Parenting advice from a CEO? Who'd a thunk it?

I read this interview today in the NYTimes. I highly recommend it for parents for its applicability to parenting and for kids who will someday soon venture into the job market.

Take-home for parents:
Be patient.
Be calm.
Be thankful.
Be a problem-solver, not a problem-creator.
Value emotional intelligence.

Take-home for kids looking for a job:
All of the above and…
Have a strong set of values.
Have a great work ethic.
Know how to write really well.
Expect to be asked in an interview to talk about the last few books you have read.
Develop your emotional IQ.
Be a team player.
Focus on your job.
Know how to write really well (he mentions it more than once too!)

Great idea for when things get heated around the house….
"If you are in a really hard debate and somebody veers off the subject and goes after you in a way that isn’t fair, you get to ring the bell. It’s a violation of the rules of the road. So you ring the bell if something wasn’t a fair shot, and we all laugh."

Here's the Permalink if you want to pass it on to your kids, friend, or, um, parents?


6 thoughts on “Parenting advice from a CEO? Who'd a thunk it?

  1. You are back!! Most exciting 🙂 And I read the article too. One particularly useful item he hinted at was to think of the long haul, believe that things even out by the end, that fairness prevails, that you get what you deserve. Dunno how that applies to parenting but its certainly a useful thought in the working world (where you aren’t often asked about the books you read or complimented on your clarity of thought/ writing). If you are guessing, yes I do need a new job.

  2. Thanks Rahul! And yes, I agree that the idea of developing “operational awareness” is a worthy task for all of us. I always like the idea of fairness prevailing. In fact, that is what my new non-profit is ALL about. Here is the reason I have been such a slacker in the End of Motherhood department.

  3. Amen on the communicating. Many a person questioned the value of my BA in English when I was working. I pointed out that it wasn’t that hard to figure out most corporate jobs and that many companies have training programs for specific careers. (For example, my first six months at Prudential Insurance were spent in training. I mean really — who majors in insurance?) I also pointed out that all the knowledge and intelligence in the world were worth nothing if you couldn’t get your point across.
    Then I said that as an English major, I had learned to write, to analyze, to look for the motives behind the action, to understand human behavior and interaction, to compare and contrast, and to persuade. Aren’t these all skills necessary to succeed in any job?
    I also have an MBA but anyone who has run a lemonade stand understands the basic principles of business. All an MBA does is give you the language of business and a few accounting tools. It is the English degree that helped me do well at work.

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