My Mom, the MentorPosted: May 10, 2012
You may have seen my plug over the past couple of weeks for the “Listen to Your Mother” show here in Austin, which happened on April 29th. I had the distinct pleasure of being part of the cast this year. It was quite an honor to be lined up with these talented writers… fun, scary, inspiring.
My piece was entitled, “Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails”… a humorous take on being the mother of two boys. While not shy on humor or public speaking, I haven’t been writing very long for others, let alone about motherhood.
When I first considered what I would write, I immediately thought of two topics… the humor of my boys and the enormous impact of my own mother. It was only the former I knew I could write about and deliver without tears in my eyes.
Plus how could I write a better piece about my mother than two others who spoke of her impact in ways that I’m not sure I ever could? Both were delivered posthumously, one at her memorial by a dear family friend who described her as “an ordinary woman who led an extraordinary life.” This was true. My mother was there for this family friend, like she was for many, at an extraordinary time of need. It was “ordinary” for her to be there for others and be of service.
The second speech was given by Michael Greco as he was accepting his new position at the president of the American Bar Association in 2005. I’d always heard his name growing up; an “old student” of mom’s who kept in touch throughout the years. I thought it was touching on her part, but had no idea the impact she had made until I read his address…
My mother made an amazing impact on Michael Greco. She cared, showed respect, believed in him when no one else did.
As I re-read this address tonight, I couldn’t help but appreciate the irony. I have just spent the past week teaching those very values to leaders, only miles away from the school where my mother taught in Hinsdale. Today on a screen the words we read were “Who believed in you when no one else did?” I guess I could say, who was your “Alice Glass?” And are you believing in others like she did? What legacy of selfless giving will you leave behind? It’s a challenge for all of us not only as leaders, but humans.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! Thanks for being such a caring, supportive, amazing role model in so many ways. It’s helped me tremendously as an executive coach. We all miss you. Maybe, I’ll stop by the old school tomorrow.