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
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.
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
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.
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.
Dealing with Stress in the Workplace | Lead Your Future Episode 5
Chris O'Neil
June 11, 2020
Dealing with Stress in the Workplace | Lead Your Future Episode 5
Do you ever struggle to stay focused? Does your to-do list ever look overwhelming? If so, you're far from alone. According to the American Psychological Association in 2017, more than 60% of Americans cite work as the highest source of stress in their lives.Stress can be a serious barrier to your progress in the workplace and life in general. Your health suffers, your productivity slips, and your happiness falls with everything else. Job stress is a set of harmful physical and psychological responses that can occur when the requirements of the job do not match your capabilities, resources, or needs. While it can manifest in many ways, the most common you'll recognize are inability to stay focused, inability to meet expectations, and money. It can often feel like a constant battle.But don't be discouraged! Your stress is not going to win. The Leadership Institute's Lead Your Future podcast addresses your stress in Episode 5.Here, you'll find three steps to reduce your stress.1. The Nose MethodDon't look further into the future than the end of your nose. Thinking about the future compounds stress, even if it's only 5 minutes in the future. “Taking the burden of the future and dumping it on today, makes today unnecessarily heavier.” “The future of our nation” is cited as the most common stressor in America today, according to the American Psychological Association.2. Replace ExpectationsOften, you and I can treat valuable ideals like being confident, relaxed, respected, or reciprocated as expectations. In cognitive behavioral therapy, they call this “shoulds” and “musts”. This phenomenon can be a serious source of stress, and when we expect them, we are not being fair to others or ourselves. Not only will you be happier, but also more likely to achieve them when you treat ideals in a much healthier way.3. AwarenessCognitive Clinician, Alicia Anderson, explains how being aware of your stressors is one of the most vital steps in solving them. There is even healthy, beneficial stress called eustress. Increasing your own self-awareness can help you make the most of it. The more self-aware you are, the more this enables you to get help when you really need it. Stress is corrosive. It damages your relationships, physical health, and even compromises your immune system and cognitive functions. Don't be discouraged though! With the right methods, you can overcome it.Listen to Episode 5 of the Lead Your Future Podcast to hear more about these tips from a cognitive behavioral expert. 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.
New Lead Your Future Podcast
Christopher Olson
April 6, 2020
New Lead Your Future Podcast
Take the next step to take control of your future and achieve your goals with Leadership Institute's newest podcast series Lead Your Future.The Leadership Institute offers 47 different types of in-person and online trainings, and now you have another way to sharpen your skills while on the go, in your car, or from the comfort of your couch.Throughout the Lead Your Future series, you will learn the tips and tricks to up your career game.Plus, get exclusive content with experts from the conservative movement. These experts will offer their best practices and advice to equip you for your future.LI has already released the first three episodes for you to listen to and share with your friends, family, and fellow conservatives in the movement.Episode One – Business CardsBen Woodward of LI's Career Programs gives advice on all things involving Business Cards in this podcast. You'll learn about design, how to most effectively use your business card at your next networking event, and how to properly follow up with new contacts. Episode Two – Your Personal BrandStephen Rowe, Deputy Director of Digital Training at the Leadership Institute will give you the details on personal branding. You'll learn WHAT a personal brand is, WHY you should have one, and HOW to start building your own.Episode Three - How to be Productive Working from HomeAbigail Alger, Director of Digital Training at the Leadership Institute, talks through working from home. Working from home does not have to be a challenge. Two-thirds of managers report that employees who work from home increase their overall productivity. Learn from this advice how to be one of those high-performing employees.If you want to take the next step in taking control of your future, then the Lead Your Future podcast is just for you!Click here to listen and follow the Lead Your Future Podcast on your favorite platform: YouTube, Acast, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Sound Cloud, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher.
The Power of Campus Clubs
Christopher Olson
February 6, 2020
The Power of Campus Clubs
What happens on high school and college campuses today happens in Congress tomorrow. How does that make you feel?In a recent interview with the Leadership Institute, Representative David Schweikert of Arizona described his introduction into politics by joining a conservative group on campus, as well as his relationship with the Leadership Institute and Morton Blackwell.Rep. Schweikert, an elected member of the U.S. Congress, described his coming into politics as an “accident”. “In my high school, there was a Teenage Republicans Club, and I ended up accidently at one of the club meetings. The next thing I knew, I was the club treasurer.”That club membership “demystified” politics, he says, “and made it accessible. So, I ran for the state legislature my first time, when I was 26 years old.”I too accidentally found politics by engaging with Turning Point USA. Rep. Schweikert and I are not alone in this matter. A large percentage of my colleagues here at the Leadership Institute have similar stories and were engaged with the conservative groups on their campuses.From my time as a Field Representative with LI, I can tell you first-hand the chaos that is the modern-day college campus.Those of us engaged in politics know how crazy many campuses have become. They are now a breeding ground for socialism and leftism, without any regard for debate.As a result, many conservative organizations are now organizing on college campuses. These organizations, like the Leadership Institute, organize students and educate them on conservative principles such as free speech, free markets, and limited government.These conservative organizations offer an opportunity for students to be introduced to politics and conservative principles. They bring the battle of ideas straight to the students.Representative David Schweikert served in the Arizona House of Representatives for 4 years and is currently serving his 5thterm in the United States House of Representatives, representing Arizona's 6thCongressional District. He currently sits on the Ways and Means Committee and is the Senior House Republican Member on the Joint Economic Committee. Rep. Schweikert has also been a member of the House Freedom Caucus since its inception in 2015 and The Heritage Foundation gives him a generous 98% conservative approval rating based on his time in congress. Rep. Schweikert even helped teach some of Leadership Institute's trainings before he was an elected member of Congress.What happens on campuses today, happens in Congress tomorrow. How are you and I stacking up in the fight for our futures? Conservatives cannot afford to stay out of this battle.Click here to watch the full interview with Rep. David Schweikert.
What Makes a Great Intern Program?
Gen Sanchez and Ben Woodward
July 5, 2019
What Makes a Great Intern Program?
For every young politico, interning in Washington, D.C. is a dream come true. It is the opportunity to live and work in the heart of political activity.Luckily, there are many internship programs from which to choose. In particular, the summer internship programs offer the most choice not just professionally, but also socially, as D.C. comes to life with social and cultural events.For recruiters, finding interns is not difficult; but to attract the very best talent, organizations must compete. While payment is important in exchange for hard work, many interns understand it is not always possible to pay a living wage. It's not often money that motives the best talent to apply, it's the following.NetworkingThis is probably the most beneficial part of an internship. If interns are not going to happy hours, conferences, and policy luncheons at least once a week, they have wasted their time. The connections interns make are critical for their future success. Ensure that you provide interns with the time and the knowledge to make good contacts.via GIPHYOpportunity for GrowthAt the Leadership Institute, one or two interns from each class are commonly hired as full-time staff. This incentivizes interns to perform their best and shows their hard work does pay off. This is great for recent graduates or upcoming seniors still unsure of their next step after college.HousingFor many interns, affordable housing is the difference between coming out to D.C. or not. Organizations like Leadership Institute offer free housing, and George Washington University opens its dorms. As an organization, work with your interns to ensure they know what is available.via GIPHYGiving critical feedbackThis is crucial to the success of your interns. Aspiring professionals should to be taught how to see their projects through to completion, and then taught how to improve. Organizations do their interns no favors by treating them with kid gloves. Make sure your intern knows their weaknesses, so they walk away from your organization stronger.A positive work environmentNobody wants to work in a place where their work or is not valued. Remember, your intern today is your colleague or coalition partner tomorrow. When they're working for your organization you enjoy a close relationship; their time interning with you will affect how they work with you in future.via GIPHY
Leadership Institute Trained 14,687 in 2018
Carol Wehe Cocks
January 2, 2019
Leadership Institute Trained 14,687 in 2018
The Leadership Institute (LI) celebrated the close of 2018 with 14,687 trained. Since 1979, LI has trained 209,074 students.In 2018, LI trained its 200,000th student at a Youth Leadership School held at LI's Steven P.J. Wood Building in Arlington, VA.Seventy-nine percent of LI's 2018 students were trained outside LI's headquarters. The Institute conducted training programs in 43 states. Leadership Institute graduates serving in the 116th Congress include three U.S. Senators and 26 members of the House of Representatives. LI's Campus Leadership Program finished 2018 with 2,111 active conservative student groups. 52 of these groups were student publications. LI's Campus Reform Online attracted 4,733,130 unique visitors and received 11.9 million page views in 2018 compared to 11.7 Million page views in all of 2017, 10.2 million page views in all of 2016, 5.7 million page views in all of 2015, 4.6 million page views in all of 2014, 5.8 million page views in all of 2013, and 2.8 million page views in all of 2012.CampusReform.org students, staff, and stories were featured 476 times on local and national television programs in 2018 compared to 216 placements in all of 2017.The Campus Reform Campus Correspondent Program published stories by 104 student journalists. Campus Correspondents investigate and report on liberal bias, abuse, and indoctrination on college campuses nationwide. The Institute looks forward to its 40th anniversary in 2019.For a full report of Leadership Institute's 2018 successes, click here.
Pros and Cons of Full-Time School and Work
Matthew Patterson
October 29, 2018
Pros and Cons of Full-Time School and Work
“Do I work or go to college?” Most of us ask that tough question of ourselves at some point. However, there is a third option -- do both!via GIPHYNot many people pick this route, and for good reason. However, some people either don't have a choice or it becomes the preferred option with the increased financial support. Here are some benefits and costs of being a full-time employee and student you should consider:Pro: You will get a head start on other graduates! Many people wait to get started in their career or gain experience until after they graduate, and this can prevent them from achieving their desired job right away. Most employers look for both education and work experience.via GIPHYCon: A full-time school schedule and full-time workweek require good time management, especially when simultaneous. It can be a daunting task to find time to do all your school work while maintaining your work ethic on the job, which can lead to undue stress. Pro: Time Management! Once you get it down it can be one of your most valuable assets. Time management is one of the most fundamental and productive skills you can master, and nothing will do it like taking on two full-time obligations.via GIPHYCon: With papers, work projects, and assignments piling up, something will have to give and it's often your social life. This doesn't mean you won't be able to go out and have fun; you will have to put those time management skills to work and find time to cut loose!via GIPHYPro: You will have unique experience. Not many people work and go to school full time. As Robert Frost said, taking the road less travelled makes all the difference. When you are applying to your next job, being able to handle all this work will make you stand out as a motivated multitasker!Con: In the same way it's difficult to find time to go out and have fun, you can also find it difficult to cook a healthy meal or go to the gym. With proper planning and a 24-hour gym nothing is impossible, but it will take a bit more dedication than it would otherwise!As someone who chose to pursue a career and school at the same time, I can say for myself the pros far outweigh the cons. While I occasionally miss going out with my friends or sleeping in after a long day, the payoff is more than worth the temporary lack of comfort.via GIPHY
Conservative on a Budget
Carmen Diaz
June 25, 2018
Conservative on a Budget
When you seek out a new job or internship, it's important to find a position that will value your time, education, and experience. While it never hurts to practice your negotiation skills, many people new to the workforce fail to realize it's not how much you make, it's how much you keep.Budgeting is often a foreign concept to students and young professionals, who mistakenly think money management requires either an accountant or mathematician. Today, resources for all levels of financial education are available, and I suggest you discover a method that is realistic and suitable for you. via GIPHY Here are three easy ways to manage your budget.Grab a calculator, and recall a conservative's favorite word: F.R.E.E.Fun (15%)For the sake of our own sanity, we all want to use our salary for fun. You work hard, and you deserve to indulge yourself. Remember, part of a successful internship is to enjoy your experience in a new city. Just be smart about it; an intern salary can disappear quickly.Return (5-10%)Set aside 5-10% of your income to “Return”, or give back, to your community. Give to your church, or find a cause personally significant to you. Within the conservative movement alone, there are countless foundations whose efforts rely on generous donors.Emergency (10%)10% of your earnings should be placed in a savings account, investment fund, or used to pay off existing debt. If your car suddenly needs a repair or you have a medical emergency, you will be grateful to have a fund readily available.Essential (65-70%)Calculate 65-70% of your monthly income to cover all your “Essential” expenses. Presumably, the majority of your income will go towards your groceries, housing, transportation, phone bill, etc. Acknowledge your financial weaknesses, and determine how to overcome them.Figure out how much those daily coffeehouse visits, lunches, dinners, etc. are costing you, and identify ways you can save money.Prepare your meals the day before; learn to love the office coffee; and find free events where food is served. Perhaps your comrades influence your lavish spending. Communication is key; inform your peers about your new habits and you should not only gain their respect, but may also encourage them to establish wise spending habits of their own.via GIPHY Create separate bank accounts for separate purposes.I recommend you have at least three separate bank accounts. At the beginning of each month, calculate your expenses i.e. food, rent, bills, and more. Remember, most of the money in your account has already been spent on essentials, so make sure your current account is an accurate portrayal of your spare income.Place 10% of your overall income into a separate savings account you can use later. You'll be glad it's there when an unexpected expense arise or you need a vacation. You third and final account is your current account, the money you really have left to spend on yourself this month. Start to develop responsible spending habits now to prepare your future self for any possible circumstance. No matter how impressive your income is, you'll find yourself financially struggling if you spend irresponsibly and don't keep track of where your hard-earned cash is going! Wise money management can determine your financial future as much as your income, so remember conservatives, live F.R.E.Evia GIPHY
Fighting for Free Speech -- One Campus at a Time
Abbey Lee
June 15, 2018
Fighting for Free Speech -- One Campus at a Time
Free speech on campus has been an issue growing in prominence over the last decade. University administrations shut down conservative speech and apply safe spaces and speech codes banning phrases like “third world,” “thug,” and “politically correct.” A politically correct list of words that bans the phrase “politically correct...” With the Leadership Institute's (LI) efforts to help conservative students on campus both with the Campus Leadership Program and Campus Reform, both LI staff members and attendees of the June Wednesday Wake-up Club Breakfast were more than ready to hear the perspective of a conservative professor, Dr. John McAdams. John is a professor at Marquette University in Wisconsin where he teaches American Politics, Public Opinion, and Voter Behavior. That experience has given him a front row seat to the rapidly changing culture on college campuses. From banned words to safe spaces, John has been progressively more and more shocked by the suppression of ideas by his colleagues all over the country. Though he is behind enemy lines, so to speak, John has not been left out of the discrimination against conservative speech on campus. Marquette University itself has policies against verbal conduct that creates any harm or mental discomfort. “Isn't a college education supposed to create some mental discomfort?” he exclaimed.He offered some insight into the origins of liberal bias in higher education. John says it began in the 1960's, with fascism making itself a significant presence on campuses. It became acceptable for liberal students and teachers to yell at conservatives and occupy buildings, not allowing them to host events. Some of these leftist activists happened to pursue careers in education and began imposing their political beliefs on young students who often lack the real world experience to refute their professors' faulty logic. Though it's uplifting to know there are a few professors out there like Dr. John McAdams, the fact that Americans are fighting to protect our free speech on campuses across the country is truly shocking. The first amendment already protects our free speech. As engaged conservatives and libertarians, it's my responsibility and yours to take action for the next generations and do what we can to restore this right on college campuses. You can view the archived video of this speech on facebook.To hear more about the urgent issues you and I face as conservatives and libertarians, come to the Leadership Institute's next Wednesday Wake-up Club Breakfast on August 1st. We'll hear from Larry Pratt, Executive Director Emeritus of Gun Owners of America.
Negotiate the Salary You Deserve
Ben Woodward
April 30, 2018
Negotiate the Salary You Deserve
Salary negotiation is among the most awkward topics of conversation to have with your boss or potential employer. Salary is a taboo subject, something to be kept private. The only problem is, when we are so used to avoiding it, we get out of practice when the topic emerges. Most would rather accept the first offer for fear of seeing a job offer or promotion withdrawn. However, negotiating your salary is important, not only to ensure you get the best compensation for your skills but also to set the trajectory for future raises. Remember, each increase in your salary is based on the previous number, meaning any raise you negotiate will benefit your career forever. via GIPHYHere are eight tips for a successful salary negotiation.1. Salary negotiation typically happens during a job offer or review.Your potential boss should begin the negotiation process when they offer you the job. At that point, they will offer you a number, and you will make a counter offer. Remember, you can also ask for a raise during a six month or annual review. If your boss doesn't automatically offer a review after an agreed amount of time, don't be afraid to request one. 2. There's more to consider about a job offer than money.When finding a new job, remember money is not the only factor to deliberate. You should consider whom you‘d be working for, your career trajectory, and how challenged you'll feel in the job. There is no sense in taking a well-paying job if your career stagnates after a couple of years because there is no room for growth. 3. You can negotiate outside of your salary.Even if your boss cannot budge on pay, you can negotiate elsewhere. For example, perhaps there is an option for a signing bonus, more vacation time, increased retirement contributions, or they can pay for skills training. 4. Do your research before going into the negotiation.Before going into negotiation, you should equip yourself with adequate knowledge so you can make reasonable requests. Look carefully at the sector you'll be working in; non-profits pay less than the private sector and campaigns pay less than non-profits. Also, carefully consider where you'll be living and the costs associated, as well as the size of the organization and the market value of your skills. via GIPHY5. Know where to look.To understand the salary you should be negotiating, there are many resources available to you. For jobs in the government or on Capitol Hill, sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other public records can be helpful. Other sites like Glassdoor and Payscale.com are great for the private sector and non-profit jobs, and 990's are useful for non-profits too. Also, if you feel comfortable, have a conversation with your network. 6. Don't say a specific number, give a range.When you are asked about your salary requirements, give a range rather than a specific number. Remember, it's a negotiation, not a demand. If you're hoping for $50k per year, I recommend you say you would like to make $48k - $55k. If they can't meet your minimum, don't forget, you can negotiate other benefits. 7. Don't accept the first offer they give you; ask for time to consider.If you're nervous about the negotiation process, thank them for the offer and ask for a day/the weekend to think about it. When you speak with them the next day, be ready with your counter offer. Remember, when you're making your counter offer to emphasize your value, not why you need more money. 8. Stay positive and respectful.Remember to keep the negotiation civil. Consistently highlight your interest in the position and your excitement at the prospect of working there. Remember, you are going to have to work for this person after the negotiation is over. Finally, salary negotiations are awkward, but if you handle them correctly, you will come away with a better employment deal, which will continue to benefit your career for years to come.via GIPHY
Leadership Institute Program Catalog
Leadership Institute
January 16, 2018
Leadership Institute Program Catalog
The Leadership Institute increases the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. To accomplish this, LI identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media.LI's Program Catalog, available for you to view here, gives you a 41 page overview of Leadership Institute programs, including:- Campus leadership,- Campus journalism,- Career services,- 47 types of training schools,- International training, and- Online training and resources.
Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Shaped America, From Jefferson to Reagan
Morton C Blackwell
January 1, 2018
Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Shaped America, From Jefferson to Reagan
<< Download the full PDF here >>Dear Fellow Conservative,You and I are probably exceptions. Most people today have little understanding of America's founding principles of limited government or of how great American political leaders have devoted their lives throughout our history to defend those principles. Where can people learn about the heritage that made and kept our country great? Certainly not in most schools. Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Shaped America, From Jefferson to Reagan by Garland Tucker III tells readers exciting stories of conservatives from America's founding to the modern era. All were dedicated to the principles of limited government. At no cost to you, I have arranged for you to have online access to this outstanding book that tracks consistent conservative themes throughout American history and shows how fourteen outstanding leaders applied their philosophy through their political activities. The book in PDF form is without cost to you. << Download the full PDF here >> Like me, you may prefer to read physical books, but also like me, you can sometimes read interesting and useful books online. I knew that more people would read it online right now if I could distribute it at no cost. If you wish to own a Kindle or hard copy of the book, you can order either version from Amazon here.Garland Tucker, a successful businessman who is a deeply read student of history, tells the stories of fourteen leaders from Jefferson to Reagan. Some are famous; others are important but hardly remembered at all.You probably know other conservatives who share your interest in conservative principles. If so, please forward to them my no-cost offer of this highly educational, 202-page book.Cordially,Morton BlackwellPresidentThe Leadership Institute P.S. If some friends or other people you know should learn more about conservative heroes, please send them this PDF. Or order a copy for them here.
Merry Christmas from the Leadership Institute!
Leadership Institute
December 25, 2017
Merry Christmas from the Leadership Institute!
0 ) { // show alert() message _CF_onErrorAlert(_CF_error_messages); // set focus to first form error, if the field supports js focus(). if( _CF_this[_CF_FirstErrorField].type == "text" ) { _CF_this[_CF_FirstErrorField].focus(); } } return false; }else { return true; } } //-->Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Leadership Institute. Thank you for your support as we work together to train conservatives to win in 2018 and beyond!!
Your internship is ending, make a lasting impression!
Kate Lipman
December 6, 2017
Your internship is ending, make a lasting impression!
There's a lot to be said about a first impression, but what about a last impression?For many of us who have a full-time job, the run up to Christmas is a wind-down period. For interns coming to the end of their semester, it's a time to solidify the strong reputation you have worked hard to build.Instead of focusing on the impending Christmas break, use these last couple of weeks to impress your supervisors. You never know when a vacancy will emerge or you need a reference.Here are some ways you can make a strong last impression.Ask for a final evaluationThis shows your boss you invest in your personal growth, and care about your work performance.The evaluation itself will also be very helpful for you professionally; it's a chance to hear what you do well and where you can improve in future. You can then take this knowledge to your next opportunity and improve any issues your boss addresses.via GIPHYComplete outstanding projectsJust because your time at your organization is coming to a close does not mean you should let your projects go unfinished.If you fail to finish your outstanding projects before your internship ends, you will leave a bad impression, and your boss won't thank you for the extra work. By completing those projects, you show your boss you are committed to your responsibilities as an intern.via GIPHYUtilize all opportunities at your organizationAt LI, all interns have access to free trainings. While they continue to enjoy this privilege for a year after their internship, some move home and can't take advantage of the opportunity. The smart interns go to as many trainings as they can in the last few weeks.If your organization offers similar perks -- holds events, meetings, visits -- take advantage of the opportunity now. It's a lot harder to do when you're not around.NetworkFollowing from the last tip, networking is the best opportunity you have during an internship.When you're out of sight, you're out of mind. It's far easier to build relationships when you're physically in the same city, so figure out who you want to stay in contact with after the internship and arrange one last meeting.Also look at whom you have not yet had an opportunity to meet within your organization and organize a lunch or coffee. While the department you interned in may not be hiring, another department could.Once you are confident in your relationships within your organization, look outside at the last few networking events and meet people at the organizations you hope to work for next.Thank youMake sure you take an opportunity to thank the people who have helped you during your internship. Writing personal cards to colleagues, in particular your supervisor, intern coordinator, department head, and President, is the best way to show appreciation for their efforts in your career.via GIPHYLastlyCongratulations on completing your internship! Enjoy your well-earned Christmas break and if LI can be of assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out at resumes@leadershipinstitute.org.>
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