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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lipstick Leadership: Respect - Kristie Davis's Story!

"As a stepmother, I often struggled to find that fine balance between friend and mom. My stepson has a wonderful mother who is helping him lead a strong, value-filled life. However, I'm a firm believer that it takes a village to raise a child. I didn't want to just be his friend - I wanted to be a 'co-mom' for him, basically a third-party for him to talk to.

After many years of struggle - taking him to the duck pond, playing football with him, and showing him that I loved him as a son - I sometimes wondered if it was working. That changed one day when I jokingly asked, 'Who's your favorite stepmom?' and he replied, 'You are.' I laughed and said, 'That's because I'm your only stepmom,' and he looked at me for a minute, and then what this 11-year-old said brought tears to my eyes. 'No, Kristie,' he said earnestly. 'Even if you and dad divorced and he remarried, you'd still be my favorite stepmom.'

This story means even more to me today, now that he's a teenager, as his father and I are divorced. I'm still trying to figure out how to be a 'non' stepmom. But the lesson learned here is that you don't have to strive to be liked to be respected and loved. You have to go for what's right. I've applied this to my career as a teacher as well. I don't have to be a child's friend; I have to be his teacher, and I have to be respected by him."

- Kristie Davis

For more of "Mom's Wisdom" to apply in your workplace for success, check out my new book "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership" available in local bookstores and online at BarnesAndNoble.com!

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