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    How Women Business Leaders can Overcome Adversity and Manage Curve Balls

    My first pink week was filled with love and compassion. My girlfriends, who are all successful in their careers, have been marveling at my bravery. I really don’t think I am brave but rather willing to tackle what I can’t control. I have made some observations this week while I slowly swim to the surface shedding the pain and confusion. These insights can certainly be applied to how we, as women business leaders manage adversity and curve balls.

    1. Control

    As women business leaders we are required to be in control and manage as many facets of our lives as we can. But what happens when the uncontrollable strikes? When I was first told that I had breast cancer – there was actually nothing I could do to change the situation, even though I have always prided myself as being a problem solver, a creative thinker and a go-to person others depended on to help with unmanageable issues. When told about my diagnosis a co-worked said “I don’t know how you are staying calm – if it was me I would be hysterical and out of control – I could not function.” It occurred to me that I may not always have control of what happens in my life but I always have control of how I react and deal with the situation. The ultimate control is having control of how we react to an uncontrollable event.

    2. Bravery

    I was somewhat surprised to be referred to as brave, For me bravery does not come into the equation. It’s not about being brave — it’s about living your life to the fullest. So facing adversarial situations is more about figuring out how to take experiences in your life and weave them into your life’s tapestry. Where do you put them and how do you deal with them?

    3. Authenticity

    I am really not interested in hiding my current situation both physically and conceptually. This probably plays into my identity of having breast cancer and feeling a certain sense of pride that I have been able to endure this.

    Right now, to me,  it seems so unnatural to want to physically disguise what I am going through.  Actually, as I become familiar with my new transitional body, this has been a great opportunity to examine my authenticity and use it as a way to further develop “my personal brand.”  To those who have experienced similar situations, I wonder … what were your thoughts about this as you processed your new body image?

    5 Responses to “How Women Business Leaders can Overcome Adversity and Manage Curve Balls”

    1. Wendy Abberger says:

      Dear Roxanne,
      Debra Jacobs has just made me aware of the challenges you’re facing with your characteristic grace and fortitude. Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Also know that now that I’ve found your blog, I will go to it often for my own source of strength, wisdom, and good sense.

      You’re an incredible woman and I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to meet you. I look forward to knowing you much better over the years to come!



      • roxannejoffe says:


        Getting involved with LF has added a wonderful dimension to my life. What I did not bargain for is this unprecedented network of love and support. I only hope that I will have the opportunity to give back.


    2. Another great post, Roxanne (I commented on one earlier too). I really admire your willingness to ask yourself some tough questions about authenticity, etc. Brave is definitely the right word people are using when they describe you that way!

      • roxannejoffe says:

        M.C. Your comments are so special to me as you were the first person to interview me in Sarasota – ithink that left an indelible bond -

    3. [...] your life is overwhelming and you feel that you are losing control –focus on the issues that you can [...]

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