In January 2013, I had the privilege of being in the room with greatness.  My husband, Tony, and I attended the Kenner Lecture on Cultural Understanding and Tolerance at Lehigh University.  In an informal question and answer format, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke candidly about being the only woman in the room and how important it is for women to speak up and lead.  She noted that women have the attributes to be great leaders:  “The challenge for our leaders is not to eliminate diversity of perspectives, for that is not possible.  The challenge is to manage them, and when necessary, moderate them, so that we are not defined primarily by what keeps us apart.”   Ms. Albright exuded strength of character combined with kindness and empathy that I wish we would see in more leaders today.

My favorite quote attributed to Ms. Albright:  “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”   Let’s follow her example, be a great leader, help other women, and pay it forward!

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