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Moms: the Original Mentors

As Americans celebrate Mother's Day, we asked our readers if their Moms were their original mentors? What lessons have you learned from your mother?

We often discuss the importance of mentorship in business, and in life, and for some, it certainly does start at home. Chairman Bill Marriott and Marriott's new CEO, Tony Capuano, both reminisced on LinkedIn this week about the influences their mothers and grandmothers had in teaching them about risk-taking and expressing hospitality. Themes from our readers' Moms included resilience, kindness, respect, using your intuition, and hard work.

Whether you are thinking of your Mom today, or celebrating being a mom or grandma, we wish all women a Happy Mother's Day! Here is some of the favorite wisdom passed on from readers:

My Mother taught us about work ethic. She always told the story of how she worked in an office and was allowed to leave at 5pm. Her coworkers would be ready to leave at 5pm, so had stopped working earlier, then left at 5pm sharp. She always worked till 5pm and THEN got ready to leave. - Barbara

My Mother was from Texas, one of her favorite sayings that I loved, "If you want to be a big dog, you have to learn to pee in the tall grass."

- Kathleen

Jess Hayes and her Mom
Jess Hayes and her Mom
My mom grew up as a farmer's daughter in Nebraska and attended a one room schoolhouse with eight other kids. She went on to be a lawyer in Philadelphia and raised us in the city. By example, she taught me that you can be anything you want to in life. As a mother, she worked hard to help me manage my expectations, deal with rejection and setbacks. As a mentor, she taught me to never give up and to speak up. Being a working mother during a pandemic, I've had to deal with those emotions more than ever and I've had to speak up louder than ever and I'm so grateful that she taught me to do both. - Jess

"Don't think so much!" I took this two ways, one: not say "I think" as often as I did because not everyone cares; and two, don't overthink everything. Sometimes you gotta go with your gut. - Vickie

“Use your head," My Mom said this to me almost every time I walked out the door growing up. As in, you know the right things to do, stop and think, use your head and make smart decisions. - Sarah

"Never know a stranger." To my Mom this meant, always be interested in people, make new friends, and treat everyone as a friend. My mom excelled in this area. Truly never met a stranger. She was stuck in a grocery store storage area during a tornado and befriended a girl from Australia. The girl ended up coming back to the states a year later and stayed with my Mom. - Suzi

Have a positive effect on your environment. - Nancy

While my mom's career as a teacher of home economics brought a great skill set to being a parent, she taught me so many things, particularly the importance of kindness -- something she always offers up in abundance. - Annette

My mother and also my grandmother taught me "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger". Definitely something that got me through tough times!


My mum is one of the most resilient people I know ... a trait that's served me very well through a career in events and hospitality, and a global pandemic!


Happy Mother's Day!


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