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Move Over John and Kate

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Move Over John and Kate, Carol’s Got Her Own 8!

If you’re Carol Palmer you don’t need to watch the popular reality TV show “John and Kate Plus 8” to imagine what life would be like with eight children – you just look around your very own family to find out. That’s right; our April Woman to Watch is a mother of eight (from a blended family) with six children still living at home. She’s also a wife, cyclist, runner, and a Regional Sourcing Manager for Cargill. Are you feeling exhausted or inadequate yet? I certainly am.

When I first met Carol at a Cargill Women’s Council dinner earlier this year, I was immediately impressed with her energy. She radiates genuine happiness. I would never have guessed that she was the mother of eight. I would not guess that about anyone, let alone a successful career woman. I knew right away that I wanted to feature Carol as a Woman to Watch.

Carol’s story is living proof of the message that I repeat throughout my coaching: “The life you imagine for yourself is possible." She would be the first to tell you that her life is not perfect, yet she would also be the first to tell you that she would not change a thing.

The next time I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by juggling my career while raising two kids, I’m going to think about Carol. If she can make it work, then so can I. If you have not read Carol’s blog yet, read it now. You’ll be amazed by her daily routine!

All working women can benefit from these three valuable lessons that I learned from Carol’s blog:

1) Make time for yourself. Everyone needs “me” time and one of the very best ways to spend your “me” time is to exercise. Exercise re-energizes your mind and your body. Successful business leaders at every level in an organization need both mental and physical energy to do their job well. Unfortunately, many working women abandon exercise when time gets scarce.

2) Communicate clearly. Carol lets her children know exactly what is expected of them in order to make a large family run smoothly. This type of clear and direct communication is a great quality in a mom, and in a corporate leader.

3) Choose a positive attitude. Attitude is often more important than aptitude in a business setting. Companies reward people who have a “can do” attitude. Carol’s positive attitude comes across loud and clear. She chooses to enjoy what she calls “the organized chaos” in her life rather than finding fault in it.

Carol’s life is a wonderful example of a key principle from my book: Success and sanity are in the eye of the beholder. There is not, nor should there be, one pathway that all women agree upon. Kudos to Carol for creating a unique pathway that works for her!