Inspired By: Tiffany Dufu

Dufu, Tiffanysm“Leverage your community of support. Don’t do it alone.”

Speaker Tiffany Dufu has devoted her life’s work to advancing women and girls. As chief leadership officer to Levo League and launch team member to Lean In, she is able to complement her personal mission to inspire women and girls to recognize they are the most powerful change agent in their own journey. We asked her a few questions about her own professional journey and successes.

Q: How did your professional career begin, and how did you end up where you are today?

A: The professional and the personal are the same for me, because my life’s work is advancing women and girls… I am exactly where I am today because of the mentorship and sponsorship of women who saw my potential and expended their social, political and economic capital on me. Two women in particular—Jane Williams and Marie Wilson—invested in me and I’m forever grateful.

Q: Who is a leader that you have great respect for and why?

A: So many, but right now I’m like half the planet in my crush on Hillary Clinton. Her picture should be next to so many words in the dictionary: Experienced, Resilient, Integrity. She is unwavering in the actualization of her declaration that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.

Q: What it your best advice for moms who want to both tackle a career and create a happy home?

A: When my son was 1, I was thinking of declining a business trip because I felt that he would start walking any day and I wanted to be there for him for his first steps. My mom asked me “Do you remember who was there when you took your first steps?” I had to admit, I didn’t even remember taking my first steps.

She then gave me the best advice: “Honey, if you’re going to create the kind of impact in the world I believe you have the potential to, you’re going to need to get clear about what actions you’re taking that are for YOUR benefit vs. what actions you’re taking that are for your children’s benefit. Don’t confuse them.”

Q: What are the top three tips you would offer to a woman looking to reinvent her life?

1. Lead with either your passion/purpose OR that at which you excel.
2. Leverage your community of support. Don’t do it alone.
3. Meet with as many people as possible who have reinvented their lives.

Q: What was the hardest career transition in your life, and how did you grow from it?

A: Closing The White House Project just a few months ago. That was heartbreaking. I grew because I mustered up the courage to explore my own lessons and committed to taking them into the next phase of my journey.

Q: What is the one thing you make time for in your daily life that helps keeps you refreshed and positive?

A: Dancing to Tina Turner, Janet Jackson or Beyonce all over my furniture. Even my kids have to crawl out of bed sometimes to tell me to keep it down!



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