Marjorie Federbush

By AIFL - Mar 11, 2019

Profession: Founder, Strategies & Synergies International I am happy to serve on the Boards of the America-Israel Friendship League, The Lauder-Reut Education Center, (Bucharest Romania) The Freud Foundation, U.S. and the Harvard Business School Club of New York (Co-Chair of Audit & Finance Comm.) Words You Live By: It doesn’t have to be perfect; it has to be done What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment? As a “big-picture” person, one of the most satisfying aspects of my career was the opportunity to work internationally in multiple countries after the “Wall came down.” It was gratifying to interact with Federal, local government officials, community leaders, and academics on efforts to revitalize and strengthen communities moribund from Communist domination and NAZI destruction. Also, I am proud that I have published periodically articles related to my work. My favorite (written in 2012 with Jerome C. Muys Jr., a D.C. lawyer): Israel and Water (What’s Next for the) “Turn around Nation”: How Israel’s Leadership in Advanced Water Technologies Can Enhance Global Economic Growth and Diplomatic Relations. How did you balance being a mother and professional/ work and life responsibilities? Early in my career, I regarded myself as a “wife and mother with a full-time job.” Later, as workplace demands spiraled and my commitment intensified, I decided I had become a “professional woman with children.” During this transition, my husband’s help was invaluable. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership? Professional women have proliferated in so many fields that I believe they are much more easily accepted as authority figures. Barriers recede in the presence of competency. Traveling in the Baltic countries in the 1990’s with my college-aged son, whenever I met with govt. officials or organization leaders, (despite my title) they addressed their questions and comments to him. Cannot imagine that happening today. In my experience leading an organization, my mantra was: “When possible, go with an individual’s strengths.” It is much easier to reallocate the work-load than trying to “remake” an employee. Who inspired or inspires/inspired you and why? Finding female role models already involved in the philanthropic world was exceptionally helpful in stretching my aspirations and instilling confidence that, indeed, I could succeed if I worked very, very hard. The philanthropic world, in my opinion, is especially receptive to women. What are two key strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations? Be eager, be flexible, be a team-player – but, most of all, always be aware of office politics. Pearls of Wisdom: Adhere to “THE ‘YOU’ FACTOR” – Instead of single-mindedly concentrating on your own goals, let sensitivity to the needs of the person you are addressing guide the discussion.