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Feb
05

Leader…Or Not?

By

Tracey Eyester - Every MOMent Counts

Is she, or isn’t she, a leader; Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin?  That question seems to be on everyone’s lips.  Lipstick or not.

That question has caused me to take a step back, peer into the mirror and wonder how I would answer that question about myself.

My initial thought…I used to be a leader.  I was a Paralegal in one of the top law firms in South Florida with offices on the island of Palm Beach.  The attorneys I worked for recognized my leadership abilities and trusted me with free reign on the projects I worked on.  I ended up becoming somewhat of an expert in my field because the firm specialized in Equity Country Club conversions and ultimately I ended up on the leadership team of a start up club in Stuart, Florida and then the Membership/Marketing Director of an exclusive golf club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  Not long after that, the unexpected happened – I was blessed with a pregnancy, though the doctors told me I would never get pregnant.

What is a woman (who is a leader) to do when faced with a fulfilling job and motherhood looming on the horizon?  In my opinion, a woman and her husband are to pray, seek God and determine what is best for her (and their) plans for the future.  Once you know God’s desire you then have to act on it, make that tough decision – even if it requires sacrifice.  Isn’t that really what leadership is after all?

In my leadership roles in the business world I have had the best of business plans, put them into action and then circumstances changed and suddenly the perfect business plan had to be altered.  To quote the US Marine Corps, “adjust and adapt” … that is the role of a leader.

Yes, I enjoyed my career, but the tough decision for me was to leave my job, and the sacrifice was to sell our large golf course dream home and move into a 1,400 square foot home in an entirely different type of neighborhood.

Did I become less of a leader when I made the decision to stay at home with my daughter?  Is Michelle Obama less of a leader because her first priority is to care for her daughters – even when her residence is the White House?  For me, staying at home with my child was the right decision and the sacrifice was not painful because my husband and I chose it.

Leadership can look different during our changing seasons of life.  I have used my leadership skills in church and civic organizations and I have run more than one “at home” business in an effort to utilize my skill set.  As I look back over the years I recognize that I have learned more about leadership and working with others through motherhood, my many hours of volunteerism, and being an entrepreneur,  than I ever would have learned had I stuck with the law firm or the country clubs.

Ladies, if you are assuming leadership is only for women in suits who have spent the last few years sitting behind a desk, or in a classroom, I’m here to tell you that you are definitely mistaken.

As someone who has lived “both lives” so to speak – career woman and stay at home working mom – I believe that the greatest news of all is that today’s woman now has choices and she is not bound by what the world tells her, she need only be bound by how God directs her.

Remember…every MOMent counts!

Blessings.

Tracey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tracey Eyster is the creator and senior editor of MomLife Today and has served with FamilyLife.com as a writer for three years. After becoming a mom, she “retired” from her career in public relations and marketing but continued to serve by volunteering on many committees and boards.  You can find her at www.momlifetoday.com,  www.momlifeoutloud.com , www.blog.familymatters.net follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/momblog, and hear tips from her on parenting at www.iquestions.com.

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