What Donald Trump and Bill Gates can learn from Mom

originally published on Sunday, May 8 2016, second edition May 14, 2017............

It's Mother's Day, it's time to reflect on all the amazing things that my Mom has meant to me and I couldn't help but think of her as the ultimate inspiration for the extraordinary CEO and C-Suite executive. First, a couple things about a Mom's job description:

  • Tenure is everything. My Mom has been on the job for 55 consecutive years without time off. Oh yeah, it's the 24/7 shift too.

  • They don't get to pick their teams. Face it, they mostly inherited the members of Mom Co. They are given literally hunks of clay, genetically predisposed, and from Day One, really needy.

  • Depending on the day, the job description could be referee, counselor, teacher, agent, coach, mentor, role model, judge, jury, and executioner. Mom's wear many hats and swap them on a moments notice.

In most companies, the CEO and C-Suite is responsible for identifying opportunities, developing strategy, building the operating plans, keeping the team on track, measure performance, and finally, keeping the entire team engaged through best practices and policies. There are a number of specialized roles in the C-Suite and they are served by individuals with very defined skills. In reflection, on this Mother's Day they all could probably reflect and be reminded of the most important from Mom...........

CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer):

Mom never needed the EEOC to make sure everyone was taken care of. She had an amazing sense of right and wrong and was able to dish out performance management policies with an incredible sense of fairness. We were loved, disciplined and rewarded in a way that we never lost respect or admiration. Mom set the policies and procedures for the entire family. The Family Handbook wasn't something that had to be read, it was indelibly woven into every thread of who we are.

CIO (Chief Information Officer):

Somehow she always knew who, what, and where. Birthdays, anniversaries, parties, practices, recitals, weddings. Mom never missed a single moment to recognize and celebrate somebody else's special day. Without a single stitch of technology, she seemed to have an internal GPS system that knew where we were, what we were doing, what trouble we were getting into, and was always one step ahead of us. Mom's connect the family with the community. Church, school, sports, all of it. Every activity that took place outside the house, Mom knew the who what where and made sure we were there (see COO).

CFO (Chief Financial Officer):

Finances. Dad might have made it but Mom was the one who knew what to do with it. She always knew when to clamp down and then at just the right time, knew when to splurge to make sure we always felt special. She could stretch a dollar to feed, cloth, and entertain the family without us even knowing we didn't have an extra penny until the next paycheck. She could make a Holiday Inn feel like the Ritz Carlton.

COO (Chief Operating Officer):

If you've ever been a COO, you know that it is the most physically demanding role in any organization. Families are no exception. Mom took on the COO role and never complained. She somehow worked a 10 hour day but still managed to bath, dress, and feed us while looking like she just stepped out of a hat box. She was responsible for supplies (groceries, equipment, books, clothes), logistics (transportation to practices, school, work), scheduling (we knew our role, chores, expectations), and finally foreman (she dealt car trouble, cancellations, rain outs, and other misfires).

All the reasons I respect, admire, and love my Mom could never fit in a LinkedIn post. She is the North Star. She has mentored, coached, prescribed and even directed a house full of boys to become accomplished, thoughtful and humble fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews and cousins. Despite the thousands of times we challenged her and gave her dozens of reasons to give up on us, she never did. She was always our raving fan.

Today is the day we set aside to celebrate but clearly we never lose sight that every day we make a difference because of the indelible mark that our Mom's have left on us. I am who I am because of the most beautiful and special woman on my earth. I love you Mom.

About Mike McNamara:

Mike has held C-Suite, Executive and Senior Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and General Management roles with Equifax, Cox Enterprises, WW Grainger, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Mike has led sales, service and operations organizations of over 1,500 associates and accountable for P&L responsibility in excess of $250M.

Dedicated to giving back, Mike formed The MBAR Group in 2009 with the sole intent of providing pro bono career and business consulting services. Today as founder and CEO of TalentBlvd, he coaches a number of high profile media personalities as well as holding advisory board positions guiding a number of multimedia and small business startups.

Mike has a BS degree from Michigan State University, and MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He is a past chapter President of the American Marketing Association. Mike and family split time between their adopted state of Missouri and family home in NW Michigan where their philanthropic causes include The Kingdom House - St Louis, BACN in Benzonia, MI., and Samaritan’s Purse, Boone NC.

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