Monday, March 2, 2009

A Tale of Two Soccer Moms

We are in the middle of the biggest snow storm of the season, and once again, school has been canceled. While children delight, working moms experience fright. "How am I going to get to that important meeting with _____ (fill in the blank)? Who is going to care for my kids?" One of the results of setting up your life plan and social biography, followed by a closely-coupled financial and retirement plan, is freedom. Freedom to spend time with your family during times when it is most critical. To have balance in your life even if you want it all.

I have had the good fortune to know two local Women that have been able to make such choices. I met both of them on the soccer field. I had no clue that both were powerhouses in their respective careers until much later - when they were "off-the-clock", they were totally "standing down" from their corporate lives.

One of them Brenda Barnes, was an executive at Pepsico at the time. She and husband Randy both held senior positions. Often they would arrive for weekend games having just landed in the corporate jet from a meeting. One day, Randy appeared at school to pick up his children after school. He was dressed casually, and looked relaxed. This was unusual, as their nanny typically handled these duties. He told me then that he and Brenda had decided to leave Pepsico and return to Illinois. They would both do some corporate board work, but spend more time as a family. As Brenda later said during an interview, "I made my decision not because my children needed more of me. I needed more of them". Now Brenda is back at number 6 on the Fortune Top 50 Women in Business list. I'm sure her four children are benefactors in her social biography, which she had the foresight to craft for success - family, career, life.

Another "Power Mom" is Jacki Zehner. I have her blog, Purse Pundit, in my recommended resources list. She and her husband, Greg, were soccer coaches in our local rec program when I met them. I had no idea that she and Greg were both partners at Goldman Sachs - she the youngest invited to join the partnership. They have since left their positions to focus on family and faith. Jacki has become a frequent media commentator, and recently appeared on CNN's Morning Show. Both are building a social biography that includes philanthropy and service to others.

Take today's snow event to think about your social biography. Spend time with your children. You'll be glad you did.

Until next post, continue to believe, achieve, receive. SDG - JBHIV

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