WDYDWYD?Why do you do what you do?
For years, I've joked (sort of) that "I live to serve!"
It's a riff on a black woman's most frequent role since our ancestors were brought to this continent against their wills. But it's also been true.
As a local television anchor (while I attended HBS) and later as a CBS News correspondent, I “served” my viewers by presenting them with a first draft of history. Whether I covered nuclear arms talks between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev or the murder trial of cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer or art produced by Gordon Parks or Pierre-Auguste Renoir, my goals were the same – to inform and illuminate, to make my own and other peoples' brain cells tingle.
Now, I serve my clients as a communications consultant as well as the KIPP Charter Schools in NYC on whose board I sit. I serve the people who attend events I organize for the Harvard Club or the New York Historical Society. I serve the KIPP Academy 7th graders whom I and other HBS African-American alumni have mentored in each of the last nine years.
Women will no doubt continue to serve, but make no mistake. There is no “work-life balance.” There is no balance. There is joy, however, and it comes in the doing – the serving – with excellence and passion. You select the audience: family, friends, co-workers, clients, even strangers. Their lives are enhanced whenever your joy is expressed.
— Jacqueline Adams
Photography by Annie Watt
New York, NY
CBS News; Clark & Weinstock; J Adams: Strategic Communications, LLC; Burson-Marsteller; Ford Foundation
Tony Deifell (MBA 2002) created WDYDWYD?, a social media meme of people answering the simple question, “why do you do what you do?” by combining an image and text. To honor the 50th anniversary of women students at HBS, the Women’s Student Association Alumni Team (Annie Wheeler, MBA 2013; Danielle Slutzky, MBA 2013; and Tara Hagan, MBA 2014) partnered with Tony and asked alumnae to answer the question, “why do you do what you do?”