So You Won, Now What? Next Steps for Winning Candidates
Ron Nehring
November 23, 2020
So You Won, Now What? Next Steps for Winning Candidates
In a competitive race, elections become all-consuming. For those who win, the next phase is where a new kind of work begins.The Leadership Institute trains conservatives to win not merely to hold offices, but to then put conservative ideas into action to benefit the American people. If you won, your objective should be to do something, not just to be someone.What should you as a successful candidate do following a victory?1. Analyze the results. Complete precinct-by-precinct election data is typically available in the weeks following Election Day. Carefully review this data objectively: where was the campaign most successful? Least successful? What are the surprises, and how can they be explained? Compare where you and your opposition directed activity and determine what worked, what didn't, where support should be maintained, and what are the opportunities for growth?2. Go deeper. Top level reviews of data can be interesting, yet there are many more lessons to be learned when you go deeper. Compare for instance election performance to census data, looking for correlations.3. Produce an after-action report. While failure can be the best teacher, you can learn a lot from victory too. Compile a report on the campaign quicky, before the details of the effort are lost in time. What were the surprises? Challenges? What worked particularly well? What should be included in a memo to the next campaign? The report should include a compilation of everything your campaign produced, such as mail, phone scripts, lists, website, digital materials, research, and data. If you used campaign consultants, do not allow all this data to rest with the consultant. Everything the campaign bought and paid for should be transferred to the candidate.4. Thank the voters. This could be done by leaving your campaign signs up for an extra week while affixing a “thank you” sign to each. Reach out beyond the campaign staff, volunteers, and friends and extend appreciation to voters. No one is entitled to an elected office – expressing thanks conveys humility while reminding everyone you know the voters are ultimately in charge.5. Thank your team.Thank your supporters in the most personal way feasible. Include your volunteers, donors, members of your kitchen cabinet, those who endorsed you, and anyone who contributed in some way to your success. Generic emails and letters are a good start, but they become more memorable when you personalize them.6. Set priorities. Candidates who are about to become officeholders should set priorities in alignment with what the voters consider important. What needs to get done, and how can you as the officeholder work with others – inside and outside of government – to reach those goals?7. Keep focused and avoid pitfalls.History is full of examples of candidates who, once elected, commit various acts of bad judgment. Winning means working under the scrutiny which comes with the offices. Make sure you strictly abide by the highest ethical standards in your professional and personal life, avoiding any conduct that goes beyond “normal and customary,” in the most aspirational sense of that term. 8. Keep visible and frequently engage with voters.Strong officeholders frequently engage with voters to keep people informed of issues, efforts, progress, and setbacks. If you allow a vacuum to form, you're inviting your detractors to step in and define you to the voters in anticipation of the next election.9. Set reasonable expectations. In the American system of government, checks and balances require the consent of more than one person in government to create action. Unrealistic promises of what you will accomplish in office sets the stage for future disappointment. You should be clear about your priorities and where you want to go, while also being clear about who else needs to be persuaded in order to reach your objectives, and keep voters and stakeholders informed along the way.10. Borrow on the objectivity of others.Candidates and elected officials always lose a degree of objectivity about themselves by virtue of holding the position. Smart officeholders maintain a kitchen cabinet of trusted friends and advisors who are on the team but are not involved in the day to day activities of the office. The purpose is to not only provide good advice, but for the officeholder to borrow upon the objectivity of these kitchen cabinet members. This objectivity can be useful to you when you make judgments concerning what situations merit a response, and when a response would be an overreaction. Finally, officeholders must recognize the next election cycle has already begun. Make early determinations about your intentions for the next election, and what must be accomplished in the months ahead for those intentions to be fulfilled. Make friends and allies along the way. Don't make enemies except on purpose. And always remember the purpose in holding the office is not merely to be someone with a title, but to advance sound policy ideas to improve the lives of others and secure their liberties.
Do Antifa’s Bad Ideas Make Them Bad People?
Christopher O'Neil
November 22, 2020
Do Antifa’s Bad Ideas Make Them Bad People?
Have you tried and tried to be the voice of reason and others sometimes just don't get it?Did you know that when you disagree with someone, parts of your brain literally shut off? Your pMFC (posterior medial frontal cortex) tells you about others' convictions, passions, and confidence and it just stops working. This means you dehumanize people close to you like friends, peers, and even family over pointless disagreements.Explains quite a bit, doesn't it? Well, no need to accept it, because as long as you have GRIT, you'll be the real voice of reason in every pointless division and actually bring people together. Even better, people will actually listen to you. How would you like to be the one who finally helps your dad and your aunt realize they agree on more than they disagree at the next family gathering? If you would like that, Lead Your Future Episode 9 is definitely worth your time. You'll even get to hear an ex-Antifa member share his experiences and how he began to think differently. Let's take a look at how science and history teach us how to have GRIT.Grace - “Be ready to be wrong”Socrates teaches us that we can only be certain of our own mistakenness. Treat conversations like a dance instead of a war to be won. If either of you is focused on winning, you'll both lose. Be ready to be wrong, forgive yourself, and people will find that you're right far more than they would otherwise. Respect - “Apply the golden rule”Social Psychology tells us that listening is a universal form of respect and that if you listen well, people will listen to you. Always remember that if you express genuine respect for the other person and their perspective, they are far more likely to listen to you. Make sure you understand their viewpoint and can make a case for it in a way that they would agree.Identity - “Separate idea from identity”Your opinions aren't who you are. Without knowing this, we severely limit our ability to learn and to avoid some pretty meaningless fights. To learn the truth, we have to listen, understand, and empathize. Charles Munger, partner to Warren Buffett said, “I never allow myself to hold an opinion on anything that I don't know the other side's argument better than they do.” Ties - “Find common ground”The ultimate goal is to reach what psychologists refer to as “shared identity,” where you and your conversational partner are seeking truth together. As long as you work your way here with grace and respect, all while recognizing that your ideas don't define you, you should hear a lot less yelling the next time the family comes together for a barbecue and someone mentions “The Donald.” We all know how that normally turns out…Learn more about GRIT in Lead Your Future's Episode 9, where ex-Antifa member Gabriel Nadales explains his experience as a radical. Click here to listen and follow the Lead Your Future Podcast on your favorite platform: Youtube, Acast, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Soundcloud, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Facebook, and Twitter.
So You Lost, Now What? A Letter to the Candidate Who Lost
Steven Sutton
November 19, 2020
So You Lost, Now What? A Letter to the Candidate Who Lost
Stay involved. I was going to start by saying, "Run again in 2022," but that might not be the best advice for everyone who lost in this past election. What does apply universally is for losing candidates to stay involved.There are many ways to separate candidates for office. One that is especially important to voters is whether a candidate is running to do something or if they are running to be somebody.Candidates who are running to be somebody look at campaigns like a sprint with Election Day as the finish line. It is the end of the race, one way or another. If those types of candidates lose, it is more than likely you will never hear of them again. Don't be that person.But for candidates who are running to do something, campaigns are more like a marathon and Election Day is simply a milestone along the way. It tells you how far you have gone and how far you still need to go. If those types of candidates lose, they evaluate where they are along the journey and what they need to do next. Likely, they were already very involved in their community, and they will continue to be, but with an even greater impact. Stay involved. You now have a tremendous organization you built over many months of hard work. Keep them engaged as well. Here are some ideas.1. Get more involved with your local party. Were they helpful to your campaign? No doubt, there were areas that could have been better. Get your campaign volunteers more involved with the local party as well and make improvements so the next candidate (maybe it will be you again) will have more resources the next time.2. Get more involved in the issues that matter most to you. Hold office-holders (especially the person who defeated you) accountable. Organize groups of your volunteers to follow the issues most important to them. Show up at public meetings. Organize petition drives. Create phone trees to call officeholders to bring pressure to bear at key times. Write letters to the editor and post comments online. Become an even greater force within your community.3. Get your best volunteers (and yourself too) additional training. Who were your rock star volunteers? After your campaign is over, have conversations with each of your best volunteers and help them to get more training and experience for the next round of elections. (The Leadership Institute can help with the training bit. Find resources here.)Leftists understand that governing is simply campaigning by different means. They never stop their efforts to destroy America as we know it. They aren't going to go away. Are you?So stay busy. Your next milestone is only 719 days away.
Write an Op-Ed, Get Published, and Land on the News
Christopher O'Neil
November 18, 2020
Write an Op-Ed, Get Published, and Land on the News
Are some things obvious to you that others don't seem to understand? Do you often believe that if only you can get your thoughts out there, people might change their minds? Sometimes it doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to crack the case, but maybe you're just the one for the job. Let's answer the riddle of how you can shape your thoughts so people can't keep their hands off them. An Op-Ed, shorthand for Opposite the Editorial, is an opinion piece. Episode 8 of the Lead Your Future Podcast will give you the invaluable insights from Beverly Hallberg, Director of District Media Group, on how to maximize your exposure. In order to successfully write an Op-Ed, you should know its anatomy. After we dissect topic, contents, and follow-through, you'll find all the puzzle pieces you need to take your ideas public. Topic Before you dive in, you need a worthy topic. It's easy to find something worth writing about, but finding one worth reading can be much more of a challenge. A good topic for an Op-Ed is one that is: 1. Timely: It fits the news and is relevant enough right now that a wide audience would seek it out. 2. Meaningful: Choose a topic that you care about. People will feel your passion (or lack thereof) through your writing. 3. Well-founded: We all have opinions, but they won't mean much if you can't support them. Choose a topic you can lend credibility to in your work. You'll be thankful you did. With these three boxes checked, you're ready to ask the question: how do I actually start writing? Contents An Op-Ed is a gateway to bigger and better work. This is where you can show off your writing abilities and show your reader you mean business. Harvard's Communications and Government Department has a structure you can follow to tackle your next case: 1. The perp: Reel the audience in with a good hook, give them a basic run down of your topic, and establish your goals and overall point. 2. The hole: Explain the central issue. 3. The patch: Break down your solution, how it works, and why. 4. The competition: What do other people say who disagree with you? 5. The call to arms: Remind me why you're writing and drive it home so that the reader won't soon forget! With these five elements, you'll lead the reader right where you want them. Follow-through Great! You're done writing, but you've only just begun! An Op-Ed is a gateway to bigger and better work so it's time to aim higher. The next step is to follow the news closely so you catch every relevant idea you can. Be an avid reader and develop your point of view, network, and credibility. Don't forget upcoming and seasonal events like presidential debates, the 4th of July, and other “evergreen areas” that you can use as a framework. Build the habits of success. Most importantly: Don't get discouraged when you get rejected! Even the most successful writers and journalists in the world know what it's like to be shot down. But, as Sherlock Holmes always said, when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, is undeniably within your grasp. Learn more about writing an Op-Ed in Episode 8 of the Lead Your Future Podcast. Click here to listen and follow the Lead Your Future Podcast on your favorite platform: YouTube, Acast, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play, Soundcloud, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Facebook, Twitter
Your Post Election Resource Guide
Morton Blackwell
November 17, 2020
Your Post Election Resource Guide
Click here to download the full Post Election Resource Guide with open positions and training opportunities.Dear Fellow Conservative, Elections have consequences. While some elections present an exciting opportunity for new talent to staff the White House and Congress, other elections are a harsh reality for those who lose their jobs. Fortunately, either way the election goes, conservative organizations are hiring! In my Leadership Institute's Post Election Resource Guide, you will find a comprehensive overview of the opportunities available. Please use this guide to discover how you can apply your talents in a new role! Enclosed, you will find:Summaries of organizations and their open positions;points of contact to apply;upcoming trainings at the Leadership Institute; anda ConservativeJobs.com flyer. In case you are not familiar, let me tell you about ConservativeJobs.com -- it is the Leadership Institute's free, online solution that connects conservative job seekers with potential employers. You can create a detailed profile, browse job postings, and apply to new opportunities with a single click. If you have any questions, contact a member of my careers staff at resumes@leadershipinstitute.org. Good luck in your job search!Cordially,Morton C. BlackwellPresident, Leadership Institute
How to Win Your Next Job Interview
Emma Siu
November 12, 2020
How to Win Your Next Job Interview
10 minute readYou've already got the interview, now all you have to do is win your employer over. Here is a helpful guide to common interview questions, answers, and closers to help you succeed.1. Do your research.Research the company you are interviewing for thoroughly. Know the company mission statement, goals, successes, and even their pain points. Research your interviewer as well. This might tell you what kind of questions they could ask or give you the ability to connect on a personal level. Remember, your interviewers are human so it's important to get along well with them to show them you can fit well with their team. When you can imagine yourself working at an organization, the interviewer can too.2. Find the questions.The internet can be overwhelming with the amount of interview questions available. Make sure you find common interview questions as well as ones specific to your field. Here is a downloadable Question and Answer Guide with 8 popular interview questions. You should also have questions to ask the interviewer. Make sure to ask a closer question to quell any doubts your interviewer may have about you.3. Practice interviews.Find a few friends or family members to do practice interviews with you. Take this exercise seriously. Have your allies create their own questions for you, so you can get a sense of answering questions on the spot. If you get flustered by a question you can't answer, tell them: “That's a great question, let me give it some extra thought.” That way you can pause for a few seconds to give yourself more time to think up an answer. Practice in the same format as your interview (phone, Zoom, in-person, etc.) to help reduce your anxiety the day of your interview. Get your practice interviewer to give honest feedback afterwards. It can be hard to accept criticism, but it's best to hear it from a friend before your interview.4. Prepare your cheat sheet.Create a list of key points about you, important details of the organization, and your closing questions. If you have a phone or video interview, put your list in front of you, as well as paper to take notes on important things your potential employer says. In an in-person interview, you must memorize your key points. In addition, you should bring a copy of your cover letter, resume, and a pen and paper for any notes you may wish to write down.5. Present yourself well.Depending on the format of your interview, presentation can mean a lot of things. If you have a phone interview, dress nicely to put yourself in a professional mindset. If you have a video interview, make sure your background is professional. Find a blank wall or office type background. Remember to keep lighting in mind. Ring lights are great for lighting but not necessary: try plugging in lamps near your interview space so you can control the lighting. Make a test video to ensure you can be seen and heard correctly. If you have an in-person interview, make sure you are dressed well and are organized. In any interview your phone should be out of sight and on silent. Focus on the interviewer, smile, and ensure there will be no interruptions.6. Follow-up with your interviewer.Right after the interview, send an email thanking the interviewer for their time. Make sure you thank interviewers for the opportunity regardless of how the interview went. This is not only courteous, but will show interviewers your professionalism and dedication.
6 Photography Tips for Social Media
Emma Siu
November 12, 2020
6 Photography Tips for Social Media
7 minute readLearn how influencers make their photos pop and how you can take your photos to the next level.1. Think about the message you want your picture to send.It's easy to snap a quick picture, but you should focus on the message you want to convey. What message do you want your viewers to receive? Pin down the message you want to send, then choose and place your subject matter. Think about how you can stage a picture to present your message. Every little detail contributes to help you present your message through the feeling a picture prompts in your audience.2. Choose your camera and settings.Take more pictures. You can take high-end photos with most cell phones. Play with the settings on your phone's camera. Include where you want the focus to be, whether you want to see a grid, and the size of the picture you plan to take. Professionals should invest in a DSLR camera to improve image quality. The more details you can control with your camera, the higher quality your outcome will be. You want your original picture to be as perfect as possible, so you have minimal edits to make.3. Play with the lighting before you take a picture.You can change lighting in the editing phase, but ultimately there is no substitute for good lighting in the original picture. Make sure your subject is not backlit and that light comes in from multiple angles (not just an overhead or direct light), to make the subject look natural. Play with the lighting before you take a picture to make sure you get your desired effect. Natural light will look the best, so use it if possible. There is a reason you see influencers talk about “golden hour” as it is a golden opportunity to take some amazing pictures.4. Take multiple shots.The perfect picture is not likely the first shot you take. Take several shots from multiple angles with different kinds of light. What looks good in the moment may not look as great in the editing process. Take many pictures and you'll have more options.5. Edit your photos.No picture should go directly from your camera roll onto your social media. Each image you post should be carefully edited to send the ideal message. Editing your photos in Adobe Photoshop will give your photos that refined look that influencers seem to effortlessly achieve. Photoshop will be a great asset and is an important skill for you to build in photography. Learn how to use Photoshop before the end of this year at an upcoming digital training with the Leadership Institute.6. Post timely photos and tag them.Make sure you tag photos correctly so your image can easily draw your audience. Your tag system depends on which platform you post on.Look at your competitors and friends and see what tags they post that you can take advantage of. Check out hashtags your community follows and include the relevant tags in your post. For places like Facebook where hashtags are not as helpful, make sure you post at a time of day when your page or group draws the most traffic.
A Personal Letter to the Staffer whose Campaign Lost
Lee Jackson
November 10, 2020
A Personal Letter to the Staffer whose Campaign Lost
So… you lost. I get it. I would call what you're going through a gut check, but that term doesn't seem to be strong enough. For one reason or another, your campaign came up short. I have been where you are right now. I've been there multiple times. You put your life on hold for months, you're mad at the world, you're mad at yourself, and you probably question if it was even worth it.Trust me, it was. Campaigns are cruel and unforgiving. It's a sick joke that your campaign could have done everything perfect and still lost. Throw in human slip-ups and unforced errors and it's almost like it's game over from the start. It's like it's your turn on Family Feud, your family already has two Xs, and Steve Harvey has asked you to stand on your head, drink a glass of milk, and name the third reason why the chicken crossed the road.To make matters worse, it probably feels like you got the answer right. You and your team outworked the other side and factors beyond your control prevented you from the victory you have been chasing. Or worse, someone on your team wasn't doing their job and, if they had, the outcome may had been different. Either way, the race is over.It's okay to be upset. You're going through a mixture of feeling professional whiplash, questioning what the purpose of your life is without a candidate to please, and it hurts in a way that can only be compared to the first time you had your heart broken.Just remember you are not the first person to lose. And losing does not mean your career or your time in the public policy process is over. I lost two major campaigns in a row before I won my last race in 2019. Don't forget, Abraham Lincoln lost his U.S. Senate race five years before he was elected President of the United States. Take the time you need from this race to decompress. Go home and watch the Sound of Music with your mother. Trust me, it will make her happy. Sleep in until 2:00pm after watching The Office for 12 hours straight.Remember you learned a lot this last year. I promise you could run laps around the person you were a year ago. Even though your campaign came up short, that doesn't mean you didn't grow as a person. You harnessed new skills that can slingshot your career forward. Send me an email when you're ready to sharpen your skills in order to re-enter the arena stronger than ever before. One of my favorite Morton Blackwell quotes is “You owe it to your philosophy to learn how to win.” Yes, that means you. You can also see the list of upcoming LI trainings here.And when the fire in your stomach is back, go looking for the next campaign. Don't wait for 2022. For example, Virginia is going to have some competitive elections up and down the ballot in 2021. Winning a tough Virginia election is a great way to redeem yourself. Just remember, Rocky always had his best fights after he got his butt kicked in front of the entire world.
Virginia Allen: Podcast Co-host
Emma Siu
November 9, 2020
Virginia Allen: Podcast Co-host
15 minute readI got the chance to interview Podcast Co-host Virginia Allen. Here's her story. Virginia Allen is a news producer at The Daily Signal, The Heritage Foundation's multimedia news outlet. She writes on a range of topics and co-hosts The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Virginia Allen earned a bachelor's degree in government from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. After graduation, she moved to South Africa for a year to serve as a missionary volunteer, and worked with vulnerable children and youth. Upon her return to America, she moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue new opportunities. Before she joined The Daily Signal, Virginia worked as the administrative assistant in Heritage's communications department for nearly two years. 1. How did you become involved in the Problematic Women and Daily Signal News podcasts?I began my journey at The Heritage Foundation as an intern and then was blessed to get a job in Heritage's communications department in the spring of 2018. I remember observing my colleagues, as they hosted “The Daily Signal Podcast” and “Problematic Women,” and frankly I was quite intimidated! I secretly thought podcasting might be a medium I really would enjoy -- as someone who loves to connect with people and discuss important issues -- but I was nervous to leap into the unknown. One of these colleagues, who helped on “The Daily Signal Podcast” Monday edition, moved back to Texas a little over a year after I started at Heritage. My supervisor, Rob Bluey, asked me if I would be interested in stepping in to help on the show once a week, and I said I would! I still remember how nervous I was the first time I walked into the studio to record. It took months before I finally felt comfortable speaking into a mic, but I work with excellent people and they were so supportive. I helped with the podcast for a few months before Lauren Evans, co-host of “Problematic Women,” asked me if I would consider helping with the show while another colleague was out on maternity leave for a few months. “Maybe,” was my response to Lauren. “Problematic Women” is a high energy 45 to 60-minute show with a good mix of interviews, commentary, and straight news reporting. I was used to only doing interviews and one short news story a week so “Problematic Women” was going to be a big leap! But Lauren convinced me, and after only one episode I was all in. I loved reporting on issues I care deeply about and having the opportunity to be creative and craft a dynamic and fun show with a fellow staffer and friend. Then, about seven months ago, an opportunity opened up on Heritage's Daily Signal team to take on the role of both news producer and regular co-host of “The Daily Signal Podcast.” I was thrilled to take on this new role and again stretch my podcasting abilities. I am loving the opportunity to co-host two very different podcasts and continue to grow in this great field.2. What do you feel is the biggest difference between writing an article for print media and creating a podcasting segment?We all speak a little differently than we write, so even when making notes for a segment, I try to think about how I want to verbally communicate the information in a way that is relatable. Segments on “Problematic Women” tend to be a little more conversational than those in a written news story. Interviews for a written story versus a podcast are very different, both in regard to the content used and how the content is relayed. I may spend half an hour talking with someone for a written story, and then pull four or five quotes, or bits of information, depending on the nature of the piece. When doing a podcast interview, on the other hand, I guide the conversation, but the guest chooses what they will share.3. What does your decision process look like for finding someone to interview?I love personal stories, and so any time I hear about someone who has firsthand experience around a policy issue or a situation in the news, I am eager to have them on the show. I think a person's “lived experience” is powerful when we are considering how policies created in Washington, D.C. actually impact people. But I cannot take all, or even most, of the credit for finding great people to interview on either podcast. My colleagues often send me the names of people they think would be a good fit for “Problematic Women” or “The Daily Signal Podcast.”4. What are some strategies that you use to build a loyal audience?My co-hosts and I want our listeners to feel like they can always trust us to report the news honestly; and that they are a part of a larger community of people who love America. We are especially focused on building community on “Problematic Women” because the show was created as a platform for conservative women to have a voice. We recently started a weekly Twitter poll question on the show, which appears every Thursday morning on my Twitter page, @Virginia_Allen5. The poll provides a fun way for our listeners to engage with the show and share their thoughts with us.5. What has been the most difficult part for you when creating and hosting a podcast?I have learned a lot about my own voice and my own speaking idiosyncrasies as a podcaster. You quickly realize that you repeat certain words way too often or that you have a tendency to slur certain words. It has been challenging learning to pay close attention to how I sound, and critiquing myself, as I seek to communicate in the clearest way possible. I am very much still learning in this field!6. What would you say differentiates a professional podcast from a podcast that is just starting out?Podcasting is frankly quite new, so many podcasters have only been hosting shows for a year or two -- yet they may already have a very large audience. Often the difference between a new podcaster and an old pro can be heard in the level of confidence and voice control they exhibit. And of course, production quality really makes a big difference when it comes to podcasting. A skilled editor can truly make all the difference!7. What advice would you give to someone looking to start a podcast, especially with a saturated topic like politics?Find your niche! It is much easier to start a podcast when you know who your audience is -- moms with young kids, or basketball players, or nature enthusiasts. If you want to launch a more general podcast, then take time to think about what your “value add” is to that field. There are a lot of political podcasts out there. So, if you want to speak out on policy issues, maybe brand your show as a podcast that takes issues in Washington, D.C. and explains how they will impact people in your home state.8. Has creating a podcast changed the way you listen to podcasts?Yes. I am always listening to how podcasters ask questions of their guests, and how they discuss issues. Some podcasters are really good at making you feel like you are just sitting on the couch with them and a part of the conversation. That is something I aspire to, especially on “Problematic Women” because it is more conversational in nature.9. What are some of your favorite podcasts right now?I do enjoy listening to Joe Rogan's podcast because he is very talented at keeping interviews interesting and engaging for the listener. The stock market always has fascinated me, so I frequently listen to “Snacks Daily,” which is an entertaining business news podcast. I also really enjoy “Heritage Explains” because the episode are short, very informative, and the production quality is excellent.
Keep Your Cool When Things Get Heated Online
Emma Siu
November 8, 2020
Keep Your Cool When Things Get Heated Online
5 minute readWhether it's an internet troll or someone with different views, it's important to know when it's time to participate, and when it's time to move on with your day.What is an internet troll?An internet troll is someone online who aims to make others angry. Trolls love to get people on all sides riled up just because they can. Still, not everyone who makes you angry online is an internet troll. They may just have a different opinion. Usually people who want to discuss ideas or topics will use facts in their argument, where internet trolls will use broad generalizations that are known to get angry responses.Decide whether or not to engage.If there is a comment on your page or in your group with an opinion or stance you disagree with, it's okay to write a comment in response to your stance. Remember, the comment section is not the place for a debate. Try not to respond more than twice. Ask truly interested parties to move to Direct Messages or communicate in a place for debate. If someone is “trolling” in the comments or on one of your posts, it's best not to even dignify them with a response. Not every comment needs to be answered. If a comment is excessively malicious or inappropriate, report and delete.Give level-headed responses.When you decide to write a reply, make sure you are not angry. It's easy to quickly write out a sharp-tongued answer, but that's not necessarily what you want. If you are mad, don't respond right away. Walk away, take some deep breaths, and come back in five minutes. The best way to reply, if you still choose to, is to respond with facts. Never resort to name calls or threats online, which will put you on the fast track to be banned or shadow banned. Before you hit the send button, think “would I be okay with saying this out loud?"Make sure you stay on message.Responding to comments is a great way to build your community, if your comments align with your online goals. Your comments must be on brand. You don't want to send mixed messages or detract from the message you try to convey.
Thank Your Donors: Three Tips to Better Fundraising with Thank You Notes
Kirsten Holmberg
October 21, 2020
Thank Your Donors: Three Tips to Better Fundraising with Thank You Notes
With 2020 wrapping up, you still have much to do to ensure your fundraising efforts end on a high note. Don't let the global pandemic stop you from cultivating strong relationships with your donors, and what better way to do that than with a simple but sincere thank you letter? It's no secret non-profit organizations would be unable to achieve their missions without their generous donors. Unfortunately, not all organizations remember to prioritize donor thank you notes. Not only are thank you letters critical for proper fundraising etiquette, but thank you notes also reap financial rewards. Thanking your donors helps your organization forge better relationships with supporters, and better relationships are closely tied to increased contributions. Here are three tips you can use to craft successful and personal thank you letters.1. Be sincere. Sincerity goes a long way in a letter, and lackluster thank you notes are easy to spot. Even with the rise of digital communications, snail mail has not lost its effectiveness. Who doesn't enjoy receiving a letter in the mail? Take advantage of the reader's initial excitement and enclose a sincere message that communicates your organization's gratitude. One way to do that is to avoid generic language. For instance, never end a thank you letter with “thanks to people like you.” Does that help communicate to the donor that you value them as a unique individual? 2. Make it personal. In an in-person meeting, you wouldn't read from a script. The same should be said for your thank you notes. Avoid sounding rote by considering to whom you are writing and make it personal. Personalizing your thank you letters requires time and research, but it makes all the difference. As you learn about your donors, use that knowledge to craft your thank you notes. What makes a thank you letter more personal? Here are a few important features of a personal thank you letter. Address your donor by name. Reference their specific donation. Describe how their contribution helped. Make the donor the hero in the story of your organization. For instance, write to them and tell them how their gift made a difference to your organization's mission or the conservative movement as a whole. 3. Be prompt in your thank you notes. Timeliness is essential for maintaining strong relationships with donors. Make sure your development team is committed to a quick turn around after a donation comes in. Aim to have letters in the mail within 48 hours. A quick response communicates sincerity and enthusiasm for their contribution and shows the donor that they were not overlooked. 4. Focus on saying thank you. A common mistake in fundraising is using the donor thank you note as a vehicle to ask for more money. Do not solicit new donations or mention upcoming events. That is not the purpose of the letter. Focus on saying thank you and show your organization's gratitude. Unquestionably, this year has had its ups and downs, but one thing is for sure, you can end the fundraising year strong with a “thank you.” Your thank you letter should be sincere, include personalized content, and be sent in a timely manner. Crafting effective but personal thank you letters will help your organization forge better relationships with donors, which results in a stronger fundraising program.The Leadership Institute's Kirsten Holmberg manages LI's fundraising trainings to help conservatives succeed in their missions. After all, as Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell says, you can't save the world if you can't pay the rent. Kirsten hosts many online trainings. Grow your fundraising skills here.
7 Social Media Marketing Tips and Tricks
Emma Siu
October 9, 2020
7 Social Media Marketing Tips and Tricks
5 minute readNavigating social media can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your experience a little easier.1. Don't overwhelm yourselfChoose one to four social media apps to begin with. Don't juggle too many medias. That can lower the quality of your content.2. Assess your goalsThink about your goals. Followers are easy to track, but gaining followers probably isn't your end goal. What do you want your followers to do? Do you have a website you want to direct people to? Do you have content you want your followers to see? Do you want a certain amount of donations? Identify your goals, and then create steps to reach them.3. Make sure your posts are “on message”Everything you post on your social media should be related to your goals. Stay on message. If you post unrelated topics and content, people may stop following you.4. Identify your audienceFind which demographics you want to target based on your goals. The tightest and most effective social media strategies are informed by social media demographics. These data-driven insights will guide your strategy, and help you select which social media channels to use. The insights will also help you facilitate the most relevant, targeted approach possible, which in turn will increase your chance of conversions.5. Engage with your audienceInteract with your audience. Reply to comments, react to your followers' posts, respond to DMs, and follow popular hashtags. Start conversations within the hashtags you frequently post to and it will help you build a likeminded community and bring followers to your page. Regular audience engagement will make your account feel genuine and help you gain a loyal following.6. Listen to your dataSocial media sites let you easily track your data. From there you can see your follower demographics, peak engagement times, and interactions with posts. See when your peak engagement times are. These times are your most important times to post. Your data can also show which posts perform better than others. Take note of this and see if you can replicate the result with similar types of posts in the future.7. Be patientNo one gains a following overnight. It takes time to grow a strong organic following. The only way to attract users quickly is to spend significant money on advertising, and even then, the results will not be immediate. With constant nurturing your account will steadily grow and help you achieve your goals.The Leadership Institute's digital training team trains activists on digital and political technology across the country. They host many online trainings, several of which are at no cost to you. Grow your digital skills here.
Plan Now for Life After November 3rd: An Open Letter to a Young Campaign Staffer
Lee Jackson
October 8, 2020
Plan Now for Life After November 3rd: An Open Letter to a Young Campaign Staffer
Dear Over-Caffeinated, Underpaid Worker Bee:Congratulations! You made it to October.By now, every day is a new adventure. You're working seven days a week, you're hooked on the campaign high, and you're back and forth between having the time of your life and wanting election day to just get here already.But we need to take a moment and talk about life after November 3rd. Right now, it's probably hard to envision.I had been working for my candidate for roughly a year by the time Election Day rolled around on my last campaign. That means for a year, my boss was the most important person in my life. For a year, he and I had traveled the district together, hoped and dreamed about the future, and he became a second father to me. The most important thing to me was getting him re-elected. I felt that I owed him victory and, for so many personal reasons, failure was not an option.Because of the loyalty I had to my candidate, I felt guilty thinking about life after Election Day. Every second I spent doing so was a second not being spent to give my boss the victory I had promised him. However, I was wrong to think this way -- and he likely would have been disappointed if he had realized what was going on in my head.One of the many things the Leadership Institute is known for is Morton Blackwell's Laws of the Public Policy Process. If you have never read them before, I would encourage you to read them HERE.I always had a copy of the laws framed in my office for campaign volunteers to read.One law that stuck with me was number 18: You can't save the world if you can't pay rent. When I first heard this law, I took it to mean candidates who want win must raise money. Heaven knows I said it to my candidate countless times, stressing how important call time was. However, it rings true for you as an individual as well.The hard truth is, some of your campaigns will win, others will not. For better or worse, elections have clear winners and losers. The good news is, if you win (and work hard), your campaign is likely to offer you a job.Now is the time to start planning your life on November 4th without your current candidate in the picture.If you want to stay in the political arena, start networking now. It's a cruel joke that just as our campaigns need us most, we have to start seriously considering our future. I would recommend having four or five solid leads and a failsafe. For a while, my failsafe was going back to McDonald's.Each year, there are operatives who decide campaign life isn't for them. That's okay. Many of them go back to school or join a sales team and excel in those roles.If you want to stay in the public process, I encourage you to check out the Leadership Institute's Conservative Jobs HERE.Conservative Jobs is your free job bank, connecting recruiters and job seekers of all experiences across America. If you have questions about Conservative Jobs or would like someone at the Leadership Institute (LI) to review your resume, you can email my coworker, Kelsey at kmix@leadershipinstitute.org. LI is proud to be a resource placing conservatives in government, politics, and the media.I also encourage you to look at states that have elections in 2021.During off numbered years, I packed up my car and moved to Virginia to work on a campaign. For better or worse, Virginia doesn't have campaign contribution limits, so local House of Delegate races could be more than a million dollars. Working on campaigns every year allowed me to learn more skills and move up the totem pole twice as fast as many of my peers.No matter what you do next, you owe it to yourself to start planning.I always consider the time between one campaign and the next as my “funemployment.” Don't forget to take the time to unwind and relax too.My final words of advice for the next three weeks: stay away from pizza, try to sleep at least six hours a night, start thinking about life after Election Day, and keep day dreaming of that well-deserved tropical vacation to get you through one more walkbook.Keep on knocking,Lee
5 Things You Should do Before Election Day
Lee Jackson
September 25, 2020
5 Things You Should do Before Election Day
Every year, young people around the country ask me what they can do to make a difference as the country inches closer to election day.As someone who has been responsible for volunteer recruitment and Election Day Operations, I am always going to point you to your closest campaign and tell you the best thing to do is to volunteer. Here is a list of five things you should do prior to election day (in addition to voter contact):1. Check Your Voter Registration Status After spending roughly one million dollars, I won my last election by less than 500 votes. Believe me when I tell you that every vote counts. This November, positions from School Board to President of the United States will be on the ballot. Do not miss out on exercising your right to vote because you forgot to register to vote or you are registered to vote at the wrong address. I have seen students turned away from the polling booth because they thought they were registered to vote at school, but they registered to vote at home. You can check your voter registration HERE. 2. Vote EarlyI'm not aware of a single state in America that does not give the option to vote early in one form or another. Although the terms and guidelines vary from one state to the next, you should have the option to vote early regardless of where you are currently located.You never know what's going to happen on election day. Vote now and get it out of the way. Additionally, there are likely a few races or referendum questions you did not expect to see on the ballot. Getting your ballot early will give you a few days to research this new-to-you-content and allow you to vote responsibly. You can find more information about how to vote early HERE. Side note: Don't let the lingo about voting early intimidate you or stop you from doing so. In Maine, we don't have early voting, but we do have in-person absentee voting. Which is a fancy way of saying you vote absentee, in-person, prior to Election Day -- aka early voting. Also, a lot of jurisdictions are allowing voters to drop of their completed ballot at some sort of drop-off box or track where their ballots are in the mail. Make sure you leave plenty of time for the postal service to return your ballot after you vote. Like I said, this is going to be the year of close elections. Every note needs to count. Double check to see if you need a stamp.3. Keep an Eye on Campus Administration Classes, meetings, and liberal bias: three things a conservative student is pretty much guaranteed to experience during any given semester. When it comes to liberal bias on college campuses, the best disinfectant is always sunlight. If you see something that doesn't pass the straight-face test, you can send an anonymous tip to Campus Reform HERE.4. Take an LI training As we get closer to Election Day, the Leadership Institute (LI) is laser focused on training as many conservative activists as possible, so you can play your part in the upcoming election. LI hosts safe, in-person and online trainings. Many of these trainings are available to you at no cost thanks to the generous donors of the Leadership Institute. You can find LI's upcoming list of trainings HERE. Additionally, the campus leadership team has created three-hour trainings for club leaders and members. These Youth Leadership Workshops (YLWs) are flexible and range from Media and PR to how to recruit on campus. If you would like to organize one of these trainings for your group, you can email me at LJackson@LeadershipInstitute.org.5. Volunteer (Get Paid) to be a Poll Worker on Election DayHave you ever thoughts about what it takes to run an election? Not a campaign, but the administration part of an election? One of the crucial pieces of running an election is poll workers, who help check-in voters, answer clerical questions, and do tasks throughout the day. Due to coronavirus, election administrators are struggling to find people to work the polls. Not only do poll workers protect the integrity of elections, they can also get paid more than $100 for a days-worth of work. You can find out more information in this video by Campus Reform's Editor in Chief, Cabot Phillips. Decide now. What will you do to make a difference for your conservative principles as the country inches closer to election day?
Lead Your Future: College Students Shape a Brighter Tomorrow
Tiffany Roberts
September 12, 2020
Lead Your Future: College Students Shape a Brighter Tomorrow
Do you want to make a difference, but you don't think your vote is enough? According to the NY Times, less than 50% of Americans think their vote will make a difference. Not only are they wrong, but there's far more than just voting that you can do to make a change.The mark you can make is far bigger than you likely realize. Youth and grassroots campaigns are absolutely vital in politics. According to Forbes, college age voters dramatically swayed the 2018 elections with double the turnout of 2014. If you're in college, it's prime time to get involved.Around 20 million students attend college in the US every semester. That's 15% of the voting age population at your fingertips. Less than one fifth of college students vote in congressional elections. If you want your candidate elected, you can easily have a hand in making that happen. In Episode 7 of the Lead Your Future Podcast, you will learn about all the information you'll share and gain, the impact you can have, and how you can start getting involved right now!1. Help Educate Your PeersThe vast majority of people on college campuses don't know who their representative is, let alone what they're doing. When students learn how policy affects them, they head to the polls in much higher numbers. When you help other students learn, you can easily become an expert on the relevant policy issues. Most college students tend to have very internally conflicting beliefs. Youth campaigns give you an opportunity to help countless students educate themselves.2. You Can Impact Elections and PolicyBelieve it or not, you can be an integral part in turning the tides of elections. The hours you volunteer may be easy for you now, due to class schedules; but they are invaluable to any campaign. You may be saving a campaign thousands of dollars just by volunteering some of your time. Moreover, your impact is long-term. Statistically speaking, when you start voting a certain way at 18, you're likely to vote the same way for the rest of your life. When you campaign as a college student now, you help nurture fellow students into lifelong supporters of causes you believe in.3. Learn How to Get InvolvedThe first step is to attend “the bootcamp of politics,” the Youth Leadership School. This will teach you everything you need to know about the ground game of youth campaigns. The next step is to seek out organizations like the Conservative Leadership PAC and help lead the future of grassroots movements.Joining a youth campaign is not only a rewarding way to beef up your resume, but it's an invaluable opportunity to help shape a brighter tomorrow. Listen to Episode 7 of the Lead Your Future Podcast to hear more from a youth campaign leader and veteran. Click here to listen and follow the Lead Your Future Podcast on your favorite platform: YouTube, Acast, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play, Soundcloud, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Facebook, Twitter
Learning How to Talk the Talk Isn’t Always the Easiest
Lee Jackson
August 26, 2020
Learning How to Talk the Talk Isn’t Always the Easiest
Growing up, my mother did her best to limit my screen time and discouraged me and my sisters from playing video games. However, this did not stop my grandparents from surprising us one Christmas morning with a brand-new Wii and a set of games to go with it.As boring as it sounds, my favorite game on the Wii was golf. I spent countless hours after school working on my drive and reached the title of “Pro” long before any child ever should. The kicker? I had never actually hit a real golf ball in my life. To this day, I can talk golf with friends, coworkers, or pretty much anyone, but I am always “busy” when it is time to play.When I started working on campaigns, I did not have Wii golf to teach me the lingo (and the West Wing only got me so far). Thankfully, I had people who took the time to explain campaign terms and answer my questions. Even though I had people around me who took the time to help me, it was still intimidating when I was in a meeting or on a call and didn't understand half of the words being said. Over the years, I realized my junior staffers and interns went through the same discouraging process. Like those before me, I took the time to clarify any questions they had. However, I am sure there were several times when I missed the signs that they were confused.The Leadership Institute is a proud non-profit that teaches future elected officials, staffers, and members of the media how to be the most effective at their job. In short, LI teaches people how to walk the walk. I am glad to be able to share this new campaign glossary with you, so you can get a head start on learning how to talk the talk as well.You can download How to Speak Campaign 101: A Campaign Glossary at no cost right here, thanks to Leadership Institute's donors.
Epidemic of the Modern Workplace: Burnout I Lead Your Future Episode 6
Christopher O'Neil
August 14, 2020
Epidemic of the Modern Workplace: Burnout I Lead Your Future Episode 6
You're floating in the clouds, your childhood friend you haven't seen in ten years flying next to you until a blaring siren strikes you from the sky like Icarus. You half open your eyes and face the grueling task of deciding whether or not to hit snooze. You may resist it and sun's ruthless, unforgiving rays with every ounce of your being, but you must arise. The world is counting on you!If you've ever lived through that saga, you're probably familiar with workplace stress. It's imposing, formidable older brother is something you may have also contended with: burnout. You may have had a good laugh like I did at the dramatic story above, but burnout is no joke.Symptoms include demotivation and detachment from work, ineffectiveness, feeling a lack of accomplishment, emptiness, self-doubt, self-isolation, a neglect of personal needs, and even a desire to drop out of society completely. It can even lead to depression, memory loss, sleep problems, alcohol abuse, weakened immune systems and poor job performance.Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, unchecked buildup of stress across long periods of time and it has been called the epidemic of the modern workplace. The line between stress and burnout can often be hard to draw, but they are two very different things. Dr. Cregg Dyke explains how it's difficult to pinpoint where stress becomes burnout, but stress always comes first. Sometimes, burnout can be harsh enough that you won't even recognize who you used to be beforehand. This can all seem rather overwhelming, but you're not helpless to stop it. Don't be discouraged, and don't think for one second that you're alone.There are three steps you can take to stand your ground.1. Get Help!Work with your employer to change your circumstances. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant says “burnout is not in your head, it's in your circumstances.” That means you must take charge of your surrounding stress points. Your organization plays a large role in your circumstances, so it's their duty to take part in the solution.There are three ways you can work with your employer to change your circumstances. The first is to reduce the demands of the job. There's no shame in recognizing that you've been given more than you can handle. No one can carry the weight of the world. The second is for the organization to give you more control to manage the load you carry. Finally, an organization can provide plenty of resources for support and help in the form of counseling and other methods to help you cope. 2. Find Purpose!We, as people, are meaning seekers. Without it, life can look pretty bleak; and whether we recognize it or not, we need meaning in our lives. Author, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Bob Bufford referred to “smoldering discontent” as something many workers contend with when they build their lives of success for decades, and then realize their lives have no deep significance to them. Psychologist Adam Grant says the strongest buffer against burnout is a sense of daily progress. Take small steps forward every day. While they don't have to be large, be sure to keep them consistent.3. Track, track, track!The best way to stay on track is by keeping track. Make a list of everything that makes you feel anxious, stressed, and worried. For each item, write at least one way to modify or mitigate the stress you face. Find a routine that addresses behaviors that contribute to your stress and meet it with solutions at every change you get!To learn more about how you can help yourself and others take arms against the ferocity of burnout, be sure to listen to the Lead Your Future Podcast Episode 6, called Epidemic of the Modern Workplace: Burnout. In the second half of this episode, Patti Rausch, the Director of Career Programs at the Leadership Institute shares her own story with burnout. She took a leave of absence to work on a campaign where the weight of a family member's death placed an immense weight on her shoulders, and she came face to face with the foreboding force of burnout. The only way she was able to conquer it was by working with her supervisor, recognizing the burnout was only temporary, and facing it head on together. In order to fight burnout, remember that you are not helpless! You can stop it! Be sure to know your needs, know your circumstances, and develop effective coping mechanisms that work for you. You can get out of bed in the morning with an energy you don't think you have, don't let depression win, and listen to Episode 6 of the Lead Your Future Podcast on your favorite platform: YouTube, Acast, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play, Soundcloud, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Facebook, Twitter.
The New Normal – What to Expect When You Return to the Office
Spencer Evans
August 10, 2020
The New Normal – What to Expect When You Return to the Office
Each organization will develop its own policy weighing up the benefits of returning to work with employee safety.Many have announced indefinite remote policies until a vaccine becomes mainstream, others are waiting to follow the lead of government guidelines, and some are considering phased returns now as they put measures in place to prevent wide spread infection among their staff.This situation is unprecedented. No one can know for sure when working culture will be back to normal.When you return to the office, bear in mind that even with safety measures in place your colleagues will expect you to act in a way that keeps them (and you) healthy. Returning to in-person work does not mean you are returning to normal.You are unlikely to have the water fountain hangouts with your coworkers, or any big sit-down lunch breaks.It is likely that when you return to work, your employer will require you to wear a mask. Be generous to your employer, even if safety measures appear excessive, remember that they are liable for what happens in your office space and may have little control over the policy.To avoid trouble with your boss, keep multiple masks on you or around you at work. Do not risk losing it and having to return home or missing out on meetings because you are not welcome in the room.If you are the boss, you will be expected to set an example. Your staff will follow your lead. Make sure you communicate what's expected of your staff in order to avoid any unpleasant conflicts between members of your team later on.But probably the most important aspect to prepare for is the cultural difference you will see. Simple things like shaking hands and sharing an elevator may become awkward. People may not wish to share your office supplies and expect you to wipe down common areas, such as the printer area or kitchen, after use.The important thing to realize is that these precautions are not personal. Your employer puts them into place to keep their staff safe. Even if you think it's over the top, respect your company policies and co-workers' safety precautions. You do not know what is going on in someone else's personal life, so give them grace. They could be living with their grandparents or have a baby at home.Don't be offended by your colleague's extra caution, even if it seems excessive. Communication is key. Be polite and let people know what you expect from them. If you are nervous about a colleague's lack of care, talk to them. But do not be the office grandmother either. Your HR department is on hand should you need them.Everyone is excited to get back to normal. No one is enjoying this. If you communicate with colleagues and practice safe working practices, you can make returning to work a smooth process when the time comes.
3 Ways to Effectively Communicate with Your Boss
Spencer Evans
July 14, 2020
3 Ways to Effectively Communicate with Your Boss
Looking at my watch, I anxiously pace back and forth in the hall. I was supposed to talk to my boss 10 minutes ago, but I was too nervous. I planned to discuss innovative ways to improve the office. I was intimidated and unsure of myself, but I pushed on.Many people struggle with talking to their bosses. Whether discussing time off, salary, or problems at work, everyone has to deal with these conversations at some point. To help you succeed, let me share with you three of the best ways you can effectively communicate with your boss.1. Be confident and have a plan.This should be self-explanatory, but it needs to be said. If you go to talk to your boss, they can tell if you're not confident. When you communicate with your boss, you should be confident in your speech, body language, and demeanor.Easier said than done, so how exactly do you become more confident? The best way to achieve this is to produce a plan. Before you go into the meeting, plan what you are going to talk about. More importantly, consider possible responses to what your boss might say.For example, let's say you talk to your boss about taking some days off for vacation. Before going in, you should have an idea of how many days you want to take off, what you have done to earn the days off, and what you will complete before you leave. This plan allows you to walk in with exactly what you are going to discuss and how you will respond to questions. This makes you look confident and makes it easier for your boss to say yes.2. Be solution oriented.When you communicate with your boss, make sure the discussion is solution oriented. People don't like listening to others complain or rant about their problems. This is especially true with your boss, whose time is limited. But, good bosses are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of the business.If you find something that is time consuming or causes problems for staff, try to figure out a solution to the problem. Anyone can present problems. You're hired to find solutions.Going in with this mindset will serve you well. Your boss will not only take you more seriously as an employee if your solutions work, but they will see you as a future leader.3. Be honest and know when to say no.Your boss wants honesty. Honesty builds trust, which you'll need to earn. Don't be the person who lies under pressure, or takes on too much because you're afraid to say you're overworked. You'll be respected all the more for prioritizing correctly and knowing your own limitations.For example, John is a new employee who enjoys his job. But, this past week, he was taking on too many assignments, to the point where it was too much. He couldn't say no to his new coworkers and bosses, because he wanted to make them happy. But he was lagging, and people were starting to take notice.His new boss called him in for a meeting to discuss what exactly was going on. John, after walking in, immediately started complaining about how they were issuing him too much work. How he had only just started, and they were forcing everything on him. How everyone else didn't have nearly as much work as he did.Do you see any problems with this? I hope so, because this is the opposite of what should have happened.From the beginning, John should communicate with coworkers, explain his current workload priorities, and establish healthy boundaries. Failing that, he should go to his boss with a plan and establish realistic deadlines. That way, he and his boss can look at his current work and reprioritize. If John waits until it's gotten out of hand and he's overwhelmed, he's already made a bad impression.Final Thoughts…Talking to your boss can be extremely difficult and nerve-racking. But if you approach with honesty, present a confident plan, and show your boss you are solution-oriented, you'll do great. Each and every one of us will have to talk to a boss at some point in our lives. When the day comes to take action, you'll be well prepared.
3 Steps to Effectively Juggle Work and School
Spencer Evans
June 12, 2020
3 Steps to Effectively Juggle Work and School
Hearts pounding, anxiety going through the roof; the whole room went quiet as the final results came in. I was six months into the Louisiana Gubernatorial Election, and we were going into a highly contested primary. I had spent countless hours at the office and in the field doing everything I could to win this election for my candidate. All the while, I was taking 18 hours of college classes. I had my fair share of challenges along the way to manage my time and balance both a rigorous workload and the demands of college classes. Let me share with you the three steps I used to successfully balance both a 3.9 GPA and win a primary election.1. Be a Master of Your TimeTo be a master of your time doesn't mean you have a crazy calendar and have everything preplanned and written down. It just means you effectively use the time you have to your advantage. In the middle of work and school, you have a lot of things flying at you at once -- like assignments, due dates, and personal life. It can seem very hectic at times, but don't panic. Instead, prioritize what you must get done first, then go from there. Often, people get overwhelmed with how much they have to do. Instead, you can focus on what needs to be done and do it effectively. The best thing I did was set a timer for myself. This did two things for me. It allowed me to dedicate a certain period of time to one particular project, then once the time was up, switch to the next item. It also pushed me to get the most work done in that time. I created a competition for myself. 2. Turn Off Your PhoneThis one should seem self-explanatory, but it needs to be said. I don't know how many times at work or during a school assignment I would take a “break” on my phone and it turn into a 30-minute Twitter scroll. Nothing is more distracting than seeing a notification, and not being able to answer it.Instead, just turn off your phone. I would say, “I'm not turning it back on ‘till I am done with this work project or school assignment.” You will be surprised how much time you will save and how much more work you will get done.3. Communicate with your boss and professors Probably the most used relationship advice phrase ever is, “communication is key.” This couldn't be any closer to the truth. Having a good relationship with your boss and professors is very important. You need to communicate with your boss often in order to establish that connection with them. A great way to establish that connection, is to prioritize their time. I'll give you an example. Let's say you have a school assignment due next week and you know it'll take a good chunk of your time to complete. Instead of telling your boss the week of, tell him, “Boss, I have a big school project coming up and it's going to take a lot of time. Is there anything I can do for you early, so I can have more time later in the week?” They love this, because it shows you care about their time and getting your work done. Likewise, the same goes for professors. They will appreciate you communicating with them, and you'll be surprised on how many professors will give you the homework early or give you an extended due date. Final Thoughts…Managing both a job and school is very tough; it is not for the faint hearted. You'll have to make many sacrifices to effectively get everything done. You have actively taken the first step in balancing your job and education. If you incorporate these small steps into your daily life, you will be well on your way to success.
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