Named to Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women and by the Huffington Post as one of 19 women who are leading the way, Tiffany Dufu’s life’s work is advancing women and girls. She is a nationally renowned expert and speaker on women’s and Gen Y leadership.
Tiffany serves as Chief Leadership officer, Levo League and on the Launch Team for Lean In. She is former President, The White House Project, and was previously at Simmons College and Seattle Girls’ School. Tiffany is on the board of Harlem 4 Kids and Students First New York, and lives in Harlem with her husband and two children.
Author of Drop the Ball, Tiffany Dufu may seem to do it all, but for years she hampered her own growth with the expectation that she must do it all—be the perfect woman, mother, wife, mentor, and author. In this talk, Dufu shares her manifesto on how doing less allowed her to feel more fulfilled.
Her hard-won insights include:
Where unrealistic expectations for our work and personal lives are rooted;
Why we need to ditch the to do list;
Why the key to delegating is clear communication.
According to her,
Sometimes, in an effort to get things done, we stunt other people’s growth
“Normally in the mornings my husband and I tag-team. He gets the kids ready and then I commute them to school, but obviously when there’s only one adult in the home, it means that the one adult that’s left has to do both of these jobs.
“Now when my husband travels I get up an hour earlier, I get myself ready I then get the kids
ready and then we can get out of the door on time so that I can commute them to school. Which is why at the end of the year, when I was thanking my husband for holding down the forte particularly for losing out on sleep he says to me, “oh thanks babe but I didn’t miss out on any sleep.” so I asked him, “well how is it that
you were able to get yourself ready, the kids ready, and get out of the door with everyone to school and work on time if you didn’t get up any earlier?” and when he explained what he was doing my mouth kind of fell open.
“He says, “Oh I get up at the same time that I normally do and then on my way into the bathroom to get myself ready I wake up the kids with the proclamation, “Kids wake up. I’m setting the timer for 45 minutes
and in 45 minutes, I need you at the front door with breakfast in your stomach, your hair brushed, your teeth brushed, the ash off of your skin, your shoes on, your coat on, your homework in your backpack, because your mom is not here and I don’t have time to get you guys ready.”
To which I responded, “They can do that?” and in that moment I had what I now call a Tiffany’s epiphany which is that sometimes in an effort to get things done we can stunt other people’s growth and that what we do is far less important than the difference we make.