For a pursuit as solitary as writing, it’s remarkable how many people have contributed to bringing this work into being. During the writing phase, my thoughts vacillated between moments of sheer panic and “pinch me!” wonder at how lucky I am to have so many truly wonderful people in my corner.
First, my deepest gratitude goes to all my friends and family for their love, patience, and encouragement. I can only mention a very few here, but send my love and gratitude to all of them. Jeri Weiss is my alter ego and Matt Goldman our treasured co-conspirator. Meir and Claire Stampfer hosted countless dinners and made sure my family never starved for company or sustenance. Aedin Cassidy gave me my very first pen name. Paula Montero and Hugo Regojo hosted my son, Isaac, for sleepovers so I could escape to write in concentrated solitude. My mother-in-law, Sylvia Rimm, has been an encouraging role model who graciously shared her advice as a best-selling author.
My heartfelt thanks go out to my colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital who encouraged me to develop and deliver courses for emerging leaders. Jeff Davis sponsored my initial strategic planning course in the MGH Leadership Academy. Carlyene Prince-Erickson and Michael Nazzaro took a leap of faith and offered the first Business of Life courses for managers. Dr. Nancy Tarbell invited me to teach the course to physicians and scientists through the Center for Faculty Development and that affiliation has been an enormous source of joy ever since. It has been a real pleasure working with Donna Lawton and her top-drawer staff to offer leadership development programs through the Office for Women’s Careers. A special thanks goes to Gayle Kirk who gave me the opportunity to practice teaching my workshop to my first group.
My clients and everyone who has participated in my workshops, seminars, and courses have taught me so much. Their epiphanies and accomplishments motivated me to write this book. I am particularly grateful to those people whose stories appear on these pages for providing inspiration for readers who may be facing similar challenges. My thanks also go out to Jeanette Ives Erickson and Vicki Jackson who are exemplars of visionary leadership.
Finding my voice as a writer was a high hurdle and I couldn’t have cleared it without the guidance of Louisa Kasden and Donna Frazier Glynn. Celia Brown, Jennifer Caplan, and Willow Clark were among the first to read early chapters and Ellen Alfaro gave me the gift of her company on a writing retreat.
Andy O’Connell, my friend and Harvard Business Review editor, patiently challenged me to refine my message, always keeping the readers’ needs in mind. His insights have been invaluable. John Davidow, Executive Editor in charge of WBUR.org, has been a trusted colleague, connector, and friend.
A gigantic thank you to everyone who read each chapter and provided invaluable comments: Jennifer Caplan, Ellen Alfaro, Eric Rimm, Hannah Rimm, Sara Rimm-Kaufman, Trudy Craig, Alma Berson, and Bob Malster. Carey Goldberg must be singled out here for providing the most expert, insightful, and compassionate editorial advice anyone could hope for. I’d be more emphatic about her contributions, but she allows no exclamation points.
Of course, writing the book wasn’t enough. Finding the right publisher was essential and it took a village. Thanks to the wondrous chain of generous people who led me to the various individuals who made it all possible. The linking started with Karla Todd and moved on to Stacy DeBroff to Lisa Butler to Kate Sweetman to Madelyn Sierra to Carolyn Monaco who persistently pushed me to contact the extraordinary Erika Heilman and made the introduction. I can’t imagine a better group than the whole gang at Bibliomotion. An extra dose of gratitude goes to Erika, her exceptional co-founder and president, Jill Friedlander, Jill Schoenhaut, Susan Lauzau, Shevaun Betzler, and the amazing group of Biblioauthors. It’s a joy and an honor to be a part of this spectacular community.
Dr. James Cash has been a kind and generous mentor. Many other talented professionals have generously shared their experiences and expertise with me over the years. I could never list everyone here, but I am so grateful for all they have taught me. Thanks to my associates past and present, especially Peggy Meehan, Manny Correia, Lee Ann Ross, Bonnie Michelman, and Mary Finlay and to Lauren Austin for her hard work and good cheer on this wild adventure.
Finally, no one endured more “stuff” than my family who lived with me while I wrote (and wrote and wrote). Hannah and Isaac’s notes of encouragement grace the walls of my tiny office. Their many “minivisits” just to say hi or plant a kiss were precious and deeply appreciated. Eric Rimm, my cherished husband and partner in life, patiently reassured me over and over, and was constantly available to serve as a sounding board. If that isn’t enough, he makes me laugh every day. His support and friendship blow me away. I can’t imagine traveling this road without him.