All your questions for Naomi Adler, Esq., answered! This week’s question:
Has being a mother prepared you for leadership? How?
One lesson parenthood has taught me at home and at work is to really invest in people — to be present for others. Even when you don’t have the time for it. Especially when you don’t have the time.
There is always so much to do, a million things pulling us away from other people. But years from now, I want my kids to know that they were a priority to me, no matter what was going on. So when I’m at home, I always try my best to put aside time for them. My kids will be the first to tell you that some days I succeed better than others. But I try. It might be as simple as asking, “What’s the best or most interesting thing that happened to you today?” (And then actually listening to the answer and asking a good follow up question.) Giving of my time and attention shows them how important they are to me. And of course the whole interaction also does me a world of good, as time moves so fast and family time is the most precious part of my life.
It’s a similar dynamic at work. Anytime there’s an issue raised to me by the staff, I really try to put aside whatever’s happening and make sure I’m there and listening. I want them to know that I’m present, and that what they are doing is important to so many in our communities. The same can be said for when I’m meeting with colleagues, or volunteers — and I run into Jewish Federation volunteers everywhere, even at the grocery store! But my goal is to tune in to each person, even if it’s just briefly while we’re in the checkout line together, so that they know that I care and they are also incredibly important!