lessons from a mentor, boss and friend

Earlier this month we celebrated the life of a very special person. The morning of the services, I sat and reflected on the impact Kathy had on my life and the many lessons I learned from her - as a mentor, boss, and friend. Read on for a few of my favorites.


Be your most authentic self

Kathy wore bright colors, high heels, big jewelry, and had the personality to match. She was full of vibrant energy and optimism and never held back from sharing that with me, both as a boss and a friend. Her energy was contagious.

*When we hold back our truest energy, we do a disservice to those around us. Shine on, my friend.*

People are the most important asset

As my boss, Kathy always, ALWAYS had an open door. I heard a quote once that said, “Be efficient with tasks, be effective with people.” Kathy was the epitome of this. She was never too busy to mentor, support and make sure we had what we needed, logistically and emotionally, to be successful.

*Put the people in your life first. The dishes, the work, the bills will always be there.*

It's OK to make mistakes and admit them freely

Kathy created a safe space to openly admit anything – like the time I lost my pager, or the time I got yelled at by a doc for not being taking proper precautions in a patient room, or the time I got called out for making inappropriate facial expressions when the Colonel was talking (my face was an open book – lesson learned).

*We only learn from mistakes when we can admit them and explore them. Shame and hiding never win.*

Support people even when what they want is not your preference

When it was time for me to move on from Walter Reed and leave Kathy’s team, she did everything to support me – interview tips, reference letters, brainstorms about my next steps. She never wanted to hold me back to serve herself. At a time when others were trying to convince me to stay in the Army, this support was priceless.

*Be the person who helps people follow their own path - and follow your own as well.*

Your turn! 🙂 

Kathy’s life was a gift. I am grateful to have had such a beautiful influence in my life and I hope you have some of these amazing teachers in your life as well.

Take a moment to reflect on how someone has influenced you. And maybe even shoot them a note to let them know!

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