Strolling to Success with the Clintons

Sunny Day, NYC


via Daily Mail, photo by Banjo.

It’s not every weekend you get to see one of the country’s most-recognized families out for a stroll in New York City. But indeed, just after Christmas, I caught a lucky glimpse of the Clintons strolling with their family along lower 5th Avenue in Manhattan as I strolled along with mine.

And while Daily Mail captured it for the world to see, my family and I had a unique experience of our own.

I’ve worked with my share of celebrities and have been fortunate enough to provide support to all kinds of families, first through Forty Weeks and our beloved brand partners, and now through the It’s Working Project. My view is that we all–famous or not–need support and pathways to our own individual success, however we define it.

So, this weekend’s sighting struck me, not because it involved celebrities, but because it exemplified our mission. Three generations of a legendary American First family walking, a young mom with her hands on the stroller, the grandmother helping to guide it, smiles on faces. As someone who has dedicated her life’s work to supporting women and families, getting an up-close and personal view of the Clintons demonstrating their version of It’s Working success was beyond expectation, but also quite familiar. So many of the stories in the It’s Working Project’s Portrait Project speak to how critical it is to have family support.

As I strolled with my (slightly older) family past the Clintons in New York on December 26, what made this vision of Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, husband Marc and baby daughter Charlotte so noteworthy was the way in which familiar bonds of support and care momentarily overshadowed the layers of ambition, professional commitment and political drive. I was thrilled to see Hillary and her clan take a much-deserved break from a hectic campaign schedule to spend time with family. Like all of us — the Clintons were making sure it was working during precious down time.

The fortuitous street-side scene underscores for me the importance of support–for all families–at work and at play. Not the traditional support of staff and secret service that one associates with a front-running candidate, but the homespun breed that comes with multi-generational support systems, lessons handed down and the success strategies that allocate time and space for families to take care of–and joy in–one another. The Clintons may have been out for a brief holiday walk, but their stride tells a very different story. One that can have a positive effect for generations to come.

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