I ask people questions every day. So turnabout is fair play. Here’s a dozen questions I’ve used to develop profiles and features that I’m going to answer, bit by bit for you.
1. Who is your role model, or your coach and inspiration?
I am blessed with an abundance of people who coach and inspire me, including my dear friends Bertie and Patricia, and many of my former editors. If I ever go back to editing, I hope I will emulate and approach the smart, energetic, kind collaborative ways of Maryann Haggerty, the former Real Estate editor at the Post. I also could name role models for career change, for innovation and for philanthropy, but I’ll save those for another question or another time.
2. What was your biggest mistake in your career?
I’ve made so many in so many cities that it’s impossible to pick just one. Many of them involve the roads not taken and the opportunities not pursued. One of my big mistake was not starting a web design and development firm in 1996. A friend and I discussed it quite often and even started investigating what it would take. I had already helped to establish one of the first Internet newspapers in the country, the Detroit Journal, and my friend and I figured out how to create a Hillary Clinton Fan Club website (though it didn’t come together easily). We could have been pioneers – women on the web in Ann Arbor and Detroit at a time when most people didn’t even have email addresses. Instead I stuck with newspapers and moved to Long Island. On another day, the answer to this might have involved Indianapolis or not pushing hard enough on my ‘Life after layoffs’ series. Today this is my best answer.
3. In what areas do you really excel? And what makes you afraid or very uncomfortable?
4. Tell me about an important turning point or key moment in your life and how it changed things for you.
My daughter Kate was born Sept. 7, 1988. She changed my view of the world – and of myself. My career went from flying forward at 120 mph to idling in neutral or going at a 45 mile an hour pace. And I was glad to take the side roads and slower advances so I could savor time with her, and then her two brothers, Nathan and Wilson.
Having children made me more child-like and encouraged me to dance, to go to libraries and bring home bags of books, and take trips to apple orchards, zoos and hockey rinks. They opened up avenues that I continue to travel and enjoy.
5. Tell me about your family / early years and how they still resonate today.
6. Tell me about your one or two proudest achievements, and why they shine so brightly.
7. So how do you define success?