December 3, 2004

News & Opinion: Keeping the Right Perspective

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 7:42 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Finally, many people have told me that being a parent taught them to have a healthy perspective on life. A parent knows that the worst thing that can happen is not something that happens at work. The worst thing is if something awful happens to your child. This realization can give a person a certain cool-headedness when a crisis erupts at the office.
A sense of perspective can extend to oneself. Some very successful people told me that their children kept their feet on the ground, and kept them from becoming too self-important. Cheryl Bachelder, the former CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken, said when she first became a vice president, at RJR Nabisco, it was a very big deal in her mind. It was Christmas time, and there was a party, and bottles of champagne, and she was showered with congratulations. She went home, and told her two-and-a-half year olf daughter the big news.
"Tracy, Ive been promoted!
Tracy looked at her and then said, "You know what? I got a card with a reindeer on it!"
And Bachelder thought, "You know, thats just as important."