what your personality type!

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  • We’re finishing out the 1st month of 2018 and are you feeling like you’re headed for a burnout? I started a daily gratitude list to give myself a moment to reflect and stop feeling like I was on a hamster wheel. I’m making an effort to be more present in my relationships by nurturing the ones that are mutually joyful. I no longer want to feel guilty for my choices and give myself the space to be happy with my priorities. My definition of success is not yours so keep those promises to yourself.

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  • I’m usually a fan of Mondays (don’t come at me!) because it was a terrific way to see the work colleagues and to think about the work ahead. If you need help in making Mondays work for you, then let’s take a different approach and you may find that Mondays are becoming something you like.

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***Don’t forget that tomorrow (Wednesday, 1/31 at 3:15pm Eastern/12:15pm Pacific) I’ll be talking with Anna Chu from the National Women’s Law Center on Facebook Live. Come see us and send in your questions!***

anna chu FB live

Thanks for reading/sharing and if you haven’t already subscribed, I hope you’ll join the conversation!

— Madalene

 

 

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elizabeth gilbert

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v4

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

Here’s Tuesday Truths:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v50

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

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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

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

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

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

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v49

Photo credit: Alton Wang with photo editing by moi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v45

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

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thanks for reading/sharing. I’ll see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v43

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

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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

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

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

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

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

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v38

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v35

Not quite back to regular programming since Congress has another week of recess/district work period so we’re still easing our way back to reality. It was lovely to get out of DC and the crazy that constantly tells you that life is not normal. I got to visit with family and relish in nature’s beauty. I feel a little more energized and am looking forward to the rest of the year. Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I’m back to thinking about productivity and how I can best use my time. As we careen to the end of the calendar year, I’m always looking for ways to really maximize my efficiency to do more. I’ve used two of the apps that was listed in this article (Trello & Rescuetime) and they’ve certainly helped to free my mind of clutter so that I can keep my to do lists in one place without having to mentally worry about it. Do you have any other tools to add?

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  • When you’re stepping into a leadership role that is attached to a myriad of problems that were created prior to you start working for an organization, how you manage expectations as well as how you effectively work with the existing infrastructure can help to build trust so that you can have positive results. Transparency is also equally important so that people aren’t waiting for other shoe to drop. Having a plan on how you plan to make changes and when will help people understand how these changes will improve the organization.

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Thanks for reading/sharing – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v32

I’m looking forward to Thursday as I’ll be at Netroots Nation – whose going? Much thanks to all of you Arum Group readers who voted for my panel, “Diversifying the Progressive Movement”. If you’re attending, drop by the 1pm session at Regency VI. If you aren’t attending, you can still stream the session at 1pm eastern on Thursday, 8/10 or you can go directly to Netroots Nation’s Facebook page. How’s your summer coming along?

In the meantime, Tuesday Truths!

  • Having cordial work relationships are important to creating a sense of partnership & collaboration when circumstances necessitate it. When I think about working in politics, I think about the people who I’ve had the privilege to work with throughout the years. Sometimes we worked closely and intensely while at other times, we may have been in different departments and would say, “hello” to one another during staff meetings. Your reputation is important as it will always precede you and when you have the opportunity to introduce someone, sharing how their work product is an asset to the team goes a long way in highlighting that person’s value. Saying nice things about your colleagues not only brings positive benefits to them, but to the person saying them as well.

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  • My work area is a pit of paper. It’s managed chaos at its very best because although it may look like I have no idea what’s going on, I really do know where everything is located. Some say that it’s genius while others would leave screaming from the sight of it all. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine did a snap of his desk where it was immaculate. Everything in its place without a single piece of paper in sight. I snapped him saying that my desk would look like that on my 1st and my last day of work. My productivity doesn’t necessarily decrease from my chaos so I’m not about to change what already works but if you need to re-organize your office area, here are tips to becoming more streamlined.

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  • In politics, people tend to confuse strategy with tactics. Along the same lines, people sometimes are too busy executing that they don’t have the bandwidth to really think about the long term trajectory of an organization. This requires strategic thinking and an allotment of time to actually think. The concept of thinking, where ideas can ruminate and grow to become 3 dimensional thoughts requires people to expand their capacity beyond tactics.

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  • Showing up is half the battle. People succeed in whatever kind of environment (whether it be professional or personal) because they consistently show up. If you seriously want to reach a goal, you have to write it down and you have to create a pattern so that it starts a habit. Want to lose weight? Then you need to create a plan that details what you’re doing (exercise & meal plans) so that you can execute towards a goal. To achieve those goals, you have to show up – exercise class, to the gym, walks/runs/bikes/fill in the blank exercise activity with exerted effort, healthy choices while grocery shopping, & portion control. If you don’t show up prepared for any of these things, it will take you longer to accomplish your goal(s), if you attain them at all. This is not to say that you can’t make mistakes or fall off the wagon. It does require that when those things happen, you get back to creating a habit. This also applies to your professional career because when you’re reliable with your deadlines and do what you say you’re going to do, this creates trust. People can see that you’re walking the walk and not just talk. So when you think about commitment, you’re also thinking about trust and how that affects your brand.

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  • It’s August so it should be a time when people are relaxing on summer vacation and enjoying some down time. Back to school and back to work will be here soon enough. When that happens, you may need to pull this gif out of your back pocket because when stress comes straight for you, deeply breathing is an ally that can get you through it. The act of inhaling and exhaling can create calmness and when everything is going a bajillion miles an hour, you can take a moment to step back and recalibrate.

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  • I get so many requests for coffee (which I don’t even drink!) meetings because people have heard that I care about AAPI candidates, helping women succeed as entrepreneurs or within the political industry, and because it actually does relate to my day job as a political consultant. I try my best to always help my junior staff in asking people in my network to meet with them for informational interviews etc..and sometimes the time I spend on career counseling can be excessive which leads me to when you should or shouldn’t work for free. I see it as power without accountability. People ask for my opinion because they think I have it together, although that is debatable on certain days so my brand makes you think that I have it together. Everyone has different definitions about what is successful and my friends think I’m well disciplined when it comes to how I spend my time. It’s a constant struggle and when people start taking time from me where I should be charging for that expertise, I need to push back and reclaim it (I know, Auntie Maxine said it first!). If you’re in a position where you can’t navigate between charging or doing something pro bono, you need to recognize what do you actually get out of it. Is it a monetary compensation or is it something that can deepen a relationship and/or bring more exposure to your work? Who you target for your audience will determine your price point and every activity has a price range for your cost of services.

Thanks for reading/sharing! See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene