By Andy Gilmore
Sometimes, a successful partnership is all about negotiating the most mundane tasks – like how to correctly prepare a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The “PB&J problem,” described by panelist Jean Abbott, M.D., professor emerita of the School of Medicine, was one of the many personal lessons from a panel discussion at the 12th Annual CU Women Succeeding Professional Development Symposium on Feb. 28.
The “Lean-In” panel took its inspiration from Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s book of the same name. The book discusses how women can achieve goals, leadership and a successful career.
Folding or cutting?
The panel from CU – which also included Noelle M. Northcutt, M.D., assistant professor, internal medicine; Comilla Sasson, M.D., MS, assistant professor, emergency medicine; Carol Rumack, M.D., professor, radiology and associate dean for Graduate Medical Education; and Katy J. Brown, DO, a fellow in the Department of Medicine – moved away from the classic panel discussion format by encouraging audience participation.
The thinking behind this, Northcutt explained, was to have participants “to walk away with some personal development.”
Abbott, in introductory comments, focused on lessons learned from the “PB&J problem.” Her husband, she explained, insists on folding rather than cutting a sandwich.
That “drove me nuts,” she said. “It’s not the way you make a sandwich.”
“Perfection is the enemy”
She said she yearned to “stay in charge.” And yet, she knew a successful partnership is an equal partnership. She learned to let it go.
Brown built on Sheryl Sandberg’s claims that “perfection is the enemy” and “Superwoman is the adversary of the women’s movement” by asking the room to discuss “the myth of doing it all.”
The consensus was that, often, just being able to finish a task – even to a lower standard that would usually be expected – is equal to perfection at that moment.
Attendees were encouraged to continue the discussion by going to www.leanin.org
In other sessions at last week’s CU Women Succeeding:
- Jay Dedrick