This past week, my team and I got together for a virtual happy hour. Since we were closing in on Mother’s Day, we toasted all the moms among us. That sparked a conversation around our Moms’ Best Advice (aka our M.B.A.). This is for all of our moms, who have helped shape our lives — thank you! Here’s the M.B.A. that we use in our business lives every day. Enjoy.
My M.B.A. comes from my mom, Lorna. No matter what I’m doing or where I’m going, she reminds me to wear a coat. Mind you, we live in Southern California and coats are as common as snow tires in the Serengeti! But, somehow, that piece of advice has shaped my always-be-prepared approach to life. Even though I rarely wear the coat, every time she tells me to throw one on I think about my preparedness and what else I need to do to get ahead of the game.
Rich Waldrop, SVP & Negotiation Consultant, shared his M.B.A.: “Watching my mom, Bonnie’s, work ethic as she prepared lesson plans for her nursing school students. She would work until 2:00 to 3:00 a.m., get up, and get on a bus with a load of nursing students at 6:00 a.m. for a full day of work. I’ve always tried to mirror that work ethic in everything I do.”
Jessica Day, our Marketing Manager, shared advice from her mom, Patty: “Since I was a little girl, my mom always reminded me that it wasn’t important to get involved in the drama or gossip of others. Follow your gut and maintain your integrity. This has guided me throughout my entire life and has helped me to develop authentic, trusting relationships with my coworkers and business partners.”
Jill Campen, one of our Negotiation Consultants, offered the following: “My mom’s best phrase, “kill them with kindness,” serves me well when I remember to do it in biz and personally.” Very M.B.A. — and something that Jill exhibits every day.
Another of our negotiation consultants, Randy Kutz, said, “My mom, Sue, always pushed us to make a pros-and-cons list to evaluate difficult decisions. I still use that today as a way to bring objectivity to the process when deciding between two seemingly good options.”
Our Program Coordinator and go-to operations guy, Mike Sap, shared this M.B.A. from his mom, Cathy: “Always give it your all . . . Once you set your mind to achieving a goal, don’t give up until you’ve explored all possible avenues.” It’s no wonder Mike is our go-to guy.
Negotiation Consultant Ananda Laberge said she could write a book on the good advice that her mom, Anne, has given to her. But this piece stands out: “[Be] flexible and adaptable . . . She was the first person to teach me to think how I could say “yes” to demands, rather than automatically saying “no.” Being adaptable to change was a way of life for us as a family. I personally went to 16 different schools growing up, on several continents. She taught my sister and I that adapting to change would serve us well as adults, and we had a lot of practice at that as kids!”
Michael Roche, our VP of Sales, got some timely advice from his mom: “Five minutes early is on time, on time is late, five minutes late might as well be 24 hours late.” For what it’s worth, I don’t think Michael’s ever been late to a meeting. Good job, Mom!
Negotiation Consultant Jerry Langois shared some sage M.B.A. from his mom, Rita: “Treat others as you would like to be treated. My mom wore her heart on her sleeve [like mother, like son] and always went out of her way to treat others — everyone, really — with kindness and respect. She never believed that being kind equates to weakness. Rita was one tough woman and very much a servant leader.”
Here are the two pieces of advice that SVP, Negotiation Consultant, and procurement specialist Sandy Sbarra’s mom gave him: “Mom always told me two things I’ve lived my life by: 1) If you don’t lie, you don’t have to remember what you said; 2) the teacher arrives when the student is ready.”
Thank you to all of our moms for the invaluable M.B.A. with which you’ve provided us throughout the years. You’ve helped shape us into who we are today more than you’ll ever know. Happy Mother’s Day! (And yes, Mom, I won’t forget my coat . . .)