Social Conservatives “must win in politics”
Abbey Lee
October 25, 2017
Social Conservatives “must win in politics”
“Politics is a shaping part of culture. It's where we determine what's good, what's true, what's just, what's right, what's moral, and it's where we determine what's beyond the pale and acceptable.” On October 4, Terry Schilling visited the members of the Leadership Institute's Wednesday Wake-up Club Breakfast to speak frankly about progress in the social conservative movement. Terry, the Executive Director of the American Principles Project, has worked in many areas of the nonprofit world, including communications, development, and grassroots. An Illinois native, he has worked with several state and local candidates, among them his father, Rep. Bobby Schilling. Addressing the attendees, he spoke from experience in the work he has dedicated to the cause. He has witnessed how abortion has become more and more acceptable in American culture simply because it has been made legal. Terry urges those who stand for traditional, conservative values to support and invest in those causes. “Social conservatives are in danger of losing everything, and it's because we've abdicated our duty and responsibility to invest in politics,” Terry said. For too long, the right has merely defended themselves against attacks from the left. Social conservatives must do more than educate themselves and vote. It is their duty to play offense and invest in the future of the conservative movement to maintain the traditional values held dear. He parts with impactful words, saying, “Not only can we win, but we must win in politics because the future of America depends on it.” Leadership Institute's Wednesday Wake-up Club Breakfast hosts conservative speakers and attendees for breakfast on the first Wednesday of each month. To become a breakfast club member, visit this link.
Your elevator pitch -- 20 seconds to make an impression
Kate Lipman
October 16, 2017
Your elevator pitch -- 20 seconds to make an impression
Picture the scenario; you are an intern or junior staffer in the elevator of your work building, and a Vice President walks in… what do you do? Do you burst into tears, fall on your knees and beg for a job? Or do you seize the moment and deliver your elevator pitch? This brief but persuasive 20-second pitch is your chance to engage a potential employer in conversation in a confident but respectful way. By using this opportunity correctly, you can make a strong impression and turn them into a lasting connection. Here are some tips for your elevator pitch. Be natural. If you try to hero worship them, they won't take you seriously. Likewise, if you deliver the speech like you've been practicing it in the mirror, they won't take you seriously. Be respectful but confident. If you want a job working for them somewhere down the line, you have to earn their respect. A great way to do this is to bring up a topic of mutual interest. Perhaps you saw them speak, or read one of their articles. Draw from that to start a conversation. Instead of “Wow it's amazing to meet you, I'm a huge fan of… and I've always wanted to work there.” Try “Hi… my name is… and I work at… I attended your recent talk on… and you made some really interesting points.” Don't ask them for anything. Most executives are experienced enough to separate those legitimately interested in them and their organizations from the users simply trying to find their next job or promotion. Just like with any networking opportunity, the goal is to establish a relationship and then you can work on turning them into a connection. Be genuine and show a legitimate interest in them. By getting their business card, you can follow up and ask them for coffee later. Instead of: “I saw that there's a vacancy at… I'd like to apply; would you give the recruiter my resume?” Try: “How did you come to work in…? I am interested in pursuing a career in this field and would value any advice you have.” Let them talk. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. By letting someone talk about himself or herself, you are demonstrating a legitimate interest in them and allowing the conversation to flow naturally rather than simply pitching yourself. The disadvantage of this can be that by letting them do all the talking, you don't get the chance to impress. Try to establish a connection with what they're saying and something you have accomplished. For example, if they talk about public policy, try to contribute to the conversation and offer an informed opinion. Instead of: “That's interesting… yes… I understand.” Try: “That's a good point; I have recently been working on a similar project to…” Swap business cards and follow up. If possible, you should aim to swap business cards at the end of the conversation. Remember, it is more important to get their business card than it is to give them yours. By getting their card, you give yourself the opportunity to follow up and turn a chance encounter into a real connection. Instead of: “Here is my business card, if you're free for coffee sometime I'd love to learn more.” Try: “Do you have a business card on you? I would be very interested to follow up with you can continue this conversation at your convenience.” When chance encounters occur with your role models, it can be a daunting experience. If you show confidence, sell yourself, and show a legitimate interest, you will be able to use the opportunity to secure a lasting connection.
Learning to Manage Expectations
Ben Woodward
October 2, 2017
Learning to Manage Expectations
If you're guilty of being a people pleaser, it can be very tempting to overpromise in the workplace. Whether it's your colleagues, boss, or clients, you don't want to admit to yourself or others that you are balancing too many responsibilities. In the workplace, under promise and over deliver. By overpromising, you heighten people's expectations to unrealistic levels, meaning that even significant accomplishments do not appear as such. However, by managing people's expectations, you can ensure that when you do succeed at a task, your work gets the appreciation it deserves. Here are a few tips to help manage expectations: Take time to strategize Before you make any promises, make sure you look ahead to determine where the roadblocks will be and how you plan to overcome them. Be honest with yourself about how long it will take to accomplish. This will affect the results you can expect to achieve and how long you expect it to take. Also, carefully examine the urgency of the task. Work is a constant battle of priorities, so make sure your other tasks are not suffering because you have over-promised. By strategizing, you may find ways that you can exceed the expectations you have set, either by completing the task promptly or to a higher standard. Be honest and communicate Keep people in the loop about the progress of your work. If a client or your boss is expecting something and you know it is not achievable within the given period, explain the situation rather than disappointing them. It may be more pressing tasks push back your deadline. If that is the case, do not wait until you are asked for an update, contact the stakeholders and reset their expectations. Don't be afraid to say no Ultimately, your boss's projects and those of your clients will always come first. It can be very easy, especially if you like your work colleagues, to promise assistance even if you do not have time. Having a reputation in the office for being a team player is important, but it should not come at the expense of your responsibilities. When you have to say no to people, say no and explain why you cannot take on any more responsibilities. Ask for help If you're struggling to meet the expectations of your current project, don't be afraid to go to your boss. Just make sure you are in a position to present a solution to the problem at hand. It may be your boss agrees your solution is the best, or they may suggest something else. By keeping your boss in the loop they will know what to expect from you. However, if you don't, they will assume you can complete the task unaided. By managing expectations, you put yourself in the driver's seat on any given project and ensure the work you're doing is fully appreciated.
Christian Libertarian Environmentalist Capitalist Lunatic Farmer Fights Big Gov't
Abbey Lee
September 21, 2017
Christian Libertarian Environmentalist Capitalist Lunatic Farmer Fights Big Gov't
The first Wednesday of September, conservatives from all backgrounds gathered to hear Joel Salatin. Joel, a self-proclaimed Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer, offered a refreshing perspective at the September Wednesday Wake-up Club Breakfast. He shared stories about his own issues with government intervention as a small-scale Virginia farmer. “Food, the water we drink, and the air we breathe are in common.” Often, conservatives and libertarians focus on individualism, but Joel, co-owner of Polyface Farm, argues that food freedom and the danger of government intervention in small farms and businesses is of concern to us all. He shared one story about a time when friends and neighbors urged Joel to create and sell what he called “Polyface hot pockets” or meat pies made from livestock on his farm. When the inspectors discovered he didn't have a bathroom in the industrial kitchen designed to make the hot pockets, he was told he couldn't sell them at all. Joel explains, “Whenever a regulatory context is prejudicial against ‘small,' it is a bad regulation.” He has a product, and consumers who are willing to buy the product, but government regulations halt progress in its tracks by forcing him -- a small business owner -- to build a $30,000 bathroom. Joel witnesses firsthand how regulations discourage entrepreneurial spirit and keep consumer-desired products out of the market. Watch Joel's entire talk here and join us at our next breakfast with Terry Schilling, the executive director of American Principles Project, on October 4.
Caught Between a Job Offer and a Job Offer!
Ben Woodward
September 18, 2017
Caught Between a Job Offer and a Job Offer!
If you're searching for a job and finding the process difficult, I'm willing to bet that the prospect of competing job offers would be a dream come true. Let's be honest, it's hardly a bad situation to find yourself in. When the situation arose for me, I regret how I handled it. Fresh out of university, I was desperate to get a job in the UK Parliament. When I successfully got to the final round of interviews I was excited. My instincts told me the interview had been a big success. We even bonded over our mutual love of F1 racing. After being told to expect a decision within a week, I was contacted at the same time by a friend offering me a different opportunity. With my heart set on Parliament, I waited. Four weeks later I received the dreaded email telling me that I had been unsuccessful. The alternative opportunity my friend had sent me was now being advertised. Thankfully I got the job. But I made a bad first impression by failing to be honest and talk to both parties. Here is what you should do if you're ever caught in this position. Get yourself a written job offer. The job offer is not technically made until it's formally written out. If you're given a verbal job offer, thank them and tell them how excited you are at the prospect of working for them. Then ask them to put the offer in an email. Explain the situation. Once you have the written offer, be honest. Tell them that you are very excited about the opportunity but that you have another interview scheduled and would like time to weigh up your options. If they tell you they need an answer urgently then you'll have to decide whether it is worth the risk. My advice is to take the job offer if it's an opportunity you think you would still enjoy and benefit from. If you have more time, explain the situation to your other potential employer. You may find that the interview for the next job helps make your decision before you have to discuss other offers. You will likely get a sense of your success, whether the organization is somewhere you want to work, and whether you think the other offer provides a better opportunity. If you find that your instincts were right, and you do want to work at the second organization, tell them. At the end of your interview, be honest and explain that they are your preferred choice however you have another offer pending and see whether they can commit to a decision in a shorter amount of time. One last thing... It's not an easy situation to find yourself in. Ultimately, you will have to decide whether the risk is worth compromising your current offer. By taking these steps and being honest and respectful to the competing employers, you can help mitigate the risks and hopefully give yourself the time you need to secure both offers.
Dr. William Murphy -- When LI Grads Succeed, Conservatism Succeeds
Ben Woodward
August 23, 2017
Dr. William Murphy -- When LI Grads Succeed, Conservatism Succeeds
Often in politics, there are doers, and there are thinkers. The doers knock on doors, build organizations, and lobby for their movement. The thinkers research and compose policy proposals; they're academics who shape the way we see the world. Both are assets to the conservative movement, and both are necessary to succeed. Dr. William Murphy encompasses both qualities. A Professor at the New England Institute of Technology, Dr. Murphy specializes in U.S. foreign policy and national security. He is a veteran, Harvard graduate, former President at Peak Performance Technology Partners, and was Finance Director at Bateman for Congress in 1992 where he first met Leadership Institute President, Morton Blackwell. But it's his next project that's potentially his most exciting yet! After discussing his plans with Morton, Dr. Murphy intends to establish an advocacy based organization which will campaign to make Congress more efficient at requesting information from the executive branch. Good Government Now will promote four key proposals for strengthening legislative oversight and investigative capabilities: Rule of information requests and subpoenas, create inherent contempt enforcement procedures, resurrect and reinvigorate criminal contempt enforcement, and increase civil contempt enforcement statute. Dr. Murphy says that the Leadership Institute has been invaluable in his career. Not only through the skills he has learned in the many trainings he attended, such as LI's Television and Digital Communications Workshops, and Fundraising Training, but also because he can network with LI's expert faculty who have provided him with the guidance to succeed. “I have benefitted immeasurably from LI's outstanding training programs. LI's presidential transition support operations, as well as the excellent coaching and career services it offers, are invaluable resources." Besides the army, Dr. Murphy says that there is no organization he feels such loyalty for than LI. “Everyone there is unselfish and dedicated to the cause,” he said. The Leadership Institute is proud to call Dr. William Murphy a graduate. Countless successes have been won by the Leadership Institute's 189,476 graduates. Some have been elected to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, others work for the Administration, lead nonprofits, and are winning for conservatism across the world. When LI graduates succeed, the conservative movement succeeds. Leadership Institute offers more than 47 types of training programs, works with more than 1,878 conservative student groups, and helps employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 189,476 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders.
Dress for Success
Annamarie Rienzi
August 14, 2017
Dress for Success
On Monday, August 7, more than 30 women came to the Leadership Institute (LI) to network, shop, and learn how to dress for success. Partnering with the Independent Women's Forum and the Ladies of Liberty Alliance, LI gathered enough professional clothing for each attendee to take home at least one outfit. In addition, attendees heard from Sonya Gavankar, former Miss D.C., and multimedia host and content creator. Her lecture was filled with great tips and tricks to help young ladies navigate professional fashion without being overwhelmed. She broke down a lot of misconceptions about office fashion choices and entertained the audience with her anecdotes. Here are three key lessons learned about professional dressing for women. Be honest with yourself about what looks good on you. Sometimes what you think looks good may not, in fact, be the most flattering. Wearing tight clothes runs the risk of not being taken seriously in the workplace. Whereas wearing baggy clothes runs the risk of looking sloppy. You should find clothes which are work appropriate and also give you confidence. While shopping, surround yourself with friends who are honest and frank with you. Take turns trying on new work outfits and giving feedback. You don't have to sacrifice personal style to look professional. As long as your clothes are work appropriate, certain liberties can be taken to tailor clothes to your style. An excellent example of this is to dress professionally but look for ways to incorporate a splash of color into your outfit. This may be an accessory or wearing a brightly colored jacket. Don't dress for work how you'd dress for the weekend. Dress codes are more relaxed at organizations than they used to be, which means there's some ambiguity about what women can wear. Because you never know when a meeting may be sprung on you, make sure you don't overstep the boundary between smart casual and casual. If in doubt, look for a female executive at your organization who you admire, and who dresses well. Use her for inspiration. Attendees were grateful to hear Gavankar's advice. They were especially thankful for her time as she stayed during the “shopping” period and reviewed the ladies' outfit choices as they tried on clothes. The unclaimed clothes were donated to the not-for-profit organization, Dress for Success, which provides professional development and attire to women.
Celebrate Independence Day with LI at the National Fourth of July Conservative Soirée
Carol Wehe
July 3, 2017
Celebrate Independence Day with LI at the National Fourth of July Conservative Soirée
Since 1972, conservatives have celebrated Independence Day at the National Fourth of July Conservative Soirée. Join the Leadership Institute and other sponsoring conservative organizations for the 46th annual Soirée — the best family party of the year! Enjoy delicious , live bluegrass music, a patriotic program, and fun for the kids. Who: Dick Black, Nicolee Ambrose, and other conservatives like you! What: Barbeque, bluegrass music, patriotic program, and fun for the kids When: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 | 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Where: Bull Run Regional Park Pavilion, Centreville, VA Bring a side dish to share. It's Soirée tradition! RSVP today to receive your FREE ticket and parking pass.
A Blog Can Be Great For Your Career
Ben Woodward
July 2, 2017
A Blog Can Be Great For Your Career
When people think about blogs, they usually dismiss them as a prehistoric way of getting ideas into the public realm. Today many people prefer a 140-character tweet to a well thought out, self-published article that takes a lot of work to compose and publicize. However, when it comes to your career, demonstrating passion for your field is critical. Writing a blog, which is accessible to recruiters, could be what secures your next big opportunity. Here are 5 ways writing a blog can benefit your career. You can establish yourself as a thought leader Recruiters will expect to see that you have knowledge of your field and show an active interest. By writing a blog directly related to the professional area in which you want to progress, you can illustrate your interest and your ability to lead others. By communicating with readers in such a way that offers leadership, you are showing that you are a strong communicator and an innovative thinker. You can reach an audience directly Individuals who have not yet established themselves in their field do not interest most publishers. By writing your own blog, you cut out the intermediary and go directly to your chosen audience. When you write your blog, get your friends to share it, publish it on your social media and in relevant group chats, even tweet it to respected individuals in your field. That way you add validity to your work and show recruiters that readers respect your opinion. You have writing samples to show recruiters Good writers are in high demand, so not only will writing a blog refine your ability, but it will also give you examples of your writing you can show to recruiters. When you build your following and established people share your work, your blog posts gain validity as writing samples in job applications. In addition, by establishing a digital footprint you will have ‘Google Insurance.' This means that when a recruiter Googles your name they will see links to your blog. This shows you are engaged in the current trends of your industry and will significantly improve your likelihood of getting an interview. You can build a community of people interested in your field Building a following among your readers will get you noticed by others in your field. Taking an active role in the discussion will help you make connections. For example, if you are interested in foreign policy, blogging about it, and having your writing shared by those currently working in foreign affairs will get you noticed by potential recruiters. When you write a blog, remember to put links to your social media and personal website so readers and recruiters can find you easily. Your employer may value contributions Many employers in the conservative movement are looking for contributions to their websites and social media. By writing blog pieces you not only help your employer create content for their website and social media, but you also publish pieces through your organization which increases the validity of your writings. Successful workers take initiative. By writing a blog, you show employers you take an active interest in your work. If you have a significant following, use your blog to attract attention to your organization's successes. That way you can assist your employers beyond your day-to-day work. If you are interested in learning more about successful written communications for your career, please register for the Leadership Institute's Written Communications Workshop.
3 Effective Ways to Boost Your Facebook Engagement
Stephen Rowe
June 28, 2017
3 Effective Ways to Boost Your Facebook Engagement
You may notice a pattern every time you scroll your newsfeed. It starts with a relevant update, then an advertisement, and it doesn't take long before a video starts auto-playing. The biggest question on people's minds when they see this pattern is, “How do I get my content to appear first in everyone else's newsfeed?” Here are three things you can start doing now: 1. Go Live Creating a video is one of the quickest ways to grow your online presence and spread your message. Between 2015 and 2016, video consumption on Facebook increased 800% (from 1 billion views to 8 billion views per day). Now that's a big boost. Making things even better, Facebook gives precedence to videos over other pieces of content. Facebook even sends push notifications when friends “go live.” It's very easy to use Facebook live. You just update your status as usual, click “Live Video”, make sure everything is ready in preview, and click “Go Live” (pro tip: get a stabilizer for your iPhone or camera and a microphone for less than $35). Even if you're camera-shy, Facebook Live can still be for you. You can create live Facebook polls very easily with free sites like MyLivePolls. Then ask your audience relevant questions and watch your engagement soar. Video is king. Start using it! 2. Great visuals = Great social media Almost no one will stop scrolling for a huge chunk of text. But an engaging image will get you everywhere! Your Facebook page posts should have high-quality photos. People love great visuals more than they care to read. You don't have to be a design expert to create compelling visual graphics. Check out Canva.com if you are new to the design world. It's a free and simple graphic design tool website. Learn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator at the Leadership Institute. The next Digital Creative Workshop: Design is just around the corner. 3. Posting frequency “How often should I post on Facebook?” You should post on Facebook as often as you have quality content. Just ensure your posts are spaced out at least an hour. If you have tons of content, then posting up to 15 times per day is a good thing. However, 95% of people don't have the quality content (or time) to post that much. Let your content dictate the frequency of your posting. Do your best to craft a content schedule and make it consistent. The marketplace will let you know if you're posting too much if you're getting poor engagement on your posts. If you're getting a solid number of likes, comments, and shares then try increasing how often you post. 4. BONUS: Check out the Leadership Institute's online Facebook for Activism training! If you liked the tips above, you will love this training. The Leadership Institute's Online Training: Facebook for Activism will show you how to use Facebook to build a movement around the candidate, campaign, or cause you're committed to. You will leave this training with strategies you can use to accomplish your goals, whether it's starting chapters, recruiting volunteers, building your meetings and events, or even just connecting your friends to each other. Specifically, you'll learn: how to prime your Facebook for success to activate people in your online community; best practices to create conten­t that your supporters will respond to and want to share; and a proven, five-step process to build relationships with your supporters. Learn more about Facebook for Activism here. Let me know what you think. Have you used any of the resources/tactics above? Leave a comment below.
Interns Learn from Successful Conservative Leaders at Conservative Intern Workshop
Annamarie Rienzi
June 26, 2017
Interns Learn from Successful Conservative Leaders at Conservative Intern Workshop
Interns from across the conservative movement came to the Leadership Institute on June 21 for the Conservative Intern Workshop. The 94 interns who attended, representing the White House, Congress, FreedomWorks, Young American's for Liberty, and more than 32 other organizations. They learned how to make the most of their internships in DC beyond simply showing up to work every day. These interns learned from Steve Sutton, the Leadership Institute's Vice President of Development, about his method of impressing supervisors by understanding the philosophy and politics surrounding their roles. Next, the Young Americans for Liberty Director of Mobilization Justin Greiss spoke about how to best highlight their experiences by writing clean and consistent resumes. Justin also talked about the best way to communicate enthusiasm to potential employers by writing outstanding cover letters. During lunch, participants networked with each other and learned about new organizations. Dante Kari, an intern in the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School was especially excited to meet with other interns. “I met folks interning for conservative organizations I didn't even know existed,” he said. Next, the Leadership Institute's Director of Digital Training, Abigail Alger, spoke about how to reach savings goals while living in as expensive a city as D.C. Andrew Magloughlin, the Economic Research Intern at FreedomWorks, said, “I learned how to apply my philosophy of fiscal conservatism to my own expenses and goals while flourishing.” Following Abby's presentation, the Leadership Institute's Stephen Rowe spoke about Social Media Branding. He taught attendees how to draw attention to their digital profiles in pursuit of full-time employment. The training continued with Networking to Find Jobs, a lecture from Lauren Bouton, a Public Policy Associate at Facebook. The interns found this information particularly useful because it emphasized that the point of networking is to meet and make meaningful connections with other interns. Katie Wilson the Leadership Institute's Technology Intern said, “I had no idea that it was acceptable to end a conversation with someone if it's gone on a bit too long! I really needed clarification on that point. Now I know that the point of networking is to meet many people!” The last session of the day was a panel with Leadership Institute's Director of Career Services Patricia Simpson, Americans for Prosperity's National Recruiting Manager Haley Pike, The Heritage Foundation's Recruiting Associate Kyle Bonnell, and Charles Koch Institute's Alumni Relations Coordinator Kasey Darling. Attendees were thrilled to hear from recruiters from such high profile organizations. Giovanni Triana, an intern for the American Legislative Exchange Council said, “The Job Seeking and Networking Panel at the Leadership Institute's Conservative Intern Workshop played a significant role in preparing me to be bold and effective in my outreach efforts. I learned tips and techniques from the experts themselves and I can honestly say that I am more confident in the way I approach networking after hearing from the seasoned panelists.” The day ended with a complimentary headshot photo shoot at Leadership Institute in the Steven P. J. Wood Building lobby. Attendees said the Conservative Intern Workshop was an extremely valuable training. Sarah Persichetti, an intern for In Defense of Christians, said, “Everyone that LI brought in to speak to us was so knowledgeable and passionate! I could really tell they were dedicated to helping conservative interns navigate the intimidating world of networking and professionalism.” The Leadership Institute's Career Service Department will hold its next event on July 11. To register for the Professional Development Workshop please follow the link here.
The Leadership Institute’s Think Tank Opportunity Workshop
Ben Woodward
June 20, 2017
The Leadership Institute’s Think Tank Opportunity Workshop
On July 13 and 14, the Leadership Institute held the very first Think Tank Opportunity Workshop. Eighty-six conservatives attended to learn how they can successfully build a career in this field. The workshop contributes to the Leadership Institute's mission to increase the size and effectiveness of conservative activists because conservative think tanks are only effective in influencing public policy if they have principled conservatives, passionate about quality research, working for them. The first day covered the career opportunities within think tanks. Our first speaker, Lori Sanders who is the Associate Vice President of Federal Affairs at the R Street Institute discussed the types of think tanks currently operating in the movement and the routes in which people take to secure a career. The second speaker, Helena Richardson, Director of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation taught attendees about the different career paths within think tanks such as events, marketing, development, and more. Helena also discussed how to go about finding the first job and internship in a think tank. Finally, Michael Bowman, Vice President of Policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council taught attendees how to be a leader in their field and establish themselves as an expert. He also taught attendees what senior recruiters are looking for when hiring and the importance of being passionate about their chosen field. The second day placed a focus on research and influencing public policy. The first speaker, Trevor Burrus, who is a Research Fellow at the CATO Institute's Center for Constitutional Studies, taught attendees how to research and compose policy proposals that make an impact and are easily readable. The Hon. Becky Norton Dunlop followed Trevor; she is the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. She covered how a think tank uses its research to influence decision makers and public opinion as a whole. Finally, Karen Czarnecki, Vice President for Outreach at the Mercatus Center, concluded the workshop by teaching attendees how think tanks build coalitions and how they can collaborate with organizations to maximize the effectiveness of their research. Following the workshop, feedback was overwhelmingly positive with one attendee remarking; “An excellent program with generous speakers and staff. All speakers were willing to network with students involved and were very willing to invest in our futures!” Due to the success of the Think Tank Opportunity Workshop, the Leadership Institute will be holding another on November 6 and 7, 2017.
Five things you should do in your first week at a new job
Ben Woodward
May 22, 2017
Five things you should do in your first week at a new job
Starting a new job is among the most daunting experiences in our professional lives. After all, you only get one chance at a first impression. As well as trying to wrap your head around your new responsibilities, learn the office culture, make friends, and demonstrate your ability, you're also trying to keep your feet on the ground and build a successful future for yourself. It is natural to want to keep your head down and not draw attention to yourself, like a mouse among sleeping cats. This is a mistake! Here are five things you should do in your first week: Ask your supervisor (and employees) to lunch By asking your supervisor to lunch, you are showing your new boss that you are confident in your new role and you are serious about learning the ropes. I would advise you to keep this lunch just the two of you if possible, as other employees may dominate the conversation. It is also an effective way to get to know your supervisor on a one-to-one basis, outside of the formal office environment. It is important for them to get to know you. This is your chance to tell them what you want out of this job and where you would like to go in your career. If you're a manager, take your staff out to lunch, either in small groups, or one-to-one if possible. This is your chance to understand what makes these individuals tick, and establish what you expect from them. Introduce yourself to everybody in the office You will be spending lots of time with the people in your department and organization over the next few months and years. So be sure to take some time to introduce yourself to everybody in the kitchens, boardrooms, or even by visiting their workspace. Understanding the office culture is critical to success. You will likely need to collaborate with other departments on a multitude of projects, so make friends with them quickly to establish your relationship. Too many new employees fail to integrate themselves into the social side of a new office and get left out in the cold. Learn about all of the current and upcoming projects Fully brief yourself on all of the current projects in your department. Wherever possible, you should do your research, but do not be afraid to ask smart questions. It is in your colleagues' interests to help you succeed, as your work will affect theirs. Try to establish what other people are working on and where you can be of assistance, but also what scope you have for innovation. Every employer is different; some will let you pursue your projects, whereas others prefer a top-down approach. Learn about the location of your office Being successful at work requires you to be happy in your job, and comfortable in your environment. However moving to a new place, especially if you have moved away from home or college for the first time can make you feel isolated and unsettled. This is not conducive to success in your new job. Ensure that you learn the area quickly. Where are the best restaurants, bars, and coffee shops? What activities are happening locally? With whom in your office do you share hobbies? This will help you to settle quickly into your new environment, and even take the lead in your office's social life. Reconnect with former colleagues It is easy when you start a new job to be swept up in your new professional life. As a keen networker, try to get into the habit of keeping in touch with your old colleagues quickly. You never know when you will need a referral, or when your new job requires a connection from your past. Remember to keep those professional relationships alive.
Your 5-point guide to writing an op-ed
Autumn Campbell
April 20, 2017
Your 5-point guide to writing an op-ed
With the Leadership Institute's Building Your Brand Workshop around the corner, here are some pointers to give you a head start on building your brand through op-eds. You have something to say. But sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. How do you get your voice out there? A good place to start is blogging. I know, I know, everyone has a blog. But there's a reason for that. You can practice putting your thoughts and arguments down while getting feedback from friends and peers. Through practice on your blog, you can begin to harness your thoughts and build a framework for your field of expertise. So you've been blogging – but you're ready for more. It's time to write an op-ed. An op-ed is an article or piece with an opinion and written with a strong point of view. Here's why you'll shine in an op-ed: You'll show your expertise Develop your argument Learn to use facts to back up your argument And establish your credibility Follow these general guidelines for your op-ed: Limit your word count to about 700 words or less Open with a strong lead Make your argument quickly and concisely Remember, you cannot submit a piece that's already been published Be patient and don't give up You'll find many informative websites on how to submit your op-ed. Here are a few links with guidelines for DC area news sources to get you started: Washington Examiner Washington Times Washington Post Politico The Hill Now go write! (And remember me when you're a rich and famous expert.) Still want more insight? Take LI's Building Your Brand: From Op-ed to On-camera Wednesday and Thursday evenings, April 26-27. Register here!
Check here for updates on the Leadership Institute’s office hours and trainings.
Leadership Institute
March 13, 2017
Check here for updates on the Leadership Institute’s office hours and trainings.
Updates on the Leadership Institute's office hours and trainings. The Comprehensive Fundraising Training is still scheduled to begin Tuesday, March 14. Digital Creative Workshop: Design - Cancelled All Online Training will start on time. If you signed up for housing, the dorms are also available for check-in tonight. Any further changes or announcements will be posted here. Please monitor local weather reports and travel safely. The leadership Institute will grant 100% refunds for any cancellations this week.
CPAC – A Family of Conservatives and a Chance to Learn
Ben Woodward
February 13, 2017
CPAC – A Family of Conservatives and a Chance to Learn
The conservative movement is formidable -- why? Because we're a family. Our organizations work together, share ideas, collaborate on events, and promote each other's staff and interns. Anybody who works in the movement will be able to list their many friends in think tanks, non-profits, lobby groups, and on the Hill. And, like any family… we have our challenges. We don't always cooperate the way we should, and we don't always speak with one voice. But we have a common purpose, and it drives us in the same direction. If the conservative movement is a family, then CPAC is Christmas dinner. The time when we all come together to catch up with old friends, celebrate our victories, commiserate our losses, trade ideas, network, and discover new opportunities. In this blog, I want to talk to you about the opportunities at CPAC, because CPAC is about so much more than big speeches, and selfies with members of Congress. CPAC is a chance to learn new skills! The Leadership Institute will run a Campus Activism Bootcamp, to teach you the core skills to fight liberal bias on campuses, draw attention to your activism, create student groups, change policy, and expose biased professors. Top lawyers will teach you the laws of academic freedom so you know when your rights to freedom of expression are breached. You will also learn how to draw attention to your activism and events through digital and social media efforts that have made many conservatives famous, and also given a platform for ideas mainstream media won't discuss. In addition, the Leadership Institute will run a Career Bootcamp to give you the skills you need to secure your next job or promotion in the movement. Learn to network with top conservatives, boost your resume, and stand-out at interviews. There will also be panel discussions with major recruiters from the movement, private sector, and beyond. Those of you serious about your futures should not miss out on this chance to question them and learn what you can do to work in the movement. To help you with your current job search… the Leadership Institute will be running Career and Resume Consultations throughout CPAC. Come find us! A few things to remember: Don't neglect ‘horizontal networking.' By this, I mean networking with people who are at the same professional level as you are. They are future leaders; they are also your connection to partner organizations who can help you in your endeavors. Get your business cards ready, and make sure you follow up with every person you meet. You never know whose recommendation will secure your next opportunity. Also, CPAC's true opportunities are waiting for you outside of the main conference hall. Go to as many lunches as you can manage, and as many after conference dinners as possible. The best networking happens in relaxed environments. CPAC is also a place to learn new skills and ideas. Go to the panel discussions, and learn from the experts in the areas of policy you agree with, and those you don't. CPAC is a chance to broaden your mind! The movement is growing, and CPAC is a great opportunity to put your foot on the door. Morton Blackwell, says in his Laws of the Public Policy: “Never miss a political meeting if you think there's the slightest chance you'll wish you'd been there.” This is one event you're not going to want to miss. I look forward to meeting you at what promises to be an eventful CPAC 2017! Find out more about Leadership Institute's six CPAC events at LeadershipInstitute.org/CPAC. Register for CPAC here.
Halloween, Fear, and Public Speaking
Mariah Bastin
October 27, 2016
Halloween, Fear, and Public Speaking
Halloween is fast approaching and everyone's abuzz with excitement for the holiday -- costumes, haunted houses, and more! For me, haunted houses and other such Halloween thrills rank on the same level as fear of public speaking. In fact, did you know that 75% of the world's population fears speaking in front of an audience? So, how can we help remedy this large and far-reaching issue? In this post, I will teach you not only how to face your fear, but also how to successfully create and to execute a memorable, strong speech. Facing your fear of public speaking comes down to mindset -- plain and simple. In fact, it is scientific. Bruna Martinuzzi, president and founder of Clarion Enterprises Ltd., explains in an article how our brain doesn't process fear in different manners. “Understanding that our brain can't tell the difference between a real threat (a pack of wolves about to attack you) and an imagined threat (a group of your peers watching you present) is the first step to overcoming the fear. This awareness can help you manage the ‘false alarm' that happens in the absence of real danger.” Martinuzzi goes on to explain how you can train yourself to fend off the “false alarm” by doing something as minute as taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that this is just that: a “false alarm.” Once you have done this (and have slowed your heart rate down), you are ready to begin telling your story -- your speech. The first step in formulating your story is to know your audience. No preparation in the world will be worth anything if you don't know your audience. The style, length, expectations, and flow of the speech depend on your knowledge of the audience. Know your target demographic, understand the expectations of the speech (length of time given to speak, possible outcome or lesson learned, etc.), and what amount of creativity may be deemed acceptable (PowerPoint presentation or other forms of media). After you have analyzed your audience, you may now prepare your content. Your content should, at the very minimum, accomplish the expectations of your audience. At most, your content should exceed the audience's expectations. But, how do you go about accomplishing this? Tell a story! Now, you may be thinking “I won't be talking to a kindergarten class;” but, don't think about it in that manner. Instead, realize story-telling is how the world's history has remained alive. See the value in stories. Boundless.com correctly points out how “stories are universal in that they can bridge cultural, linguistic and age-related divides.” If that hasn't convinced you, think about the lectures and conversations you remember best. You remember the professor who began with a stark sentence and attracted everyone in; only to proceed with a well-flowing body and a “killer” ending. You remember a story! Write your main points and statistics out and memorize them, but let the rest flow. You don't want to have learned your speech. Word for word, only to freeze midway. Remember, stories (just like your speech) should feel natural. Now, go out and conquer your fear. If you wish to learn more about how to conquer your fear, attend Leadership Institute's upcoming Public Speaking Workshops. LI also offers a Public Speaking, Advanced Workshop. To register for these workshops, please click here.
Digital Communications Workshop Fills F.M. Kirby Training Center
Jami Averwater
September 6, 2016
Digital Communications Workshop Fills F.M. Kirby Training Center
Eight seconds. That's all. Either my email grabs the reader's attention, or I've lost them. Without a doubt, one of the best perks of being a Leadership Institute intern is the convenience of high-demand classes like “Digital Communications Workshop: Email Marketing.” In one full day, I learned from presentations filled with information on email communication by top strategists in the field. When done properly, email marketing has the potential to have forty times more return on investment than that of the major social media outlets, one speaker told us. If that announcement alone wasn't enough to convince me to pay close attention to the lectures which followed, the biographies of the speakers would do the job. Aidan Quinlan-Walsh, a Client Strategist for Engage, spoke on the topic of email acquisition. He taught us how to evaluate an offer to rent or purchase an email list; practice for acquisition campaigns; and measure the effectiveness of gathered analytics. His main goal of the presentation? Ultimately, he showed us how to take advantage of the platforms available to us in order to reach people successfully. Carolyn Kincaid, a copywriter, taught us how to cultivate subscribers using effective content. To do this, she recommends ditching the traditional “newsletter style” email blasts and capitalizing on the excitement of the person on the receiving end of the email. My fellow workshop attendees packing the classroom included non-profit employees from Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas, college students from multiple regions of the U.S., and many Leadership Institute staff. As always, the list of lecturers at this workshop impressed me. Together, the speakers brought perspective, energy, and a combined experience of over six decades. I left the workshop that day feeling like I could tackle the world of digital communications, and I found myself using many of the tools I learned during the weeks of my summer internship. Jami Averwater was a summer intern in the External Affairs Department for the Leadership Institute. Find more digital workshops you can attend by visiting the Leadership Institute's Digital training page. The Leadership Institute offers over 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,619 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 175,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
Conservatives Learn Data Skills for Campaigns
R. McKinley
August 11, 2016
Conservatives Learn Data Skills for Campaigns
Early this summer, I was among 40 students who attended the Leadership Institute's first-ever Campaign Data Workshop. Since liberals began using data driven technology in 2004, conservatives have put themselves at a disadvantage by stubbornly sticking with inefficient paper walk books. Their campaigns have suffered the consequences. During the evening workshop, attendees heard topics ranging from general campaign advice to specific data applications in case studies. “Data driven technology acts as a force multiplier and data can help campaign managers make key decisions," said Joshua Fimbres, a Business Intelligence Analyst at Freedom Partners. Joshua specifically spoke on data and why it is important for campaigns. He showed various companies who provide data services to campaigns, and strategies to use voter data within the different phases of a campaign. “In fact,” Joshua went on to say, “I would even go as far as to say that all campaign structure exists to implement these data driven decisions." He also covered examples of strategies he implemented in California and Maryland where voter data was used to effectively map out campaigns. Chris Stolte, Director of Campaign Accounts from i360, followed with a practical exercise on how to use their i360 app. Students downloaded the company's app during the lecture and practiced its use by generating a mock call list and walk book. One student in the workshop raised his hand to vouch for the application. As an employee at uCampaign, the student had previous experience with the program while placed on the Ted Cruz campaign. He also added valuable insight on how their application helped the Ted Cruz campaign effectively reach and mobilize voters using the freshly updated data provided by the other users. Many of the students' own campaign experiences shone through during a group exercise which provided an opportunity to create questions to identify potential voters. Laughter, discussion, and flying pens brought a sense of camaraderie as attendees shared different voter ID questions with the class. Thomas Bingham, Political Training Coordinator at the Leadership Institute, closed out the evening training workshop by emphasizing the winning difference on close campaigns. "Comparing a campaign with no technology at all going full throttle, to one with a smaller staff using technology and data to make decisions on their campaign, it can make a difference in performance of anywhere from 5% to 8%," he said. As a former campaign volunteer myself, I can tell you there is a night and day difference between the paper walk book system and the modernized system. The paper system often leaves you with frustrated volunteers, missing data, and wastes time, while data technology provides up-to-the-minute updates to headquarters, making it easy for volunteers to see their own progress and succeed. Learning how to effectively collect and use voter data is essential for anyone who is serious about winning a modern election; attending the Campaign Data Workshop gave many campaigns a head start. The next Campaign Data workshop is to take place on August 17 in Arlington, Virginia. R. McKinley is an intern in the Political Training department at the Leadership Institute. Click here for more information on upcoming trainings. The Leadership Institute offers more than 47 types of training programs, works with more than 1,643 conservative student groups, and helps employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 175,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
What You Missed at CPAC 2016
Natalie Tuttle
April 4, 2016
What You Missed at CPAC 2016
Each year, the Conservative Political Action Conference is a gathering of conservative leaders looking to network, advance conservativism, and learn from some of the greatest minds in the movement. This year, speakers like Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina rallied conservatives together. Above the stage read “Our time is NOW,” taken from Ronald Reagan's CPAC speech in 1981. At the conference, Leadership Institute sponsored, staffed, and organized of 5 conference events, including the job fair and boot camp training sessions. 1. Activist Boot Camp On day one, the Leadership Institute partnered with the American Conservative Union and with American Majority to train 383 conservatives. Attendees were trained in student activism, community activism, and campaign technology. The Leadership Institute's Steve Sutton, David Blair, and Summer Ratcliff were among the boot camp faculty. Speakers from American Majority, Americans for Prosperity, FIRE, the Blaze, and the Franklin Center also trained activists and conservative leaders. 2. ConservativeJobs.com - Career Consultations After the official CPAC kickoff on Thursday, Leadership Institute's Conservative Jobs organized recruiters from LI and other conservative organizations to critique CPAC attendee's resumes and offer one-on-one career consultations. Recruiters from LI, Cato, The Heritage Foundation, the Charles Koch Institute, and Americans for Prosperity sat down with 133 conservatives. 3. CPAC Jobs and Internship Fair Once again this year, the Leadership Institute organized the CPAC Job and Internship Fair. Over 250 job seekers connected with 40 conservative employers. Organizations who recruited at the fair included grassroots organizations, media groups, think tanks, and policy foundations. Groups like Turning Point USA and Americans for Prosperity recruited field representatives while organizations like Townhall Media, Red Alert Politics, and Campus Reform looked for writers to hire. 4. Campus Reform In the exhibit hall, referred to by conference attendees as “the Hub,” Leadership's Institute's Campus Reform held an on-camera contest for students. Entrants were asked questions about issues on “live” camera by LI staff and competed for cash prizes. More than 100 students participated in the competition over the course of three days. All participants are eligible to be selected as Campus Correspondents, which will increase the number of conservative students exposing liberal bias on college campuses around the country. 5. Young Activists Happy Hour During CPAC, young activists from around the country network with each other. Swapping stories, discussing recruitment strategies, and just socializing with like-minded individuals are just a few highlights of the CPAC experience. To encourage networking among young conservative leaders, the Leadership Institute and seven other organizations hosted a Young Activist Happy Hour. Almost 400 attendees packed the bar and formed a line to the end of the block to spend the evening networking. Recruiters and staff of organizations like Young Americans for Liberty, Future Female Leaders, and the Charles Koch Institute mingled with activists. At the Happy Hour, the Leadership Institute welcomed many new activists to the Campus Leadership Program network. Almost a Every year, CPAC is a new experience. Conservatives from all over the country (and from around the world) come together for a week of idea sharing, activist training, and coalition building. This year was no exception. With hundreds of new conservatives plugged in, trained, and employed conservative principles have a stronger voice going into election season. The Leadership Institute offers over 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,759 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 172,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.