"When I was eight, I told my mom what I wanted for Christmas (an AT-ST from Star Wars if you're curious). She basically told me that Santa Claus wanted me to earn it. So we put up a calendar and every day that I completed my chores, I'd cross it off. When the big day came, I felt a sense of accomplishment by having met my goal. To this day, I like to set goals for myself and cross things off the list until I get there. If there's anything my mom taught me, it's that there's a big difference between being given something and knowing you've earned it yourself by working hard, one day at a time."
--David Lai, CEO and Creative Director, Hello Design
"My mother used to tell me 'God gave you two ears and one mouth. Use accordingly.' I try my best to always listen to those around me prior to offering my own input or making a final decision. She also used to say 'You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.' Every conversation can be enhanced by expressing empathy and kindness. Negativity never improves a situation."
--Paul Mareski, President, Team One
"Perseverance. Applying it is the only reason the ad agency I founded 35 years ago has survived four major recessions, the loss of beloved employees and clients, the reinvention of ourselves given the dramatic changes in media, the digitization and datafication of all things. And given our specialty in the successful launch of new products, every day we have to encourage client launch teams to 'hang in there' given the difficulties they must overcome! Tenacity, hard work and 'never giving up' were Mom's hallmarks by word and example. From enduring insults (like being paid less because she was told 'you have a husband to support you') to returning to college at 52 (to make herself more economically viable) to, when widowed, traveling the world alone--Margaret Lindsay defined grit, pluck, and drive despite the gender-challenged times she lived in."
--Marsha Lindsay, Founder & CEO, Lindsay, Stone & Briggs (LSB)
[Image: Flickr user Eric Kilby]