My mother. I grew up with a single mother living in a German government housing project (much nicer than the ones I’ve seen in the US). We were poor and she worked incredibly hard to make ends meet for us. But I had no clue because whatever was missing in terms of wealth she made up for with love. She never went past 10th grade and now is a consultant for an American Fortune 500 company. I am so proud of her.
She taught me to work hard, that anything is possible and that happiness doesn’t come from “things.”
Except fly rods. She was wrong on that one.
2. How does female leadership improve our world?
Our chancellor is a woman. She is incredible and has done a great job of leading Germany. Angela Merkel makes very rational decisions, which is something I sometimes miss in male leadership.
3. What do you do to help support the women in your life as they pursue their professional goals?
I will help anyone who wants to pursue their professional goals. If someone is serious about bringing their ideas to life and pursuing their passions, then I’ll do whatever I can to help make it happen. Most of my help evolves around giving perspective and access to my network.
4. What can men do to help women break down gender barriers that still exist in the business world?
Be supportive. Show appreciation. Tell people when they do a great job.
Positive feedback leads to positive momentum.
5. How has supporting a woman in her pursuit of her dreams added value to your own life?
I am getting to that point in my career where many of my early mentees are really hitting their strides now. Again, male or female, it’s incredibly gratifying and inspiring to see a young woman or man do what they’re meant to do.
Whatever help I’ve been able to give definitely has added more value to my life than theirs. I am incredibly fortunate that way.