Like many, I had a mother who made her kids the priority and set an example of a strong work ethic with a moral compass. My mom, Loretta Schultz, was a grade school teacher. Her specialty was teaching reading. She started teaching in a one room country school and worked into a classroom with only two grades. She loved to work with children and taught many that struggled with reading.
I aspire to be a better person because of her. I don’t fear failure. Instead, I fear letting that one person down who had been there for me through childhood and my young adult years.
Being Mother’s Day, I’m looking back on how my mom has influenced my work ethic and leadership style. And while these are lessons from my mom, they can just as easily apply to any businessperson in any industry.
1. Be honest — your word is your bond
You can spend a lifetime developing a bond based on trust and lose it within seconds. People want to deal with people they know and trust. If you say you’re going to do something, do it.
2. Be humble
Be humble in your position. People don’t respect a title, they respect the person. Work as a team, work hard for your team and help and support where needed. Make every person feel important. Don’t criticize, we are human and all make mistakes.
3. Control your emotions, have patience, and let the problem work itself out
She was patient and always approached things with reason. You have to understand the problem. Don’t react to the problem, but work the problem — stay in control. It will all work out with clear thinking and decision making.
4. Respect people and their opinions
You need to treat people as individuals and understand their position and opinion as it relates to the matter. It’s not your responsibility to agree or disagree, but to respect that everyone will have an opinion. You collect people’s opinions and make a decision. Commit to your decision and lead people based on that decision.
5. Be Fair
She always treated us fairly. My brother and I were very different, but we both got the same treatment. She was well respected because she was fair and treated people with kindness. She always listened to both sides of a story and didn’t lay blame. Yesterday was in the past and we needed to start fresh if we made a mistake.