My Tiara

After serving on the Ms. Foundation for Women board for two years, I was asked to become board chair. I balked.

Although I had served on a several non-profit boards over the years, being chair would require a new level of leadership and responsibility. Was I capable?

I decided to face my fears…and work with a coach to overcome them.

When I met Rosemarie Perla, I knew we would work well together. She exuded serenity and had a good sense of humor. She helped me navigate the complex balance between board and staff, interactions with unique personalities, as well as my own strengths and challenges.

I enjoyed my new role. I met interesting, engaged people — donors, allies, and activists. I learned about organizations doing exciting, effective work across the country. There was just one tiny glitch.

When it came to making fundraising calls, I broke out into a sweat. I’d hem and haw and procrastinate as long as possible.

Rosemarie sat me down. You love this organization and its mission, she said. When you talk about it I can feel your excitement, she said. You need to tap into that passion when you make those calls, she said. You’re a creative person, she said. You need to figure out a way to embody that power, she said. Embrace your Divine Feminine, she said.

I thought about it for a few days. Then I had an idea. I bought a sparkly rhinestone tiara to wear when I made the calls. No one I talked to had a clue I had it on, but I sat taller, breathed easier, spoke more calmly and with confidence. There was a little bit of magic in that sparkle, I suspect.

Now, I don’t think this is at all what Rosemarie imagined I would come up with, but it worked. It worked for making all sorts of difficult calls, not just fundraising. It also works when I’m feeling stumped in my writing process. Seriously.

I keep my tiara on the shelf next to my desk, close at hand… in case of emergency.

Rosemarie Perla