Activism Success: Young Conservatives Start the Semester With Outreach and Activism
Haley Roddie
November 1, 2016
Activism Success: Young Conservatives Start the Semester With Outreach and Activism
A healthy conservative student group can be difficult to maintain. With students naturally leaving every year, recruitment is key to your conservative group's success. Every semester thousands of new students come to campus, and your student group should make an effort to reach out to those students. The Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas Tech started the semester with a bang. To start the year, they held a Remembering 9-11 event. They also hosted a free speech ball activism event and a “PC” police activism event, along with a Turning Point USA group. These events have resulted in hundreds of new signups of potential members. The Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas Tech capped it off by hosting Milo Yiannopoulos for his college tour. Over 400 students attended. To learn how to host these kinds of events on your campus contact me or your Regional Field Coordinator.
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.
Award winning month at Campus Reform
Emily Larsen
October 26, 2016
Award winning month at Campus Reform
The Leadership Institute's Campus Reform continues to be a roaring success as it celebrates an award-winning and record-breaking month. Three Campus Reform staff members received internal and external recognition of their excellent work. The numbers alone are superb. So far in 2016, Campus Reform reports of liberal bias and abuse on college campuses created media pressure which resulted in 28 conservative campus victories. Campus Reform staff and student contributors also discussed stories in television interviews 108 times, and the Drudge Report featured 24 stories. Campus Reform Editor-in-Chief Sterling Beard was named LI's employee of the quarter, due to the success of the project. “Sterling has shown outstanding leadership managing a Campus Reform staff who continue to break records and expand the site's media presence and influence,” said Morton Blackwell when he announced Sterling's award. Red Alert Politics also honored two additional Campus Reform staff members in its 2016 30 Under 30 list: Campus Reform's Program Coordinator, Laura Falcon, and the Leadership Institute's Director of Campus Outreach, Cabot Phillips. Laura Falcon primarily manages the Campus Correspondent Program, which recruits and cultivates conservative student journalists across the country to investigate and report liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform. She's recruited 64 Campus Correspondents so far this year. “Every morning, I ask myself, ‘Who can I help and how?”' Laura told Red Alert Politics. Cabot Phillips, Director of Campus Outreach at the Leadership Institute, regularly appears on Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network to discuss Campus Reform stories. Cabot helped spearhead a successful social media campaign for LI's Campus Leadership Program and successfully got LI's #LiberalPrivilege hashtag trending on Twitter twice, on October 12 and October 19. The #LiberalPrivilege Twitter blitz encouraged conservative students to highlight the special treatment given to liberals on campus and throughout the country. The hashtag went viral. Within two hours, #LiberalPrivilege was trending nationally, and was used 66,520 times in seven days, appearing to more than 6 million Twitter users. The trending hashtag was covered by USA Today, MTV, and the Media Research Center. It's clear that much of Campus Reform's extraordinary success is due to its extraordinary people and the Leadership Institute's donors. Congratulations to the entire team for keeping The Leadership Institutes's Campus Reform America's #1 site for campus news.
New Overtime Rule is Dehumanizing
Joe Metzger
October 24, 2016
New Overtime Rule is Dehumanizing
Texas and 20 other states have announced a lawsuit to block the Obama Administration's destructive overtime rules, which are slated to go into effect December 1, 2016. With less than 3-months to spare, victory in the case would save businesses and workers across the U.S. from this dehumanizing and economically damaging law. According to the new rule, salaried workers earning below $47,476 per year must be paid time-and-a-half for work done in excess of forty hours per week. This is up from a previous salary threshold of $23,660. The rule promises more pay for working long hours, more money for lower-income employees and struggling families, and fewer hours for the same pay! Doesn't that sound wonderful? Unfortunately, that isn't how it will work out in reality. I know, because I'm the person at the Leadership Institute who is responsible for implementing the changes. I see the real faces of those it will impact every day, and I am not looking forward to hurting our employees with a counterproductive rule that harms more workers than it helps Our salaried employees enjoy being salaried and treated like adults. They are given tasks to do, and they decide how and when to do them. Nobody looks over their shoulders with a stopwatch telling them how long they have to drink coffee. Sure, they have some weeks that are very busy and which require long hours, but if they want to come in late for a few days in a row, leave early, or take an extra week off during the slow season, they get that flexibility too. They get the flexibility to work from home or pursue job-related training opportunities. If they need to take a couple hours off to pick up a sick child from school or take care of some errands, they have that option. Effective December 1, however, I have to take away that flexibility and freedom. President Obama's new rule will make it illegal for the Leadership Institute to pay for work product, and instead it mandates that we pay only for time. If we are compelled to pay for time, we have to track time precisely. That means that we can't let employees work from home because we can't track their hours. Employees who leave early to pick up their kids must lose paid hours. An employee who works a late night must take time off that same week even if he would rather have time off the next week. Worst of all, every employee must start punching a clock while every minute of his day is scrutinized. If the Leadership Institute does not follow all of these practices, we risk fines from the Department of Labor and retroactive overtime payments if anyone alleges uncompensated overtime. In addition to these dehumanizing workplace changes, we have to adopt additional cost-saving measures. Administratively, the time keeping requirement is time consuming. For our payroll budget, we have no idea what this will cost since we've never tracked hours closely before, but we know this is not going to make things less expensive. To offset these expected costs, we are planning more unpleasant changes that harm staff, including an end to paid work-related training. Although we take pride helping staff develop new skills to enhance their careers, this benefit becomes too expensive at time-and-a-half. We also plan to cut staff salaries by the amount of overtime we expect to pay during the year. If staff work overtime every week, they'll receive the same salary as before, but if they work fewer hours, they'll receive less money. Because this rule affects only employees who are paid less than $47,476 per year, effective December 1, we'll have a two-tier employment system: lower-paid, second-class employees who lose their freedom and flexibility while being treated like children, and higher-paid, first-class employees who continue to enjoy all the benefits of a salary structure. President Obama talks often about wanting to reduce “inequality” in this country, but he successfully found a way to create more inequality while hurting employees and their families. Let's hope that this coalition of states is successful in its effort to block these disastrous changes before they take effect on December 1. This article was originally published on FoxNews. Joseph R. Metzger is Vice President of Finance at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, VA.
The Leadership Institute Welcomes Fall Class of Interns
Andrew Sund
October 17, 2016
The Leadership Institute Welcomes Fall Class of Interns
Every fall, interns from all across the world descend on Washington, D.C. all looking to become the next generation of movers and shakers in the conservative movement. Many interns quickly realize the only moving and shaking they will be doing is from the office to the break room where they'll shake the perfect amount of sugar into the boss's coffee. While members of the Leadership Institute's 99th intern class may be seen in the break room grabbing a cup of coffee, it's because they need all the energy they can get as they enter the battlefield and fight for conservative principles. Dorcas Buzigire is an intern in the office of International Programs. She hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she practiced law before coming to the United States. While attending a diplomatic mission function in Dallas, Dorcas met the former governor of a Congolese province who had ties with the Leadership Institute. In their discussion, the governor invited Dorcas to a Leadership Institute Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. While touring the Leadership Institute after the breakfast Dorcas said, "I had the feeling that I was home. I came back to LI to take the Youth Leadership School, applied for the internship, and got accepted." Dorcas will be assisting with trainings and recruitment for the office of International Programs and Grassroots Trainings, but for Dorcas, this internship means more. "I hope to apply the skills that I'm learning here to the political system in my home country and empower other young people, especially women, from my country to get involved in politics. I'm very thankful for the opportunity of expanding my network and learning American public policy." This internship differs from others in the D.C. area by developing successful young conservatives in three areas – marketplace skills, training, and career development mentoring. LI interns join a department where they work alongside Leadership Institute employees on real projects building skills they can then show to future employers. Interns are encouraged to take as many trainings as they would like and learn new skills to expand their resources. They also receive career development mentoring to help interns grow their networks and market themselves in a competitive workforce. The goal is that when LI interns finish the program, they are ready to join the workforce. Tyler Arnold is using his time at Campus Reform for just that. “Writing for the Leadership Institute's Campus Reform is giving me key experience in news reporting. Not only do I get to experience writing, but I also get to work with editors and reporters with professional experience who can help me develop my skills and build a good network to help me find a journalism job in the D.C. area.” While many of our interns are charging ahead on their career path, others are using this opportunity to explore what they want to do. Ashley Behm decided to intern at the Leadership Institute after completing her education in theatre: "I wanted to explore all the ways I could use the skills that the Lord has given to me as well as the skills I have learned along the way." Ashley works in the Events Department where she is responsible for behind the scenes preparations for all of LI's trainings and social events. While consuming from the "political buffet" of trainings she is also excited to "discover what God has placed me on this earth to do; an occupation that will bring Him glory!" Hannah Weeks, the Campus Leadership Program intern, had this to say about living at the Sacher House: "How many 20-somethings do you know sit up all hours of the night discussing foreign policy, politics, and culture? I know exactly nine others. I am having the experience of a lifetime because my internship extends outside of the traditional 9:00 to 5:00 format. I am constantly learning and networking and making some of the best friends I have ever had by having the privilege of living at the Sacher Intern House." Throughout the internship, the interns will host guest speakers, discuss conservative writings, and visit members of Congress. Most of the interns live together at the Sacher House located a short walk from the Steven P.J. Wood Building. Living in this house gives interns the opportunity to bond and to learn from each other. As my fall internship progresses, I encourage you to follow my intern class's journey by following the Leadership Institute's Facebook and Twitter, and the hashtag #LIinterns. You can also use this hashtag to share advice, to share spots to check out in the D.C. area, or just follow along for a good laugh every once in a while. If you are interested in applying for the LI Internship Program you can sign up now and be part of the best internship program in the D.C. area.
LI's 2016 Fall Field Representatives Deployed on Campuses in 38 States
Kyle Baccei
September 20, 2016
LI's 2016 Fall Field Representatives Deployed on Campuses in 38 States
The left is hard at work to remove any expression of conservative principles on campus. Even when you think it can't get any worse, liberal college professors and administrators find new levels of shamelessness and fury. Their commitment would be impressive -- if it were not so dangerous. That is why each fall the Leadership Institute trains and deploys Field Representatives to college campuses across the country. This fall, 32 Field Representatives are now deployed in 38 states. These highly trained conservative activists work with students to promote and defend their conservative principles. They will help students organize conservative college groups on college campuses. Here are some of the ways Field Representatives can help conservative college students. Contact your regional field coordinator, and see how they can help you reach your goals on campus.
Senator Jim Banks -- His Campaign's
Mari Vogel
September 13, 2016
Senator Jim Banks -- His Campaign's "Secret Weapon"
Jim Banks has shown a dedication to service throughout his life. As a father of three, a state Senator, and a Navy Reservist, he has proven himself a strong and value-oriented leader. “There is a lot of pressure to go along with the majority sentiment, but I will not go back on the pledge I made to my constituents,” said Senator Banks. As the State Senator for the 17th district of Indiana, he has continually been a voice for conservative principles. Next, he hopes to continue his service to Indiana as a member of Congress. While in the senate, Senator Banks has served on numerous committees, most notably the Senate Veteran Affairs and the Military committee. He believes this experience, coupled with his military service, could provide a unique perspective to the Congressional Armed Services Committee if elected in the fall. Senator Banks fought in a hotly contested primary this spring due to the number of other well-funded candidates and the coinciding presidential nomination which drew in many more voters. However, due to his knowledgeable volunteers (several Leadership Institute graduates) and lean campaign strategies, he was able get his message out and win the election. Another thing which helped now Senator Banks through the election was his family, which he referred to as the campaign's “secret weapon.” His wife, Amanda, was able to play a unique role in the campaign because of her own political experience. As a Navy Reserve Supply Corps officer, Jim was called to Afghanistan from 2014 until 2015. While Jim was serving in Afghanistan, Amanda took over his seat in the state Senate. During her time in office, she worked on the Veterans Affairs committee and the Education committee, where she helped author and sponsor many bills. She also co-authored several bills in defense of the unborn. “Public servants cannot separate who they are from what they do,” she says, “so the various vocations I have in life as a mother, a military wife, and a conservative activist all come to the forefront when considering the issues facing our state." If he wins the election in November, Senator Banks is ready to fight for conservative values in Congress. “I believe we need to go back to our roots and start building support around conservative solutions for our current public policy challenges,” he said. Instead of being the “opposition party,” he sees the importance of bringing conservative proposals and ideas to the table. Jim credits the Leadership Institute with providing a solid foundation for him as he began getting involved in politics. Thanks to the Grassroots Activist School and Youth Leadership School, he made connections which allowed him to work with a member of Congress and run a Mayoral campaign very early in his career. “The LI program didn't just provide me with the knowledge and skills I would need to make a difference on behalf of candidates I would work with," said Senator Banks, "but it helped me connect with people who would have an important role in my career down the line.” Mari Vogel was a summer intern in the Grassroots Department for the Leadership Institute. 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.
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.
Recent graduate uses Leadership Institute skills to launch campaign in Washington, DC
Jami Averwater
August 24, 2016
Recent graduate uses Leadership Institute skills to launch campaign in Washington, DC
It is safe to say Ashley Carter stays busy as the Grassroots Director for the Independent Women's Forum. This role leads her around the country speaking on many vital topics, including the importance of women running for public office. In fact, the organization has recently expanded to 10 states where they advocate heavily for issues of importance to women and families. Ashley covered these topics on a panel at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Now, Ashley Carter has announced her candidacy for DC Board of Education member At-Large. To recruit volunteers for her campaign, Ashley shared with me she had success using Leadership Institute's free job placement service, ConservativeJobs.com. "I have found LI to be a wonderful resource," she said. "And I continue to flourish in my career and now my campaign because of the Institute." In preparation for her campaign, she participated in both Leadership Institute's Campaign Management School and Future Candidate School. In the picture below, Ashley stands in the front row with a group of fellow Leadership Institute graduates at the Campaign Management School. "Being immersed in a deep learning about campaigns with other candidates and leaders who share my beliefs helped to turn an idea about becoming a candidate into reality." Before beginning her role with Independent Women's Forum, Ashley attended the Women's Leadership Workshop and Women's Communications Workshop at the Leadership Institute in 2014. Ashley says that participating in these trainings helped her to find a network of conservative women who have continued to support her endeavor to be elected to the Board of Education in Washington, D.C. When asked what advice she would give to young people in the conservative movement, Ashley responded, "I believe all young conservatives should keep their minds open when facing new experiences. . . as a young conservative, you are an ambassador to the movement... Be proud to be a conservative!" Jami Averwater is a summer intern in the External Affairs Department for the Leadership Institute. Follow her on Twitter (@Jamikristin). 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.
Technology team works daily to keep programs running
Parker Johnson
August 18, 2016
Technology team works daily to keep programs running
In the digital age, information and mission-critical communications move fast. In the non-profit world, organizations like the Leadership Institute have gone almost entirely digital in our pivot to the information age and in doing so have greatly increased our ability to communicate with students, graduates, and donors across the nation. However, all of this decreased overhead and quick communication says little about the most integral part of a digital organization's vital asset: effective internal technical support. This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern with the Leadership Institute in the technology department. My biggest objective when coming to the Leadership Institute was to learn if my schooling thus far had prepared me professionally to work in a full-time position. Thanks to the incredibly welcoming and fun work environment, I now know for certain that I am ready to step into the career world when I graduate in May of 2017. During my internship, I was able to work on a variety of projects and touched on almost every facet our tech support team's responsibilities. The solid base education that I've garnered here has prepared me to step into a development role in the technology department at the Leadership Institute. As a member of the tech support team, I was also responsible for troubleshooting problems around the office. This allowed me to get out of the tech suite and introduce myself to the many talented and enthusiastic people working at the Leadership Institute. By helping with varied technological problems, I felt like a valued and useful member of the team. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Leadership Institute this past summer. Not only has it further convinced me that the conservative movement is alive and well, but it has shown me that there are many opportunities to advance professionally with like-minded people. As a team, the technology and other departments can continue to work together for the advancement of our mission. Parker Johnson is a summer intern in the Techonology Department at the Leadership Institute. 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.
Former intern promotes conservative values in his home country of Denmark
Mari Vogel
August 5, 2016
Former intern promotes conservative values in his home country of Denmark
Former Leadership Institute intern Ulrik Boesen is working to promote conservative values in his home country of Denmark. Ulrik, 26, has been involved in politics for more than ten years. As a teenager in Denmark, he got involved with the Danish Liberal Youth, doing grassroots campaigning and educating other party members on conservative philosophy. In 2012, he took an interest in the United States presidential election and worked with the Danish Liberal Youth (DLY) to volunteer for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. “The passion and values of the people I met back then made me believe in the movement," he said. In the spring of 2013, Ulrik interned at the Leadership Institute, an opportunity which he credits with teaching him the dedication, execution, and public relations skills which he uses in the workplace today. “I must say that my time at LI was one of the best of my life, and not only because I met the love of my life." (Boesen met his long-term girlfriend during his time in the Washington, D.C. area.) Since returning to Denmark, Ulrik has worked at Japan Tobacco International, one of the world's largest tobacco companies, as the Corporate Affairs and Communications Manager. He enjoys the challenge of working in public relations and government with a product that is highly regulated. Ulrik hopes to continue supporting the international movement for personal freedoms and property rights, particularly in Denmark. He has been a member of the Danish political party, Venstre, for the last decade and has supported candidates in policy, development, and communications. As for advice he would give to other conservatives, he says, “I believe in the conservative values and the security you get from living by them." He also recommends getting involved in youth politics and campaigns at the earliest opportunity. “You must be willing to put yourself on the line. If you are willing to put your time and passion towards something, you will see great results." Learn more about LI's International Training. Learn more about the Institute's internship program and apply here. Mari Vogel is a summer intern in the Grassroots Department for the Leadership Institute. For more information, please visit www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
Leading Without Authority
Patricia Simpson
July 26, 2016
Leading Without Authority
Most of us don't run an organization or company, we aren't calling the shots, and we certainly aren't signing the checks. But that doesn't mean we can't be leaders in our current positions. Here are some helpful tips to put you in a position to influence your peers, and even your supervisors. 1. See yourself as a leader. If you don't have confidence in yourself or your abilities, you can't assume anyone else will. Whatever task you are assigned, become an expert in it. Confidence often comes when you feel knowledgeable, and when you're confident you command respect. 2. Having a network means you're connected. A good manager appreciates when their subordinates have contacts that can help a project be successful. If you know someone at another organization or company who would provide a positive impact on the project you're working on, speak up and let your supervisor know. There's a good chance they'll listen. 3. Don't present problems. Present solutions. If you find yourself hitting roadblocks when working on a project, figure out the best way to work around it. When you let your supervisor know about the problem, you should already have a solution. It shows responsibility, creativity, and innovation – and puts your ideas and actions in the driver's seat. 4. Act like you've been there before. There is always going to be a scenario in which you've never found yourself before. If you take charge and tackle the problem head on without hesitation, individuals are much more likely to listen to you because you are the automatic “expert.” 5. It's a game of pushing and pulling. Figure out how other people communicate. Some are influenced by being pulled into a situation through leading and involving while others are pushed through inquiring and proposing. Once you identify how an individual is influenced, you can adapt your approach to any individual to make them more likely to listen and follow you. Use these five tips to drive results wherever it is you're currently working. Peers will follow your lead and supervisors will notice the example you're setting for others. If you're driven and learn to read others, you don't need a title to be a true leader. Patricia Simpson is the Director of Career Programs at the Leadership Institute. In addition to overseeing the Division's trainings, like the Conservative Career Workshop, she manages all aspects of ConservativeJobs.com -- the Institute's free job placement service.
Leadership Institute graduate uses training to play active role in the Republican National Convention
Jami Averwater
July 19, 2016
Leadership Institute graduate uses training to play active role in the Republican National Convention
Joy Lee is a graduate of the Leadership Institute. She served as an attorney at the Committee on Arrangements for the 2016 Republican National Convention. Joy was born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Los Angeles, CA and Baltimore County, MD. Joy is a proud graduate of University of Maryland and Washington and Lee University School of Law. Read her interview about her experiences at the Leadership Institute and the Republican National Convention. 1. How did being a Leadership Institute (LI) graduate prepare you to work for the Legal Division at the Committee on Arrangements for the 2016 Republican National Convention (“COA”)? I attended the Leadership Institute's Women's Leadership Training in March 2014 in Arlington, Virginia with dozens of other women from around the country. Though this training did not prepare me for the legal and substantive parts of my role today, it provided me with a general framework as I started my career. Politics and the field of law are often considered to be male-dominated fields, so it's especially important for young women to learn how to present themselves as leaders wherever their careers take them. I was fortunate to be surrounded by and learn from some of the best legal, political, and logistics operatives in our party—many of whom are women. 2. How many months in advance does the COA begin to plan the Convention? I moved to Cleveland from Washington, DC for this position in late February/early March 2016, just under five months before the start of the Convention. At that point, the COA was already staffed to approximately fifty people, most of whom moved to Cleveland from various parts of the country. The first staff member of the COA was hired more than a year in advance of the Convention. At its peak, the COA had approximately 120 staffers, dozens of independent contractors and interns, and hundreds of volunteers. 3. Why was Cleveland chosen as the location for the 2016 Republican National Convention for the third time in history? The last time the Republican National Convention came to Cleveland was June 1936. Since then, the city of Cleveland has had its share of losses—economical and sports-related—but in recent years, Cleveland has experienced a resurgence. To showcase that on a national and even international level, the city of Cleveland submitted a bid to host not only the Republican National Convention but also the Democratic National Convention for three cycles in a row. When I asked a member of the Site Selection Committee why they chose Cleveland, he answered, “We felt special there.” Now that I've been in Cleveland for a few months, I can relate to that sentiment. The city of Cleveland has welcomed us with open arms, and it's evident how much this Convention means to the people of Cleveland. Especially in light of its recent NBA Championship—its first sports championship since 1964 and effectively earning its reputation as being a cursed sports city until now—there is a distinct buzz around town. It's exciting to be a part of history, not just for the party, but also for the city of Cleveland.
Happy Independence Day
Mitch Nozka
July 4, 2016
Happy Independence Day
They called him “Silent Cal.” Calvin Coolidge, America's 30th president, was known as a man of few words in his private life. But on the presidential stage, when he had to lead our country, Coolidge spoke with conviction to the American people. “Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery,” Coolidge said. Appropriately for a man of principle, Coolidge was born on the 4th of July. As you and I enter into this Independence Day weekend, please enjoy this wisdom spoken by Coolidge on the 150th anniversary of our nation: “We are obliged to conclude that the Declaration of Independence represented the movement of a people. It was not, of course, a movement from the top. Revolutions do not come from that direction. It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. The American Revolution represented the informed and mature convictions of a great mass of independent, liberty-loving, God-fearing people who knew their rights, and possessed the courage to dare to maintain them.” In a day where the left spits upon our patriotism, as long as I have breath, I will dare to maintain constitutional, liberty-loving, God-fearing convictions. And you are patriotic and courageous. Thank you for standing with the Leadership Institute to train grassroots conservatives to restore and protect America's founding principles against those who work to destroy them.
Leadership Institute welcomes summer 2016 intern class
Jami Averwater
June 16, 2016
Leadership Institute welcomes summer 2016 intern class
The Leadership Institute recently welcomed the 98th intern class to Arlington, Virginia and I am personally very excited to be one of them. My intern class exhibits diversity in age, level of education, college major, and career aspirations, but we all share one important goal in common: we want to strengthen the conservative movement. Since our arrival, we have had the opportunity to get acclimated to the office and to the area by attending the annual staff retreat and participating in a competitive scavenger hunt through the city. During our time here at Leadership Institute, we will host conservative leaders for weekly private dinners, visit Members of Congress on Capitol Hill, and complete projects of high responsibility for our respective departments. There are thirteen of us interns for the summer semester, many of whom are residing in the Sacher House. The opportunity to reside in the house allows a convenient, safe place for us to stay during our time with the Leadership Institute and has proven to never allow for a dull moment. Kelsey Mix (Fairfax, Virginia) is an intern in the Career Services department and spent her first few weeks planning and promoting an upcoming workshop titled "Conservative Intern Workshop". A recent graduate from William & Mary, she hopes to use what she learns during the internship to land a job on the Hill. Kelsey says she enjoys living in the Sacher House and bonding with the other interns because they “are all passionate and involved in their communities and in the movement”. Elijah Montes, a sophomore in his home state of Louisiana, is interning for LI Studios. His most critical duties are to maintain, manage, and operate the equipment used to film the LI Webinars, maintain the headshots for the staff and interns, and assist in the daily operations of the studio crew. Ben Becker (Osseo, Wisconsin) recently completed his freshman year at Bob Jones University as a Business Administration major. Ben is excited to be working with David Blair in the Youth Leadership School program. His duties entail recruiting for the schools and ensuring that the days leading up to it go smoothly as possible. Ben says he enjoys living in the Sacher House with the other interns because he is expanding his network and learning more about the conservative movement from his new housemates. He is also excited to enjoy the benefits of convenient Leadership Institute trainings, such as the Intro to Campaign Data workshop. As a group of new friends, we spent Memorial Day weekend visiting Arlington Cemetery and preparing a delicious meal together. We also recently hosted our first speaker for dinner at the Sacher House and met with key leaders on the Hill to spread the word about the resources available at the Leadership Institute. As one of these passionate thirteen interns, I look forward to growing my network with this group.
In Memory of Richard (
Morton C. Blackwell
June 14, 2016
In Memory of Richard ("Rick") E. Hendrix (1957-2016)
With great sadness, I report the passing of a friend, a colleague, a leader in the conservative movement, and a good and humble man. Rick Hendrix passed away yesterday, June 13, at Fairfax INOVA Hospital. He was surrounded by his loving family and friends. Rick worked as a direct mail fundraiser for more than three decades. Most know him as a founding partner of ClearWord Communications Group, a successful and effective high-dollar direct mail agency. For 10 years before that, from 1993 to 2003, Rick ran the direct mail program here at the Leadership Institute. He oversaw a more than tenfold increase in the Institute's donor base. Staff often joked that Rick could write in my voice even better than I could. For the last 23 years, Rick provided the copy for many of the Institute's monthly mailings. His work generated millions of dollars in donations that have made the Institute's many activities possible. Rick volunteered as a lecturer for almost all of the Institute's fundraising schools. Over the years, he taught thousands of conservatives how to build fundraising programs for their organizations. The entire conservative movement and our country benefitted greatly from Rick's generosity in sharing his time and talent. Rick was the director of the Direct Mail Track at Madison Down Under, a fundraising conference sponsored by the Fundraising Institute of Australia, and was a regular speaker at American University's Campaign Management Institute. He was a certified fundraising executive (CFRE) and a member of both the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He was active in Republican politics in Virginia and served as a member of the Electoral Board in Prince William County. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of my Conservative Leadership PAC. Rick is survived by his wife Taania and their three daughters, Emily, Laura, and Megan. Morton C. Blackwell President Leadership Institute
Potential for Excellence
Elizabeth McCullough
June 13, 2016
Potential for Excellence
I recently stepped away from my desk and slipped downstairs into the LI Conservative Intern Workshop. Because who can resist the lure of free Chick-fil-a? Not I. Neither could 42 interns from various conservative organizations. Sessions started promptly, beginning with Patricia Simpson, LI Director of Career Services. "Every single one of you have the potential for excellence." She paused. “You must think of yourself as a leader.” I haven't been an intern for 10 years, but I felt myself challenged to re-evaluate myself and my goals. “I wake up every morning and say to myself, ‘Let's be awesome today.” Meanwhile, out in the hall, Aynsley Harrison, Career Programs Manager, bled red ink over intern resumes. When she taught the incredibly practical Resume Workshop, I mentally tore up my previously loved resume. Later, a cheerfully honest session on ‘Personal Branding' brought to light the importance of intentional communication, “Make sure people remember you for the right reasons.” All LI trainings are free to every intern. Even if you're not an intern, discounts are often available. Do you strive for excellence? Are you prepared for leadership? Join us at one of the LI upcoming trainings for more ways to ‘be awesome' today. The next Conservative Intern Workshop is coming up next week. Chick-fil-a might even be on the menu.
Making Part Time Jobs Work for You
Patricia Simpson
June 1, 2016
Making Part Time Jobs Work for You
If you're like me, you have what my father jokingly refers to as, “champagne taste on a beer budget.” When I got to DC, my paltry entry-level staffer salary was not enough to sustain my lifestyle (which included “glamorous” things like paying rent and eating Lean Cuisines), so I did what any self-respecting 20-something had to do in that situation - I asked my parents for money! When they said no I did the next best thing – I got myself a part time job. Part time jobs in DC usually fit into one of three main categories – they pay well, they help your career along, or they're something that keeps you sane. Here are some tips on places to look for those jobs and the advantages of each one. They pay well – If you want a part time job that pays well, you're likely going to have to possess a highly technical skill or be willing to do some heavy lifting. There are plenty of folks who know how to do something, and most-likely do it well, but don't want to do it as a career. The benefit here is you can spend less time supplementing your income. Graphic Design HTML coding Moving Companies They help your career – Are you biding time at a non-profit and trying to figure out how to break into a Hill job? Go get a job as a bartender or wait staff at Cap Lounge or Bullfeathers. Do you want to get a job in the conservative or liberty movement? Go snag a job at O'Sullivans in Clarendon and request to work Tuesday nights. It is 100% possible to expand your network while getting paid and I highly recommend doing it. I know several people who got hired to a new position simply because they made a smart connection while working at a bar or being paid $20 to pass out stuffed mushrooms at a private fundraiser. Bars/restaurants frequented by industry employees Organizations and businesses needing extra help after hours Event staff for fundraisers Political call centers They keep you sane – Sometimes making extra money should just be fun. I've worked at a store just to get an employee discount on merchandise and I've worked at a frozen custard shop because I wanted to meet nice people in a cool neighborhood. I have a friend who umpires Little League games. Stress-relieving jobs are like therapy sessions that pay you at the end. Your favorite retail store (DISCOUNTS!) Babysitting or dog-sitting Umpire/referee As fiscal conservatives we need to make sure we're practicing what we preach. The bottom line is if you need the extra cash, you can find a part time job that will benefit you. And if you don't need the money, sometimes a part time job can be a way to blow off steam, a way to meet new people, or your first step toward a new career.
A Letter from Morton this Memorial Day
Morton C Blackwell
May 30, 2016
A Letter from Morton this Memorial Day
Please let me take a moment with you to remember our fallen soldiers and what their sacrifice means on this Memorial Day. Thanks to our armed forces, you and I possess many precious freedoms in America. I've been to dozens of countries around the world. Yes, some of those countries are fairly safe and have modern amenities. But many others are not. Some are crime-ridden or war-torn. And some have a citizenry who have over the years fallen asleep and given away their freedoms to socialist overlords. America has our share of problems. But I've always been grateful to return to a country that beats all the alternatives. The work of the Leadership Institute cannot match the sacrifice of those who fought and died to protect the United States of America and all of us in it. But, by the blessing of God, and with your help, the Leadership Institute will train patriotic conservatives to preserve and advance our nation's founding principles – and make sure those who sacrificed themselves to protect those principles are honored and did not die in vain. Thank you for taking a moment to remember with me. Cordially, Morton C. Blackwell President Leadership Institute
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