Meet Matthew Hurtt: Having Fun Saving the Country
Kirsten Holmberg
August 26, 2022
Meet Matthew Hurtt: Having Fun Saving the Country
“The late Andrew Breitbart implored us to be happy warriors, and I am grateful for the opportunity every day to be a happy warrior for our principles. If you're not having fun saving the country, you're doing it wrong.” Meet Matthew Hurtt, the Director of Professional Services at Leadership Institute. He is an internationally recognized fundraiser, organizer, writer, and public speaker. I interviewed Matthew to hear more about his background and draw on his vast political and fundraising experience. What motivated you to get involved in conservative politics? My parents were never politically inclined before I ran for office at age 19 in 2006. My interest in current events intersected with a local property issue that was affecting people in my church, and I decided to jump in head-first by running for local office. That interest stuck, and I remained very involved through college. I co-hosted a conservative talk radio show on 88.3 WMTS with my best friend, wrote editorials for the school newspaper, and was elected to Student Government. Off-campus, I worked alongside my elected state representative and senator and was a fixture in the state capitol before moving to Arlington to work at Leadership Institute in 2009. You currently serve as the Director of Professional Services at the Leadership Institute. Can you tell me more about your work? The Director of Professional Services oversees LI's Careers Training, ConservativeJobs.com, our Internship Program, and provides additional resources and support to LI's 250,000 trained activists across the country and across the globe. I tell people my role is the “switchboard” into the conservative movement. If you're looking for activist training, employment opportunities, and other movement resources, I'm your guy. What would you like our readers to know about Leadership Institute?Graduates of Leadership Institute training have an underutilized resource at your disposal – LI's vast network of other trained activists! I speak every day with people who benefit from that one introductory email to another LI-trained activist to help them advance their conservative policy, campaign, or professional goals. If you've taken LI training of any sort at any time, reach out to Leadership Institute and allow us to maximize your efforts.Before coming on as LI staff, you were a distinguished faculty member for LI. Why did you decide to teach for LI? What have been some of your favorite topics to talk about?I started teaching for LI almost by accident. When I worked as one of LI's Regional Field Coordinators in 2009, I began offering to help other departments and divisions teach their programming.I taught a Youth Leadership School at the University of Kentucky in August 2009 and a Campaign Management School during D.C.'s “Snowpocalypse” in December 2009. Once I left full-time employment with LI in early 2010, I continued to teach as guest faculty.My undergraduate degree actually includes a minor in secondary education. I wanted to be a high school history and civics teacher, but professors told me I'd hate the red tape and bureaucracy. Serving as guest faculty allowed me to scratch the itch to be in the classroom with almost no bureaucracy or red tape with an audience of students who truly wanted to learn.What is, in your opinion, the most valuable Political and Fundraising training, workshop, or school someone can take here at LI?I think the training that really has the most potential to produce the most generational benefit for conservatives is the brand-new Conservative Organizational Entrepreneur training.This training is designed to teach conservatives how to start your own nonprofit or issue advocacy organization.Our movement would greatly benefit from more organizational entrepreneurs who establish local, state-level, and even nationally oriented groups to advance conservative principles, and Leadership Institute training can point you in the right direction and empower you to launch your own organization.As the Communications Director of the Arlington GOP, what are you most looking forward to in the upcoming elections?I love crafting messages that excite our activists and get them off the couch. Conservatives don't win a lot of elections in Arlington, but our activists are engaged because I help drive a narrative that keeps them involved.Our 4,000-person email list always engages with our updates, and people turn out to our events because they read about them in our emails or across social media.We don't win a lot, but we certainly can't win if we don't show up. So, I really enjoy crafting messages that get our activists to show up.How has LI helped prepare you to serve as the Communications Director for the Arlington GOP?I think knowing LI's headquarters is within the boundaries of my local political engagement forces me to be a more effective activist; it allows me to test activism ideas because Leadership Institute is the incubator of conservative activism.To that end, I feel a certain responsibility to be the best and most effective activist I can be. I can't teach people about it in LI trainings if I haven't gone out and done it myself.Having managed numerous political campaigns, what would you tell a first-time campaign manager?Your candidate should be knocking on doors and raising money. If you outwork the other guy – especially in a small primary – you can win. Knock doors. Raise money. Spend that money effectively. Nothing else matters. Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?As a conservative activist in a community where 80% of my neighbors voted for Joe Biden, I tell people, “I'm the kid in the room full of horse manure, saying there's got to be a pony in here somewhere.” The late Andrew Breitbart implored us to be happy warriors, and I am grateful for the opportunity every day to be a happy warrior for our principles. If you're not having fun saving the country, you're doing it wrong.If you're interested in the Conservative Organizational Entrepreneur or any other Leadership Institute training, visit LeadershipInstitute.org/Training to explore your options.
Meet Rick Tyler: From the hospitality industry in Maine to Political Commentator & LI Trainer
Kirsten Holmberg and Jordan Deibler
July 27, 2022
Meet Rick Tyler: From the hospitality industry in Maine to Political Commentator & LI Trainer
Meet Rick Tyler, the Director of Core Schools at the Leadership Institute (LI). He is also a thought-provoking Political Analyst for the MSNBC Cable News Network offering a conservative perspective to unfolding political events. As a professional political strategist, Rick has helped hundreds of candidates prepare for the rigors of campaigning for public office. He is Co-Founder of Foundry Strategies, a strategic, communications firm specializing in helping candidates and campaigns hone their communications skills. Rick was the National Spokesperson for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's presidential campaign. In the 2012 election cycle, Rick was a senior advisor and spokesman to the Winning Our Future PAC, a pro-Newt Gingrich for President Super PAC. Prior to joining the PAC, Rick was a key member of the former House Speaker's team for more than a decade serving as Gingrich's advisor and spokesperson. A gifted communicator, Rick has appeared thousands of times on national television news shows including MSNBC; Fox News Channel; CNN; CBS News; NBC News; ABC News; PBS; HBO; CNBC; CBN; Bloomberg News; BBC; CBC; RTE; and Al Jazeera. I interviewed Rick to hear more about his background and draw on his vast political experience. Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background? I came out of the hospitality industry working in hotels and restaurants. I started my political career when I volunteered for the gubernatorial campaign of the mother of one of the waitresses in a restaurant where I worked in coastal Maine. I've worked in politics ever since. I've worked on campaigns. For five years, I was the executive director of the Maine Republican Party. In that position, I engaged GOPAC to come to Maine and conduct political training for our House and Senate candidates. Soon after, I became a political trainer for GOPAC teaching all over the country. For more than a decade, I trained thousands of candidates and activists to win elections including three trips over six years to train California Republican Assembly members at the request of then-leader Kevin McCarthy. You were the national spokesman for Ted Cruz for President as well as a personal advisor and spokesman for Newt Gingrich. What motivated you to work for these men? In 1994, I was just getting started in politics, but it was Newt Gingrich who grabbed my attention when he organized the Republican Party with a Contract with America that led to the Republicans gaining the majority both in the House and the Senate for the first time in 40 years. I followed him closely. When the opportunity came to meet his closest advisor, Joe Gaylord, I made clear my desire to work in what was then affectionately known as Newt-world. I had never met Senator Cruz when the call came asking me to work on his presidential campaign. But I soon met him, and we hit it off immediately. In Newt's case, I was motivated to work for him because he was a leader with a proven track-record having seized the speakership; in Cruz' case, because he had the potential of a future conservative leader. Are there any insightful stories that you can share from your time working on campaigns or with candidates? Everyone has a story. The key to developing a great candidate is telling their unique story that is relatable to voters. I have found that most candidates are bored by their own story because, well, it is their story. But people are fascinated with stories. Our stories connect us to the hearts of voters, not only getting them to like us. That will inoculate you as a candidate from criticism. We tend to defend people with whom we have made an emotional connection. Stories allow voters to know what the candidate is about and their character. This provides a solid foundation for putting their trust in that candidate. So, developing the candidate's story and personal brand is the most important part of a successful candidacy. You are the Director of Core Schools here at the Leadership Institute (LI). Tell us a bit about your position. My main goal as the Director of Core Schools was to create the Campaign Leadership College (CLC) as the most comprehensive course LI has ever offered. The purpose of the course is to develop campaign leaders who work at the senior level of campaigns for conservative candidates. For a candidate, being conservative is not enough. You must have experienced people to run a winning campaign. The CLC seeks to fill the current, severe shortage of trained conservative campaign managers and directors so that conservative candidates can have competent managers and directors to run their campaigns. What is, in your opinion, the most valuable Political and Fundraising training, workshop, or school someone can take here at LI? I think that all depends upon what your goals are. LI offers so many quality programs from the Youth Leadership School, to the Conservative Organizational Entrepreneur, to the Campaign Leadership College. However, I would say that everyone should take the public speaking course because even if you don't plan to become a public speaker, having the ability to communicate your ideas in a clear and persuasive manner will help you in any career goal. If you're interested in the Campaign Leadership College, Public Speaking Workshop, or any other Leadership Institute training, visit LeadershipInstitute.org/Training to explore your options.
LI Grad Interview: Californian, International Communicator, Presidential Campaign Spokesman
Kirsten Holmberg
September 22, 2021
LI Grad Interview: Californian, International Communicator, Presidential Campaign Spokesman
“The world is run by those who show up…. America has plenty of critics. What the country needs are conservative men and women in the arena.”Meet Ron Nehring, Leadership Institute (LI) graduate, faculty, and Director of International Programs. I recently interviewed Ron to hear about his experiences running for office and his time as Spokesman for Ted Cruz for President. Last year in the 2020 general elections, Ron won local office in his hometown in California.Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?Shortly after I became the President of my College Republican club at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, I learned of the Leadership Institute and Morton Blackwell. After attending seven LI trainings, I used those skills to become Chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, Chairman of the California Republican Party, Republican nominee for Lt Governor of California, Senator Ted Cruz's presidential campaign spokesman, and a local office holder. You were the national spokesman at Ted Cruz for President. What motivated you to get involved in the campaign?As 2016 approached, I wanted to be involved in the presidential election. Senator Cruz was a solid conservative and first-time presidential candidate. While more established candidates like Jeb Bush had large organizations already around them, there were greater opportunities with a candidate who was building his national organization, and I was motivated by his clear and unapologetic conservatism. Do you have any insightful stories from your time on the campaign or as a candidate? In politics, you get to define what victory means. If victory only meant winning the office, no one would run for any office where the odds are against him. But, the movement needs candidates who will step up for a battle that's uphill. When I ran for Lt Governor, the odds against me were overwhelming. And yet, the campaign further raised my profile and was helpful in my becoming Senator Cruz' California chairman, and later his spokesman. The benefits of stepping up for a campaign may not be immediately apparent. Yet a solid effort can open important doors in the future. How has the Leadership Institute helped you during your time in public service? I hold a Political Science degree, yet most of what I learned about winning a campaign came from LI — both as a student, and later as a faculty member. If you really want to master a topic, try teaching it. It forces you to delve much deeper into the subject and understand its relationship to other areas. When I ran for local office in 2020, the campaign was designed exactly to match what we teach at LI. The strategy was developed from the same methods we teach, and implemented using the same tactics. While victory can never be guaranteed, I'm grateful to the voters for the overwhelming support I earned through this effective campaign. You are the Director of International Programs at the Leadership Institute. Tell us a bit about your position.Leadership Institute brings literally world-class quality training in organizing and communicating to conservative leaders, parties, and groups around the world. Many of the leaders and potential leaders LI has trained have gone on to successfully win public office, and from there put conservative ideas of free markets and individual liberty into action. I work diligently to take proven techniques and adapt them to different countries, cultures, and political systems. Center-right organizations worldwide know when they need high quality training to improve their effectiveness, to call on the Leadership Institute. Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?The world is run by those who show up. We are blessed to live in a country which welcomes political involvement. Americans of any background can be involved in shaping our government, and advancing ideas to improve the human condition. As Morton Blackwell has observed, being right in the sense of having the best ideas is not enough to win. America needs leaders who want to do something, not just be someone, to maximize their effectiveness with the skills necessary to win. Teddy Roosevelt put it this way: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."America has plenty of critics. What the country needs are conservative men and women in the arena. This interview is from the Leadership Institute's Political and Fundraising Monthly Newsletter. When you sign up for this newsletter, you get articles on the latest in politics, interviews like this one, and you'll be the first to know about LI's political and fundraising training opportunities. Don't miss out! Sign up here.
The American Conservative Movement – An Outsider’s Perspective
Maguelonne DeGestas
February 14, 2020
The American Conservative Movement – An Outsider’s Perspective
As a French woman, before my arrival at the Leadership Institute I had rarely heard the word "conservatism" so much. Now, all the time I hear: this politician is a "conservative", this media outlet is "conservative", and this principle is "conservative". Not only does American conservatism exist, but it is firmly anchored in the political and social vocabulary of the country.In France, are we as comfortable with this word "conservatism"? I believe we are not. Conservatism as an ideological force lacks presence in France's political landscape, to the detriment of the public policy. For conservatives like me, it is difficult to practice conservative philosophy as a career as one can in the United States by working in the conservative movement.Unlike in the United States, in France we don't have a large political movement that unites conservatives and classical liberals. It seems indeed eminently difficult in France to maintain a conservative-classical liberal position and succeed in governing sustainably.On the other hand, the US experienced a "conservative boom" between the 1970s and 1980s. The American right gained ground, notably thanks to the emergence of conservative intellectuals who defined a political line and the momentum built by numerous organizations in the movement.In France, on the contrary, we experienced during this same period a left-wing emergence, which advocated the overthrow of the moral sense of French society.Sadly, French conservatism has not enjoyed the same enthusiasm as in the United States.But today, things are changing. More and more French people are trying to take root again, in a specific place and community, with their own way of life. Conservatism in France still has much to do to defend – a common heritage, future, and freedom in policy.Let's hope that the next municipal elections in March will be the occasion to elect candidates capable of bringing a real conservative line in the political field.
When You’re Burnt Out
Ben Woodward
January 15, 2020
When You’re Burnt Out
As the resident Englishman in the office, many of my colleagues have stopped by my desk in recent days to ask my thoughts on the recent announcement by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex regarding their withdrawal as senior royals.I know what you are thinking; you clicked on this link looking for career advice, not to read more about Harry and Meghan.Though most of us will never have to deal with the intense public scrutiny the royals do, you may relate to the feeling of burn out at work. Recognizing it in yourself, your colleagues, and your subordinates is important.What is burnout?Not to be confused with the normal stresses of your day-to-day work, burnout results in a lack of motivation and deep sense of negativity at work.Your productivity declines and you find it difficult to become excited about your projects.How do I resolve burnout?Lighten your workloadThis is not to be confused with neglecting your essential projects. However, many people burn out because they take on too much responsibility and do not delegate work to those who should be responsible.Be stricter with your calendar and realistic about what you can accomplish that week. By saying yes to every favor your colleagues ask, you will load your plate too high. Focus on your priorities, and do not be afraid to delegate work to colleagues if it falls within their responsibility. If you are unclear about what your priorities are, talk to your supervisor.Take relaxation seriouslyKnow what you need to do during the day and in your personal time to relax. For me, I take my lunch hour every day without fail, and I leave the office. If I have to work late or come in early to complete my tasks I will, but my lunch hour is essential to keep myself motivated throughout the day.You may find you can work through your lunch hour and remain motivated throughout the day; however, when you get home and before you leave for work, make sure you are giving yourself time to unwind.Organize your personal lifeProfessionalism requires you to keep your personal life from affecting your work life. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, which requires an element of self-discipline. If you wake up tired and go to bed with too much energy, then you need to re-balance your sleep schedule.Likewise, money can often be a source of stress. Make sure your finances are under control; your payday should not come as a source of relief. Be in control of your spending and build a savings account that you can use to give yourself the occasional treat to relieve burnout.Be health consciousYour health has a tremendous effect on your work and your mental state. Staying hydrated throughout the day will prevent headaches. Excessive reliance on caffeine or sugar will cause fluctuations in your mood.In addition, it does not take a genius to work out that eating right and regular exercise will improve your state of mind and give you the self-confidence you need to excel. Know when it is time to move onBefore you consider moving on, talk to trusted colleagues and your supervisor about ways to improve your current work situation. If they do not know there's a problem, they won't find ways to help you. However, if you decide that enough is enough, it may be time to consider looking for a new opportunity. If that is the case, find a job that fulfills gaps in your existing work life that caused burnout. Make sure you leave your current job on good terms.Consider an internal transfer as your first option; if that does not help, or is not possible, look elsewhere. Make sure you retain your current job while you seek a new one.FinallyBurnout is a difficult challenge to overcome and there is no easy fix. If you are truly unhappy at work, find a way to resolve the problem. If you notice burnout in others, reach out, and offer help.
Putting the Business in Business Casual
Sheridan Nolen
August 19, 2019
Putting the Business in Business Casual
If you're like me and always doubt what business casual means, here's a quick tutorial. Business Casual: a style of clothing less formal than traditional business wear, but still intended to give a professional and businesslike impression. It typically includes slacks or khakis, a dress shirt or polo shirt, blouses, dresses or skirts at knee-length or longer, and dress shoes. During cold weather, knit sweaters and vests are also acceptable. Business casual outfits provide a more relaxed look but still indicate professionalism. It can be hard to develop a clear understanding of business casual expectations if you have just started a new job or if it's your first time attending an event. Different employers and groups have a variety of expectations for business casual, but common denominators exist among them. Here are some general tricks to mastering business casual attire.1. Jackets and blazers are optional. Unlike business formal attire, business casual outfits can be worn with or without a suit jacket or blazer. It is entirely optional! You are not expected to wear a jacket or blazer in a business casual setting. via GIPHY2. If you'd wear it to the gym, leave it at home. Sorry ladies, but leggings aren't pants in the business world. They belong underneath dresses and skirts. Gentlemen, windbreakers and track jackets shouldn't be worn in a business casual setting either. Business casual does not include athletic wear. If you'd wear it to the gym, just leave it at home. via GIPHY3. Jeans are hit or miss. In general, avoid jeans in a business casual wardrobe. Some offices permit jeans as acceptable business casual clothing, but you should still avoid light-washed or ripped jeans to maintain a professional look. Pair your jeans with a button-up or dress shirt, a jacket, a good quality belt, and neat shoes. If you are wearing a button-up shirt, adding a tie is up to you. via GIPHY4. Dress up.The stress of feeling under-dressed is far worse than showing up overdressed for work or an event. For this reason, always dress up if you are unsure of business casual expectations. For example, many companies consider polo shirts part of the business-casual spectrum. If you are unsure whether this is the case with your current job or an event you are attending, go with a button-up shirt and a tie. Always dressing up does not mean wearing a three-piece suit as business casual – it means wear a jacket and tie, even if you're not sure if others will. via GIPHY5. Observe other employees.Your easiest tool to decoding what your office considers business casually is looking at your colleagues. Making observations about what people around you wear is the perfect way to gauge what your employer expects you to wear when they say business casual.
Capital in the Capital
Matthew Patterson
October 1, 2018
Capital in the Capital
Do you want to work in the Capitol or Capital? Many people often confuse the two words; with one letter of difference, it's an easy mistake. Whether you want to work in the capitol building or capital city, you should know about the different types of capital, each of which has a unique impact on your life.Social CapitalYour network is your net worth. We have all heard this phrase or a variation of it, particularly if you are in the D.C. area, and it cannot be truer. Not only does knowing more people expand your available opportunities when searching for a job, it can also make you more valuable to the job you have now. If you can pick up the phone and completely bypass the chain of command, you will be invaluable.via GIPHYOne of the most common issues people run into is how to effectively build your social capital and expand it outside of the workplace. One thing you should remember is that everyone you want to have a connection with is a person too. They have (fairly) normal lives, going out to eat, shopping, to the park, so on and so forth. Meeting people at these places, outside the office, can help lead to a great network in the Capital.Human CapitalLiving in the Capital can be a change of pace for those not used to the D.C. scene. As someone coming from a small town in East Tennessee, it was certainly a change for me. One aspect of your capital that can be left on the back burner during this transition is your human capital.via GIPHYYour human capital is your health, and with all the great places to grab a bite to eat or get a drink, it can be easy to not pay this much mind! However, those couple nights out and networking lunches can catch up with you. To help with this, D.C. offers many ways to help with your day to day health, including parks, trails, health food stores, and too many gyms to choose from! Its also important for your human capital to get some adequate sleep; you should never fall asleep at your office because of that Capital night life!Financial CapitalIf there is one thing everyone living in D.C. can agree on, it's not cheap! With some of the highest rent and cost of living in the country, it can be easy to find yourself on a strapped budget. It's important to save money, but up in the Capital it can be hard to justify putting that capital back in the bank.via GIPHYThe little things can help make this a lot easier such as taking the metro or bus instead of Uber, or shopping at Trader Joes instead of Whole Foods. Sure, it might not be as glamorous, but the pay off will be when you're not worried about those plane tickets home or that anniversary with your significant other.
10 Common Mistakes at Job Fairs, Trainings, and Networking Events
Carmen Diaz
July 6, 2018
10 Common Mistakes at Job Fairs, Trainings, and Networking Events
Last month the Conservative Partnership Institute held an Executive Branch Job Fair on Capitol Hill. I had the opportunity to work this event. More than 1000 job-seekers registered! I met men and women who drove hours and flew into D.C. that morning. Events such as these are fantastic opportunities to build your network, and who knows, maybe even secure a job. Unfortunately, many people make needless mistakes that leave a bad impression. Below are the top 10 common mistakes you should avoid.1. Not coming at allIf you can't afford to attend, or you're worried you may be underqualified, contact the manager of the event. Trust me, they want high attendance! Financial and travel resources may be available for students and interns. Similarly, if you registered but are unable to attend, it is thoughtful to notify managers beforehand.2. Incorrect name tag etiquetteName tags should be provided at events, but feel free to have a printed one always on hand. A tag should be placed on the upper right side of your chest with both your first and last name. 3. Dressing inappropriatelyIf a training doesn't specify dress code, business casual is the general rule of thumb. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Your next interviewer could be in the room.4. Typing your notesIt is proven that handwriting notes helps retain more information. For the sake of professionalism and to prevent distraction, avoid using your laptop and phone completely.5. Being afraid to ask questionsTake full advantage of the time you are given with experts. Write notes and questions throughout the lecture so your memory is fresh for the Q&A period. via GIPHY6. Not introducing yourself to staff and speakersI always remember friendly attendees who introduce themselves and shake hands. Saying a simple thank you shows respect to event organizers and speakers who've made the effort to be there.7. Sitting next to a friendInterns of the Leadership Institute are encouraged to attend as many trainings and workshops possible. There is only one rule: don't sit next to each other. Socializing with the guy you recognize from last week is a waste of a networking opportunity.8. Not completing evaluationsYou've invested time and money into attending an event hoping to learn something new. If you're unhappy or have suggestions, you owe it to yourself and your peers to give honest feedback. Organizers review comments carefully so programs continually improve.9. Treating this as a coffee dateNow is not the time to either share your life story or recite your resume. To a speaker who may be in a rush to another event or staff member who is busy managing the event, this is rude and will definitely be remembered for the wrong reasons. Introduce yourself, collect contact information, and follow up with an email.10. Not following upLike networking events, you haven't made a connection until you follow up. You may now schedule a personal meeting with your new contacts and ask the rest of your questions - but perhaps still refrain from sharing your life story.via GIPHY
Conservative on a Budget
Carmen Diaz
June 25, 2018
Conservative on a Budget
When you seek out a new job or internship, it's important to find a position that will value your time, education, and experience. While it never hurts to practice your negotiation skills, many people new to the workforce fail to realize it's not how much you make, it's how much you keep.Budgeting is often a foreign concept to students and young professionals, who mistakenly think money management requires either an accountant or mathematician. Today, resources for all levels of financial education are available, and I suggest you discover a method that is realistic and suitable for you. via GIPHY Here are three easy ways to manage your budget.Grab a calculator, and recall a conservative's favorite word: F.R.E.E.Fun (15%)For the sake of our own sanity, we all want to use our salary for fun. You work hard, and you deserve to indulge yourself. Remember, part of a successful internship is to enjoy your experience in a new city. Just be smart about it; an intern salary can disappear quickly.Return (5-10%)Set aside 5-10% of your income to “Return”, or give back, to your community. Give to your church, or find a cause personally significant to you. Within the conservative movement alone, there are countless foundations whose efforts rely on generous donors.Emergency (10%)10% of your earnings should be placed in a savings account, investment fund, or used to pay off existing debt. If your car suddenly needs a repair or you have a medical emergency, you will be grateful to have a fund readily available.Essential (65-70%)Calculate 65-70% of your monthly income to cover all your “Essential” expenses. Presumably, the majority of your income will go towards your groceries, housing, transportation, phone bill, etc. Acknowledge your financial weaknesses, and determine how to overcome them.Figure out how much those daily coffeehouse visits, lunches, dinners, etc. are costing you, and identify ways you can save money.Prepare your meals the day before; learn to love the office coffee; and find free events where food is served. Perhaps your comrades influence your lavish spending. Communication is key; inform your peers about your new habits and you should not only gain their respect, but may also encourage them to establish wise spending habits of their own.via GIPHY Create separate bank accounts for separate purposes.I recommend you have at least three separate bank accounts. At the beginning of each month, calculate your expenses i.e. food, rent, bills, and more. Remember, most of the money in your account has already been spent on essentials, so make sure your current account is an accurate portrayal of your spare income.Place 10% of your overall income into a separate savings account you can use later. You'll be glad it's there when an unexpected expense arise or you need a vacation. You third and final account is your current account, the money you really have left to spend on yourself this month. Start to develop responsible spending habits now to prepare your future self for any possible circumstance. No matter how impressive your income is, you'll find yourself financially struggling if you spend irresponsibly and don't keep track of where your hard-earned cash is going! Wise money management can determine your financial future as much as your income, so remember conservatives, live F.R.E.Evia GIPHY
Negotiate the Salary You Deserve
Ben Woodward
April 30, 2018
Negotiate the Salary You Deserve
Salary negotiation is among the most awkward topics of conversation to have with your boss or potential employer. Salary is a taboo subject, something to be kept private. The only problem is, when we are so used to avoiding it, we get out of practice when the topic emerges. Most would rather accept the first offer for fear of seeing a job offer or promotion withdrawn. However, negotiating your salary is important, not only to ensure you get the best compensation for your skills but also to set the trajectory for future raises. Remember, each increase in your salary is based on the previous number, meaning any raise you negotiate will benefit your career forever. via GIPHYHere are eight tips for a successful salary negotiation.1. Salary negotiation typically happens during a job offer or review.Your potential boss should begin the negotiation process when they offer you the job. At that point, they will offer you a number, and you will make a counter offer. Remember, you can also ask for a raise during a six month or annual review. If your boss doesn't automatically offer a review after an agreed amount of time, don't be afraid to request one. 2. There's more to consider about a job offer than money.When finding a new job, remember money is not the only factor to deliberate. You should consider whom you‘d be working for, your career trajectory, and how challenged you'll feel in the job. There is no sense in taking a well-paying job if your career stagnates after a couple of years because there is no room for growth. 3. You can negotiate outside of your salary.Even if your boss cannot budge on pay, you can negotiate elsewhere. For example, perhaps there is an option for a signing bonus, more vacation time, increased retirement contributions, or they can pay for skills training. 4. Do your research before going into the negotiation.Before going into negotiation, you should equip yourself with adequate knowledge so you can make reasonable requests. Look carefully at the sector you'll be working in; non-profits pay less than the private sector and campaigns pay less than non-profits. Also, carefully consider where you'll be living and the costs associated, as well as the size of the organization and the market value of your skills. via GIPHY5. Know where to look.To understand the salary you should be negotiating, there are many resources available to you. For jobs in the government or on Capitol Hill, sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other public records can be helpful. Other sites like Glassdoor and Payscale.com are great for the private sector and non-profit jobs, and 990's are useful for non-profits too. Also, if you feel comfortable, have a conversation with your network. 6. Don't say a specific number, give a range.When you are asked about your salary requirements, give a range rather than a specific number. Remember, it's a negotiation, not a demand. If you're hoping for $50k per year, I recommend you say you would like to make $48k - $55k. If they can't meet your minimum, don't forget, you can negotiate other benefits. 7. Don't accept the first offer they give you; ask for time to consider.If you're nervous about the negotiation process, thank them for the offer and ask for a day/the weekend to think about it. When you speak with them the next day, be ready with your counter offer. Remember, when you're making your counter offer to emphasize your value, not why you need more money. 8. Stay positive and respectful.Remember to keep the negotiation civil. Consistently highlight your interest in the position and your excitement at the prospect of working there. Remember, you are going to have to work for this person after the negotiation is over. Finally, salary negotiations are awkward, but if you handle them correctly, you will come away with a better employment deal, which will continue to benefit your career for years to come.via GIPHY
The Next Generation: Episode 2018
Andrew Walter
March 14, 2018
The Next Generation: Episode 2018
Victory in politics is the direct result of the number and effectiveness of the activists behind it.This is one of the valuable lessons I took away from the Leadership Institute's flagship training, the Youth Leadership School, last November. It became clear to me that this is true, and the Leadership Institute is the best source to better understand political technology. This drove me to pursue an internship at the Leadership Institute.Like other interns at the Leadership Institute, I had read political books, assisted campaigns, and led a campus organization. But I knew the invaluable experience gained from the Leadership Institute would take my passion for advancing liberty to the next step and make me an effective leader in the movement.The professional skills, networking, and daily understanding of the most effective political technology means wherever my career takes me, LI has set me up with the confidence, skills, and knowledge to make liberty win.This semester's class is even bringing the expertise of LI to places across the globe. “I look forward to using my training in LI to help liberty flourish in my home country, Peru,” said development intern Javier Alban.The message of freedom is strong, and with the right training, conservatives can effectively make it a reality everywhere. If you would like to be part of the next generation of effective activists as a Leadership Institute intern, find out more about the program here.
Conservatives on the rise: Canada's Harper takes helm of International Democrat Union
Ron Nehring
March 2, 2018
Conservatives on the rise: Canada's Harper takes helm of International Democrat Union
One of the most important tools for conservatives working together to advance sound principles worldwide is the International Democrat Union, or IDU. Founded in 1983 by America's Ronald Reagan, Britain's Margaret Thatcher and Germany's Helmut Kohl, the IDU is a global alliance of center-right political parties sharing a common commitment to the principles spelled out in the group's founding document, the London Declaration.While some may have felt the group's mission was accomplished with the West's victory in the Cold War and subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union, on closer examination it is clear that the need for conservatives to work together worldwide is as great as ever. While we have seen the spread of democracy in the 20th century, we have not automatically seen the uniform advancement of the center-right principles of free markets, individual liberty, and personal responsibility. Venezuela has worked to export "21st century socialism" throughout Latin America, for example, while Russia uses information warfare to cause problems within NATO nations, the EU, and the United States. Many more examples abound.Last week at the IDU's Party Leaders Meeting in Spain, the IDU took another step forward toward fulfilling its post-Cold War potential with the election of former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as President. Harper, a skilled and principled leader who understands how political parties work, is the latest addition to the IDU's new leadership team. Christian Kattner, the skilled political operative from Bavaria's CSU party (the more conservative sister party to Angela Merkel's CDU), came on board as Secretary General in 2014, setting the stage for the group's future growth.The IDU's greatest potential lies in serving as a dynamic forum for the exchange of ideas and best practices among center-right political parties, both in terms of policies as well as political campaign strategies and tactics. Last year at the IDU Campaign Managers Meeting in Berlin, I was introduced to numerous campaign leaders from a variety of countries including the UK, Norway, New Zealand, and a host of others. Each presentation provided insight into techniques, messages and methods used by the campaign teams of each of these parties to advance. It is a critically important function.With the continued strengthening of the IDU leadership team, I have great confidence we will see a further sharpening of the center-right parties that fully participate in this critically important organization.This article was originally posted on www.ronnehring.org/blog.
Leadership Institute Program Catalog
Leadership Institute
January 16, 2018
Leadership Institute Program Catalog
The Leadership Institute increases the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. To accomplish this, LI identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media.LI's Program Catalog, available for you to view here, gives you a 41 page overview of Leadership Institute programs, including:- Campus leadership,- Campus journalism,- Career services,- 47 types of training schools,- International training, and- Online training and resources.
At 22, Amir Farahi Takes Action to Help His Community in Canada
Gordon Arnold
July 7, 2017
At 22, Amir Farahi Takes Action to Help His Community in Canada
At the age of 22, Amir Farahi has run for local office and has established a think-tank in his hometown of London, Canada. His family fled Iran's totalitarian government in the 1970's, which would later inspire him to run for City Council. Amir became the youngest person to run for office in his hometown. His campaign was a pivotal force in spurring millennials to make an impact on the political process. “I would have never guessed ten years ago that I would run for the City Council,” Amir said. Although he lost his first attempt at public office, Amir wanted more in-depth political training. After receiving positive recommendations from his friends, Amir decided to attend Leadership Institute's Campaign Management School. The four-day training provided him with the tools and knowledge to put together a successful campaign plan. “The Campaign Management School's hands-on exercises were useful and resourceful, as they accurately demonstrated the process of putting together a campaign and doing research,” Amir said. “I have taken forty pages of notes and I still have a whole day left of the training!”Amir aspires to be a civic leader who “provides plans and solutions to enhance the standard of living and improve people's lives.” To fulfill this ambitious task, he organized Canadian think-and-do tank, The London Institute. This organization works to bring people together to solve problems and spur economic development. Amir doesn't know what his future holds, but he has no doubt the Leadership Institute equipped him to succeed in politics. “The Leadership Institute has taught me the best process to pursue in order to put together a campaign plan and do the necessary research in the most thorough way possible. Additionally, I learned this week about the hands-on skills that I need in order to put on fundraising events, campaign events, and similar staples of a political campaign. The Leadership Institute even spent time detailing social media skills in a thorough way.” The Campaign Management School, in Amir's words, took “what could have been a complicated campaign machine and broke it into smaller pieces to help us understand how it operates.” As a recent graduate from Western University with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economics, Amir nonetheless proclaimed, “The past four days were a better and more useful educational experience than the entire four years of my degree program in Political Science.” Whether Amir ultimately holds elected office, manages a campaign, or expands his think-tank, he says his experience at the Campaign Management School gave him the skills to be a “leader of his community.” When asked for his advice for newcomers to the political arena, Amir said: “If you are looking to get involved in politics, then the Leadership Institute should be your first stop. It is the one place where you can gain the practical skills to know how to effectively campaign.” Join me and congratulate Amir on his innovation and persistence to make a difference in his community.If you're interested in the Campaign Management School Amir took, you can learn more here. Leadership Institute offers more than 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,868 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 186,207 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders.>
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 leaderRecruiters 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 recruitersGood 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 fieldBuilding 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 contributionsMany 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.>
5 Reasons You Should Consider Working for a Conservative Movement Abroad
Ben Woodward
June 15, 2017
5 Reasons You Should Consider Working for a Conservative Movement Abroad
You can probably recall a number of sobering moments in your life where you had the opportunity to either step up or retreat from a challenge. When I was 23, I moved to the United States from the UK to work for the Leadership Institute. The prospect to work in the American conservative movement for an organization like LI, which is so pivotal, was an exciting one.However exciting the opportunity, I remember the moment I arrived at my accommodation. I put my cases down and froze. It dawned on me that I had just quit my job, and left the security of my friends and family. It was a scary prospect; but nine months later, I would recommend the experience to anybody.Here are five reasons you should consider working for a conservative movement abroad.You learn a lot from another country's practicesConservative movements, or indeed any kind of industry, do things differently in different countries. This makes you both an asset and a liability. An asset, because you bring new ideas and experiences to the table. A liability, because your knowledge of basic work practices in your new country may be lacking.Nevertheless, you can be confident that having worked for a conservative movement abroad will make you an asset in your home country. If conservative movements are to be successful, they should be open to new ideas and employ talent globally, just as the private sector does.It's a test of characterThrowing yourself into unfamiliar territory is an opportunity to prove yourself. A good employee should be able to adapt to new challenges and face them head on. If you are able to build a network of friends, establish yourself in a new environment, and succeed in a different working environment, then you signal to employers that you can adapt to new challenges.In addition, it forces you to mature. When you move to a new country, you cannot depend upon the safety of your traditional support network. You are on your own, and rising to that challenge means you can be depended upon to support others.It will broaden your mindConservatives in different countries have different ideas and policy priorities. The UK and US conservative movements are very different. The experience will challenge your views, and you will learn a great deal about areas of policy you know nothing about.Being an effective conservative requires you to have a broad understanding of policy, and the arguments for our movement. Working for a movement abroad, you will learn new examples of conservatism in action and be exposed to new organizations from which you can learn.You will work with inspiring new peopleConservatives are dedicated to our cause; it's why we're winning. Working for a conservative organization abroad is an opportunity to network with a whole new pool of conservative talent. These people are future leaders and elected officials you can learn from. It is also a great chance to make new friends who share your values. You will have the chance to attend events like conferences, campaign launches, and more that you would otherwise be unable to attend.It's fun!Who doesn't love traveling? The opportunity to see new places, eat new food, and make everybody jealous on social media are some benefits of working abroad. It's an experience you'll remember forever. You only live once!If you're thinking about working for a conservative organization outside the U.S. consider the following:Hans Seidel FoundationInternational Democrat UnionWilfried Martens Centre for European Studies (Think tank for European People's Party)Unión de Partidos Latinoamericanos (UPLA)Canadian Taxpayers' Association >
Chilean student leader wins three week trip to DC
Autumn Campbell
March 28, 2017
Chilean student leader wins three week trip to DC
Max Rubio won a trip to Washington, DC. Three weeks to see all the sights, three weeks to breathe in the fresh air of politics, and three weeks to gain a crash course in communications training.Max, from Chile, is studying business administration and economics at the University of the Andes. He explains his involvement in his student body as an “active student leader in the libertarian student movement called Alternativa Libertad.”Max is no stranger to the Leadership Institute. In December he participated in LI Chile with Dario Paya in “a two-day school with workshops on how to mobilize people, win elections, and how to get votes,” Max recounts.Thirty-five attendees competed in the school for a trip to DC and to visit the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia. Eight tests later, Max emerged the winner.Three weeks after Max landed in DC, I met up with him to recap his adventure.AC: What was your favorite part of DC? MR: Definitely my favorite part of DC was the feeling of the city. The peak of both intellectual and political worlds met there and you could feel that in all the city. Events like International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC) and Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) were the maximum expression of this sensation. My favorite place was the Library of Congress though. AC: What was your best memory? MR: My most cherished memories will always be the conversations I had with friends I made during my DC stay. Also, trivia night at Oz [a local restaurant]. AC: You mentioned your group is a libertarian student movement (Alternativa Libertad). What do you hope to achieve or to promote as a student leader in Chile through this movement?MR: Alternativa Libertad (and I) promotes the ideals of a free society, to teach people about the reduction of state influence in our daily lives, and defend the ideas of freedom and justice in our university and country. AC: Which LI communications trainings have you taken in your time here?MR: Advanced Debate with Dr. Shosky, On-camera TV Workshop with Elizabeth Peace, and the Public Relations School.AC: Which training do you find may be the most help to you? Why?MR: Probably the Public Relations one because it's more comprehensive. I've already started implementing some things. The social media class especially. I manage the social media for my group so the change has been pretty instant.AC: That's awesome. How do you plan to make changes to your social media specifically?MR: Probably through the expansion of it. So far we're too focused on Facebook. We have Twitter and Instagram [accounts], but they're a little forgotten. The training convinced me we have to start using Twitter and Instagram, not as extension of Facebook, but [for] what they're good at. Twitter to make things viral, and Instagram not to expand the message but to convince your people and to further relationships. So I've started re-activing our Instagram and Twitter accounts. I'm probably going to open a Snapchat account soon.AC: So given what you've learned here, what would you tell someone needing comms training?MR: Well I'd definitely recommend they take Chilean LI training or come to DC for more specific trainings. As to what I've learned, I'd teach them mostly that you can never underestimate the power of social media and communications. Especially in this day and age, most people aren't going to see you in person so a lot of work has to be put into your comms department from social media to whoever manages your email to your press releases.AC: How do you anticipate using the training you've received here at LI to continue your career as a student leader? MR: I'm taking these lessons, what I've learned, back to Chile to hopefully set up a campaign for legislation and student council. Fifty percent of congressmen are student leaders before they're congressmen and run full blown actual campaigns. What I've learned in my passing through here, I plan on taking it back and helping my student group with student federation for 2017.As I finished my questions, Max asked if he could say one more thing:“I'd like to thank LI for being such gracious hosts. They've gone above and beyond what I expected from it. I'm grateful for that. You guys got me lodging and into CPAC. You could've done half of what you did, and I still would've been grateful. I feel like you've gone the extra mile. That makes me feel special and grateful.” The Leadership Institute offers more than 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,873 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 182,327 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders.>
LI faculty members join international election observation mission in Honduras
Ron Nehring, Director of International Programs
March 14, 2017
LI faculty members join international election observation mission in Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA – Honduras is one of the few countries in Latin America with a center-right government. This week, four Leadership Institute staff and faculty members participated in an international mission observing the country's national primary elections. The Leadership Institute's International Department has a robust ongoing training program in Honduras. The center-right National Party is under pressure from two leftist parties, the more extreme of which, Libre, receives active support from radical left-wing regimes in the region including Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. International observation missions are an important means of ensuring transparency and accountability in internal party democracy. LI's Director of International Programs Ron Nehring, former Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine, and former party chairs Nyna Armstrong and Thaddeus Taylor, who made up the LI team, were joined by 17 observers selected from conservative parties of other Latin American countries by Germany's Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Foundation), which sponsored the program. The observation team visited 4 polling places in the region of Honduras' capital of Tegucigalpa, watching and reporting on how voters received and cast their ballots in each party's primary election. The team reported the election was well organized and experienced only minor complications, such as the late arrival of observers from various party factions at some polling places. “While countries like Venezuela and Cuba rest political liberties, Honduras demonstrates a strong national commitment to allowing every citizens' voice to be heard,” said Nehring. In 2016, the Leadership Institute trained 1,058 conservative candidates, potential candidates, leaders, and activists from throughout Honduras. Click here to learn more about how you can bring an LI training to your country.
Leadership Institute trains Canadian Conservatives poised to take back Alberta
Ron Nehring, Director of International Programs
February 6, 2017
Leadership Institute trains Canadian Conservatives poised to take back Alberta
With the left in control in “the Texas of Canada,” conservatives in Alberta are gearing up for a comeback. On Saturday, January 21 the Leadership Institute trained 223 activists, elected officials and future candidates with an intensive program that brought participants from throughout Alberta and as far away as Edmonton. Leadership Institute Director of International Programs Ron Nehring and expert faculty member Bill Faulk of New York led the program. They were accompanied by William McBeath of the Manning Centre. The overwhelming attendance shows a “pent-up demand for this kind of training” according to one Conservative Party leader. Participants received training in subjects including the real nature of politics and elections, campaign strategy, crisis communications, digital activism, campaign messaging, and more. The Calgary program was the second in a series of six programs the Leadership Institute is holding throughout Canada in 2016 and 2017. Future programs are already on the books for Halifax, Toronto, and Ottawa. Click here to learn more about how you can bring an LI training to your country.
Thanksgiving is a Day to Celebrate, and be Thankful for, our Religious Freedom
Karla Bruno
November 23, 2016
Thanksgiving is a Day to Celebrate, and be Thankful for, our Religious Freedom
The myth of the First Thanksgiving is held dear by most Americans: Pilgrims, having reaped a glorious harvest of squash and other vegetables, shared a feast with Indian friends in 1621.The reality, alas, is a bit different.The Pilgrims of Plymouth landed in the New World in December 1620, and the following spring celebrated a day of Thanksgiving for having survived the cold Massachusetts winter. There was no harvest feast because the crops hadn't been planted yet. Only half of the original 102 settlers survived that first winter.Meanwhile, back in Virginia, earlier English settlers had already celebrated two official annual days of Thanksgiving each December at Berkeley's Hundred on the James River (now known as Berkeley Plantation).The friendly First Thanksgiving rivalry between Virginia and Massachusetts dates to the 1930s and continues today. In truth, no one knows when the First Thanksgiving took place because it was a normal part of everyday life for Virginia Indians as well as Spanish and French Catholics in Florida.The consistent factor in all Thanksgivings—regardless of year, population, or location—has been the religious nature of the day, with the full support and encouragement of elected officials from the town mayor to the U.S. President.America is blessed with freedom of religion, not from religion, thanks to the First Amendment, and we continue to embrace the Judeo-Christian principles that helped shape our great nation politically and sociologically. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”As Ronald Reagan said:“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”You and I must continue to fight for religious freedom. Never rest; the opposition never does.One way to fight that fight is to practice the religion of your choice in a public way. Let us all enjoy our families, big meals, football, and parades on Thanksgiving, and maybe take time to attend a religious Thanksgiving service at a place of worship near you, recalling that we are endowed by our Creator with the right to the free exercise of religion and that all Thanksgivings in America, past and present, are centered on gratitude to God for His blessings. >
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