Imagine what your life would be like if your mother was the CEO of a global company. Instead of just helping with your homework, she could provide the type of advice that would propel your career and allow you to overcome the many stumbling blocks that keep people from fulfilling their full potential at work. That’s the idea behind Mom.B.A.: Essential Business Advice from One Generation to the Next by Karyn Schoenbart, former CEO of The NPD Group, a global provider of information and advisory services.
Mom.B.A. is an insider’s guide to career success based on Schoenbart’s “lessons” to her daughter Danielle, now an established businesswoman in her own right. The book is filled with wise advice, personal anecdotes, and brief commentary from a wide range of top executives. What makes this book special is Schoenbart’s candor and engaging sense of humor as she reveals the problems, decisions, and ultimate triumphs that led her from market research project director to international business leader. Whether she is discussing the importance of first impressions, the most effective ways to build professional relationships, or techniques for managing a team, Schoenbart is the ideal mentor for people at all stages of their business journey.
Mom.B.A. is organized into ten in-depth chapters that provide a wide range of advice, such as:
Foreword: A letter from Karyn’s daughter. Read here
First Impressions: Make Sure They Want to See You Again – First impressions are critical in building a career. Nothing can replace experience and confidence, but being judged on how you look is a reality of the working world. Approach your appearance as you would your resume. The most important part is the substance, but without clean formatting, proper spelling and grammar someone reviewing it may never delve into the content.
Networking and Relationships: Build a Foundation – Building business relationships is like putting money in the bank. Every time you have a positive interaction with someone, you create equity. Then if something goes wrong down the road, you can make a withdrawal, and still have plenty left in the account.
Surviving Your Boss: We All Have to Report to Someone – Build a positive relationship with your boss based on mutual respect and trust. If you are stuck with a bad boss, don’t be discouraged. Instead focus on your goals and keep a record of your progress and accomplishments which can be used when it’s time to move ahead.
Managing and Motivating Others: Step Away from the Desk – The secret to strong team morale is to make your employees your priority. Ask their opinions. Listen. Make them feel valued. And don’t expect them to be effective without the right tools and skills. Find out what they need and help them get it.
Dealing with Difficult Situations: When the Going Gets Tough, Get Smart – When dealing with conflict, recognize that most people won’t remember the issue, but they will remember how it was handled. Learn to listen without interrupting when someone is angry; don’t blame others for your own mistakes; and replace “no” with phrases like “what I can do is . . .” whenever possible.
Skilling Up: Learning What You Need to Succeed – There are universal skills such as financial acumen, negotiation, sales, public speaking, business writing, client service, and time management that are critical to succeeding in just about any business. Use the tips in this chapter to make sure you master them.
Global Expertise: More Than Stamps on a Passport – If you want to work internationally, be proactive. Make it known you are open to traveling or moving for either a short or long-term stint. Once overseas, try to learn the basics of the country’s language, master cultural nuances, and adhere to local business customs.
Leadership: Inspiring Others to Follow You – A good leader inspires people to believe in the organization’s strategy and want to be a part of it. They communicate what the vision means for the company, its clients and its employees, as well as how individuals can contribute to making the vision a reality.
The Career Journey: Where to Next? – Sometimes, you need to get out of your comfort zone and take risks or you may be left behind. If you don’t put yourself out there and try, you will never know what might have happened.
The Balancing Act: What It Means To Have It All – Consider what “having it all” means to you. An important part of surviving the work/life dilemma is cultivating a good sense of humor. Try not to sweat the small stuff and be realistic about what is possible given your work situation.