How Leadership really begins with Mothers

In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day, I was reflecting on how much of my late mom’s advice in my early twenties was akin to a mentor’s advice in business:

1)  Build yourself a career that you can always rely on or fall back on in hard times

(translation:  build your own career and don’t just rely on a husband for the rest of your life – stand on your own two feet, on your own merits)


2) Always treat others with respect, whether they are the janitor, the vice president or the kid down the street (translation:  everyone contributes in our society in their own way and deserves dignity)

3) Learn impeccable manners and etiquette.  This will support you in many stressful situations (translation:  Okay, Mom, when you said “eat everything on your plate”, I don’t think you were thinking about the fried silkworms and scorpions I had to eat during a joint venture negotiation in China!  But yes, those good manners will imply class, grace and confidence in difficult situations)

4) Never be late (translation:  if you are late, you send a message to others that you do not value their time)

5) Learn to golf (translation:  meet the guys in business on their own turf, where they are comfortable, and  improve your business relationships)

6) Dress upward, to what you aspire to  (translation: your dress code will influence how people perceive you)

7) Give back to the community by volunteering when you can (translation:  you are blessed with good fortune, volunteering will give you personal satisfaction, help you learn new skills, aid others and increase your business reputation)

8) Take the high road in all situations (translation:  your reputation is based on your behavior in the worst of situations; behave with integrity and ensure you are always held in high regard)

See some interesting parallels between life and business here?    Thank your own Mom if you still have the opportunity to do so.  

This post is in memory of my own  mother who passed away from diabetes related illness 13 years ago – Thanks, Mom –  some of your advice has made a difference!

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