Who Is Really CEO?
By Joni Johnson-Powe, JD, CPA
GOD spoke to me this morning. I know this is not your typical opening for a LinkedIn or website posting but at 3 O’clock in the morning, that is precisely what happened. He told its okay to pull off my Super Woman Cape I had so carefully designed, crafted, and proudly sewn on with badges of super womanliness:
- Holding the Colorado State Triple-Jump record for 14 years
- Attending College and Law School on athletic and academic scholarships
- Passing CPA and Bar exam on 1st try within 2 months of each other
- My Big 4 Accounting Career
- CEO of my own companies at 32
- Mothering 4 children including my last at 41
- Serving on boards in many capacities
- Setting up my 529 plans for my kids and getting my first college student to Berkeley this year
- Cooking dinner at least 3 -4 nights a week when not traveling
- Always having a Plan A and (of course) Plan B, C & D
- Tithing on Sunday’s at Church
I sit here at 46 years old in my rented medical bed looking out my bed room window. It’s 17 days after surgically having a 3.5 cm cancerous tumor removed, 5 lymph nodes dissected including two with cancer, and a double mastectomy with reconstruction. My first day after my surgery when the nurse asked if I was ready to take my first walk, I just “had” to pull out my Super Woman Cape and walk not just to the nurse’s station as she suggested but all the way to the end of the hall and back. Because that is what Super Women do, right? We can’t just do the average or the norm with anything.
You not only run your own business, lead boards, attend all your kid’s athletic events, throw fabulous parties, plan family trips with husband in tow, keep the house clean and finish laundry every Sunday, BUT you also continue to work in your bed researching, holding conference calls and coordinating carpools when you should be healing from major surgery 4 days earlier.
I am not trying to send out a controversial religious message to you but my inner voice was my Savior Christ, but your voice may be Allah, it may be a mother, father, grandparent or sibling passed or living, a friend, or your inner spiritual guide that I feel we all have in one form or another.
What I am saying is that life is a GIFT and sometimes we need to STOP and listen to those voices around us and think about what is REALLY important. I was blessed to have found my cancer lump by a simple early morning kick from my sleeping 4-year-old and I just happened to feel that area at that very moment.
But finding cancer was still not enough for me to take off my Cape. Until this morning I finally, finally heard and listened to that Voice. I love my career in tax, accounting, serving clients, and the industry as a whole. I feel blessed to have been given this ability to serve in an area I love.
But I also know for me a Change is coming. A change in how I live, love and interact with people. A change in how I give, who I give to and how I give more to myself. I am not sure when, where and exactly how it will take hold, but He will lead me along that path when its time and I will follow. I know who the REAL CEO in my life is.