Mona Sutphen, Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff and currently a Partner of Macro Advisory Partners LLP.
"My biggest challenge has been work-family balance, because I have two young kids and my whole career by definition has required me to travel quite extensively [and] work at all hours of the day and night. So, that has been an ongoing challenge. In terms of greatest accomplishment, it’s pretty easy and it was really early in my career, which was when I was in Balkans. I worked in Sarajevo on implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and one of the issues that I worked on was negotiating the release of POW’s from the competing forces and we were successful in getting hundreds of people released. It was one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done: to be able to reunite people with their families after being captured for no real reason."
"My only thing is — this is what I think is the most important thing for people — is that you have to understand what trade-offs you’re actually making, because you can’t drive 100 miles an hour and take your eyes off the road and do other things in the back seat of the car at the same time. I think where people get themselves into trouble is where they don’t understand that they are actually making a conscious trade-off between other parts of their life and their career. The more you’re able to understand actually what you’re risking, it makes you able to value each of those pieces fairly, so you understand what really makes you happy, you understand what really makes you satisfied. It also helps you figure out if you’ve done something that is inconsistent with that, easier before you burn yourself out or before you find yourself not with a family like you wanted, in the wrong career, anything like that. I wish there was a simple answer, but for the most part people who get into serious trouble on this [do so] because they didn’t fully understand how much cost they were incurring in other parts of their lives in exchange for career success."
The Politic, Photo via Working Mother