I am part of an organization called Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute. Last week, I went to a leadership studies meeting to assist with a facilitated discussion on toxic leadership — what it is, how to avoid being toxic, how to work for or with toxic leaders. I made a conscious effort to slip back into a professional frame of mind before I went. I applied make-up and selected pants that weren’t stretchy. I contemplated my accumulated cardigans that I have acquired over years spent covering up my forearm tattoo in chilly offices.

I am surprised how quickly the professional mantle slips away. My husband asked me if I still needed to be in CWLI since I wasn’t a leader anymore. I explained, as if I still worked in a corporate world, that leadership is not defined my someone’s job title.

I need to clean out my closet. Get rid of my corporate wardrobe the way a determined and newly skinny woman gets rid of her fat clothes.



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