Book review by Kathy Megyeri
“Rebalance, How Women Lead, Parent, Partner and Thrive” by Monica Brand, Lisa Neuberger, and Wendy Teleki
Wendy Teleki is an attractive, middle-aged woman who holds advanced degrees, is a mother of three teenagers, a successful career executive, a helpmate to a politically active spouse with MS, and a devoted daughter—someone who has it all. With two other women like her, Monica Brand Engel and Lisa Neuberger Fernandez, Teleki has written a book to share their winning formula and given the rest of us some chance too, as the book cover claims, to “lead, parent, partner and thrive.”
Nancy Cordes, Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News, writes, “Finally, a road map for working parents seeking to balance meaningful careers, raise good children, give back to society, and practice self-care in an ever-changing world.” The authors are willing to share what has worked well for them individually and as a group.
There’s Monica Brand Engel, a wife, mother, investor, entrepreneur and co-founder of Quona Capital and Lisa Neuberger Fernandez, a wife, mother, sustainability strategist and director of Accenture. And of course, Teleki, who heads the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative at the World Bank in Washington, DC which helps to increase financing for women entrepreneurs in over 60 developing countries. She’s also an author and holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business. The three of them divulge their secrets in juggling successful careers, raising kids, building strong relationships and still be likeable, fun-loving friends who care for themselves and each other as they examine the trade-offs, conflicts, and juggling acts is a real gift.
Readers, all who gave this book 4-star reviews, claim it is applicable to men as well. The insights they share, the detailed, practical, and useful tips drawn from their collective wisdom and from other sources make it, as one reader says, “a book I wish I had read earlier in my career and one that I will give to others for it shows the importance of having support, being self-aware, choosing your partners well and even admitting that some aspects of life may not be prioritized but that’s OK because you can always ‘rebalance them’.”
The process requires “intent, discipline, time out, and finding your own ‘wolf pack’.” The authors refer to flight attendants’ admonishment that “in case of emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first” because especially as we age, taking care of ourselves is an investment in the future that doesn’t just benefit ourselves but our families, our work and our communities. So for every working mom and even for us older retired women, this helpful book of advice shows how to treasure the people who bring us joy and find more balance in work, family, self, and community to live our entire lives with purpose.