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KerryOn: Be Anything We Want

In a former life, I was the typical frantic corporate mom. On one particular morning, when my kids were 1, 2, and 3 years old (that’s not a typo), I was putting on my final touches of makeup, scrubbing a stain off my suit and double checking to make sure my high heels matched. The eldest, and only girl, poked her head around the corner and asked in her syrupy-sweetest voice, "Mommy, can we play in your closet"?

"No." Doesn't she know I have to get to work? Doesn't she know I have an important meeting with the executive team today? I was leading a discussion for our upcoming leadership conference and we had a lot of ground to cover. We don't have time to play. Period. And please let me finish so we can leave!

She asked me again when I was mid-way through breakfast/pre-departure emails. "Mommy, please can we play in your closet?" I looked down from my computer into the hopeful faces of all three kids. I was actually surprised they had mysteriously organized and assembled themselves, which prompted me to pause. For whatever reason, I thought about the situation in a new way. I realized this little adventure would keep them entertained for those brief precious moments before we had to pile into the car. All it would cost me was the cleanup of my scarves that I had dangling in my closet.

Fair trade.

So this time I changed my answer, "Sure." But what happened next changed my perspective on my closet forever. With the greatest of enthusiasm, our daughter grabbed her brothers by the arms and yelled out "Come on boys! Let's go be anything we want!" And they all ran into the bedroom.

The phrase rang in my ears as six little feet padded away ... "Let's go be anything we want!" Whoa – the revelation was startling. My closet had super powers; the ability to transform three little kids into … whatever they desired.

The more I considered it, I realized it had that power for all of us. It’s a power we all have in our closets, or living rooms, or offices, or wherever we need it most. We can be anything we want all the time. We get to choose to be … whatever we desire. We can decide what to wear, how to behave, and what to do. We can even try on other clothes, and be somebody totally different for a while. There are no limits to who we can become and what we can accomplish. So, today as you look into your closet -- look at it with possibility and with the greatest of enthusiasm. Who are you going to be today? Go be anything you want.

Special note: Our daughter, who is now a young woman, gave me an unforgettable perspective and story that day. I used it as an introduction to that leadership conference for 350 people all those years ago. And since, I have shared it at numerous conferences and courses for hundreds, and it's a story I am honored to share with you.

KerryOn Questions

- What does the phrase go be anything you want mean to you? - How can you create a world where you feel like you have no limits to who you can become and what you can accomplish?

- Are there areas in your life you can inventory – what to wear, how to behave, and what to do – that can help you start your journey to become anything?

The Kerry behind KerryOn

My name is Kerry K. Fierke, Ed.D. (pron. Fear-Key) I have a unique combination of skills and experience – decades of fast-paced corporate experience in Fortune 100 companies and large health care organizations, combined with the academic rigor of a highly ranked research university. My focus is supporting others to create their own path to leadership development, lifelong learning, and a unique leadership legacy. Take a moment to focus on leadership, then KerryOn!

To see all KerryOn's and other leadership stuff, visit

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Beautifully written, Kerry! Such a timely message- I love the visual of the closet with magic powers and this idea of “go be anything you want.” Thanks for sharing.

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