Steve Roesler, one of my favorite leadership bloggers, is the CEO of his own business. His frequent updates are always practical, and reflect the wisdom of his 30 plus years of experience with executives.

Another favorite, Mary Jo Asmus, owns a leadership solutions firm, Aspire Collaborative Services. She has a special focus on soft skills needed for leadership success and has a unique way of challenging leaders to be thoughtful in their relationship building on the job.

Wally Bock gathers the best from the business press about leadership, top stories from the news, and highlights from independent business blogs, and presents them weekly to his readers, along with his own commentary. His other posts provide insights and ideas for leaders at all levels. Wally reads everything so the rest of us don’t have to.

Miki Saxon, who leads her own company, RampUp Solutions, Inc. , writes Leadership Turn. She brings her unique MAP (mindset, attitude, and philosophy) to everything she writes. She is not afraid to tell it like it is. She often includes quotes and cartoons in her off-beat blog.

Here’s the thing: I am not Steve; I am not Mary Jo; I am not Wally; I am not Miki.

Discovering and defining who we are includes understanding and accepting our unique life circumstances, values, preferences, and limitations.

Earlier this week, I loaded my three daughters into the van for a trip to O’Hare to meet Lisa Rosendahl, a friend I met on Twitter. I had planned to leave them with a sitter but at the last minute, those plans fell through.

I had a decision to make. I could cancel the meeting, and miss an opportunity to connect in person, or I could bring my crew along.

It’s not the first time I have included one of the girls in my work relationships. Anyone who has ever talked to me on Skype knows that my daughters’ faces frequently show up in range of my webcam. Or if you have talked to me on the phone, you might know that my conversations are frequently interrupted, sometimes happily, other times, not so.

Earlier this summer, while on campus at Mountain State University, my youngest daughter colored and played nearby while I did Twitter training with a few staff members; later, she snacked on Cheetos while I worked on last minute edits of a blog post.

In some ways, I would like to have a firmer boundary between who I am at work and my life at home. I envision myself putting on my professional self like a suit and walking into meetings on confident career legs, unencumbered the ballet bag full of colored pencils, books, stickers and snacks I carry to keep my girls occupied. At this stage of my life, though, that vision is unrealistic.

Being with my girls and juggling work and home life is what I do now. More than that, it is who I am. As I write about leadership here, I bring all of who I am.

Sometimes you might see my girls peeking through the spaces in my sentences; sometimes, I let them take center stage. But they’re always around: sticky fingers, whiny cries, sweet smiles.

This is who I am. Who are you?


This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.