Kevin. Advice

posted January 19th, 2011 by Janet Graham - One Comment

I asked Kevin what she considered the best advice she had ever been given over the course of her career and what advice she would pass along to other women.

 

She said: “I think it’s all about not needing to garner glory for your self. It’s about making sure that the talented people who are around you, whether they’re colleagues or people who are working for you, are developing the best of themselves and contributing to whatever the team goal is. This is going to sound very corporate and sort of squishy, but it really does work when people feel that they have an opportunity to shine in their own right and that what they are doing is furthering everybody’s common goal and that can only make them (and you) look good.”

 

I asked Kevin whether she had any specific advice she would pass along to a young woman. She said: ” Yes, it would be like the Nike slogan “Just Do It” I think.”

 

I asked her whether she would advise a woman to establish alliances with other women in particular. She said: “Yes but I actually think you need to establish alliances with other people. I haven’t always found that women have been any more supportive or, indeed, as supportive as men.”

 

My next question for Kevin was how being a mother impacted her career choices. She said: “It certainly creates real tension when you have two people in a family who are both pursuing careers and in our case there was a period of time when there’s no question I was damaging my husband’s career.  His company had him on a career track that required us to move around the world every few years.  I found myself unable to follow him without completely giving up my own professional life. In the end, he chose to move back to Toronto which was not a good move for him and he finally left the company. Fortunately, he landed on his feet at another major corporation and had a wonderful and fulfilling career in Canada, but it was tense and difficult and certainly not an easy time.”

 

I asked Kevin whether she had any regrets about these choices or being a working mother and she responded: “No, I would have gone crazy staying at home.  I have seen some women really waste themselves even when they have been deeply involved in volunteer work. They become very bitter and frustrated when they get to my age.  I remember a woman I met, another ‘corporate wife’ who was about to turn 40 and she really felt that her life was over. I was dumbfounded and so saddened by this woman whose children were now beginning to leave the nest who felt her life was over at 40.  My life was just beginning at 40.”

 

I asked Kevin how she was able to balance all of the competing demands on her time and she said: “Well, I don’t know.  You just somehow do it.  I think either your career suffers, your kids suffer or you suffer and in every case you work too hard.  It’s very hard to balance even if you have enough money to buy help which I didn’t have.”

 

I asked Kevin whether she had any advice or secrets she could share with a woman who’s trying to do what she did. She said: “Everything I did was unplanned.  I can’t pretend that I had some great game plan from the beginning of my life that I was going to end up working in the arts in a company that I love.  I’m just very, very lucky.  I think the only advice would be when you see an opportunity don’t hesitate even though it’s really scary.  Just go for it.”

 

I asked Kevin whether she had any advice in terms of being a working mother and she said: “Pay attention to your kids as much as you possibly can.  I have a wonderful relationship with my two grown daughters now but there are times when they remember that I wasn’t there to read to them or I wasn’t there to drive them to gymnastics practice, and we laugh about it but there’s a little edge there for sure.”

 

What Strikes Me?

 

It’s really all about making sure that the talented people around you, whether they’re colleagues or people who are working for you are developing the best of themselves and contributing to whatever the team goal is

 

It really does work when people feel that they have the opportunity to shine in their own right and that what they are doing is furthering everybody’s common goal and that can only make them look good

 

Just Do It

 

Women need to establish alliances with other people, not just women

 

Women are not always more supportive or indeed as supportive as men of other women

 

It creates real tension when you have two people in a family who are both pursuing careers

 

When you see an opportunity, don’t hesitate to take it even though it’s really scary. Just go for it

 

Pay attention to your kids as much as you possibly can

 

What Strikes You?

 

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One Response to “Kevin. Advice”

Comment from Geri Markvoort
Time January 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Loved this story..refreshinly honest and direct… what an amazing career and life
I really do have to agree i dont know how to balance it all either…but going for the opportunities presented and paying attention to your kids are excellent guideposts as you balance it all everyday

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