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May 9, 2017

Do Drop the Ball

I had the privilege of hearing Tiffany Dufu speak recently at the Women’s Media Group (WMG) luncheon on the subject of work/life balance. In addition to her inspiring talk, each of us received a copy of her book Drop the Ball.

I’ve been around a long time and have raised three kids while keeping a small business running out of my home, so I felt that I knew it all about managing home and work. I ended up wishing that I’d had Tiffany’s book all those years ago, particularly around letting go of perfectionism.

Here is a highly accomplished woman, both in the corporate workspace and domestically, telling us how to better delegate and accept a different level of achievement while keeping your eye on what you really want. She’s crystal clear on her purpose here on earth, and she’s achieving it.

If her child misses a birthday party, or the brownies aren’t home-baked for the cake sale, she’s okay with that. How she manages to allow her husband, who was based in Dubai when their second child was an infant, to share the responsibilities of home from abroad is instructional and generous.

I learned a lot from Ms. Dufu and appreciate her honesty and willingness to not be the heroine throughout her book. One jaw-dropping story is about a failure of hers on the workfront that didn’t get her fired, but instead recognition from her boss as a superstar. The White House Project, where she ultimately became president, was soliciting major funding from UPS and it was Dufu’s responsibility to get the final proposal to them overnight to meet the deadline.

“After several attempts to follow up to confirm that UPS had received the proposal, our contact finally took my call, only to explain that, yes, our proposal had arrived–via FedEx. Needless to say, we didn’t receive the corporate grant.”

Reading that section, and others like it, made me trust her voice and respect and honor everything else she shared. I highly recommend Drop the Ball to young households in particular, but also to anyone who thinks perfectionism is still an option and is open to reading about a different way.


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