EPISODE 324: IBM Government and Education Sales Leader Courtney Bromley Shares How Not to Get Caught Up in the Entitlement Trap

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the WOMEN IN SALES Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales and hosted by Gina Stracuzzi on January 26, 2021. It featured Courtney Bromley, General Manager, Government and Education Industry, US Federal and Public Sector Market at IBM.]

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Find Courtney on LinkedIn here.

COURTNEY’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Don’t be entitled. For instance, promotions don’t come with time, they come with effectiveness and production. Don’t be entitled to think that just because you’ve been in a job a certain number of days, weeks or years you automatically get a promotion. Don’t be entitled with your colleagues. There’s plenty of times where we work in these big teams and lots of people are contributing. If you’re not one of the contributors, then don’t be surprised that at the end you’re not getting credit for the big win. Think about how to remove entitlement from all aspects of your life!”

Fred Diamond: I’m excited to hear what you and Courtney have to say, so let’s get rolling.

Gina Stracuzzi: Thank you, I’m excited to have my conversation with Courtney, she’s got a lot of great things to share with us – no pressure at all, Courtney [laughs]. She’s very accessible and easy to talk to so I’m sure we’re going to have a great discussion. I’d like to tell you to make sure you come back next week, I’m going to have Nancy Bohannan from Red Hat and we’re going to be discussing the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion in your hiring. That’s going to be an important topic for us all, especially women in sales, it’s really important that we have more opportunities and companies can really help themselves by embracing this strategy. Without further ado, welcome, Courtney.

Courtney Bromley: Thank you, Nancy is actually a good friend of mine so I’ll be sure to listen in and see what she has to say. Red Hat is an IBM owned company so we’re colleagues.

Gina Stracuzzi: That’s right, small world. Courtney, why don’t we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself and how you got to be a GM at IBM?

Courtney Bromley: This is where I start to feel old because I just celebrated my 31st anniversary with IBM back in October, so there’s the aging part of my intro. I actually started with IBM between my junior and senior year of college while I was at JMU and I was actually able to be what they called a supplemental employee down in the Norfolk branch. From there I was able to start my IBM career up in the Bethesda office which is where I still have an office if we were going into an office. I started as what at the time we called a marketing rep which is now your basic sales rep, then lots of different jobs in the company, had lots of great managers. Anne Altman I know is a friend of the program, I’ve worked for Anne twice in my IBM career, so lots of great managers, lots of great leaders that I’ve worked with and for over the 31 years that I have fond memories of. At JMU I’m still actually involved among the board of advisers for the College of Business at JMU so I do get back there quite a bit which is fun. That place has changed quite a bit from the little school on the 81, now it’s just the sprawling metropolis down there in Harrisonburg. That’s always fun to go back and work with the students at JMU and their careers as they move forward. That’s just a little bit about me.

Gina Stracuzzi: Congratulations on 31 years.

Courtney Bromley: [Laughs] congratulations on being old, better than the alternative, I guess.

Gina Stracuzzi: Another friend of the Institute which I know that I’ve mentioned to you, Tamara Greenspan, she just celebrated 31 years at Oracle and she’s like, “People don’t last 31 years in these organizations, I don’t know if this is good or bad about me.”

Courtney Bromley: I agree, and I have a son who is 22 and another that’s 17 and it almost seems like for the kids coming out of college now, staying somewhere for 31 years is not even a possibility, that’s not anything that they would even consider. When I say it, there’s a lot of, “You’ve been there that long?” It’s not normal anymore, it seems but it’s worked for me, IBM has been very good to me and I’ve enjoyed a nice long career so far and hopefully more time here moving forward.

Gina Stracuzzi: Where would you like to dive in on next? We’re going to be discussing your strategies for success and also your philosophy on being a sales leader and what that entails. I’m happy to start wherever you would like.

Courtney Bromley: It’s interesting, I was thinking about it since we spoke last week about why I had put together in my own mind thoughts about leadership and about the type of leaders, and I think it really started about 8 years ago. At the time I was working for Anne and she nominated me for what’s called the IBM Industry Academy for Global Sales School, it’s a group of executives that in non-COVID times, three or four times a year I would go to headquarters, to Armonk, and I would be the executive sponsor of Global Sales School graduating class. In that last day of Global Sales School which everyone in IBM in sales goes through – in fact, I did it 31 years ago – there’s always a final presentation and then a graduation speech and I always had to give the graduation speech as the executive sponsor.

For a majority of the time, except for now this year, our CEO had been Ginni Rometty and Ginni is famous for, “Everything is in three’s. Let me tell you three things.” So I always, as part of my graduation speech, thought about what the three things are that I would share with this cohort of usually 40 to 45 young professionals out of college finishing their IBM sales training. So I got down to three things that I would share during this graduation speech and it revolved around your approach and your attitude, mainly not being entitled, your mentoring and mentoring and what I recommend people do around mentoring and that working both horizontally and vertically, and then your overall style, attitude and approach of working both with your customers and with your colleagues. I can dive into each of the three or we can go a different direction, Gina, whatever you’d like to do.

Gina Stracuzzi: I want to hear about those three because when we were talking prior to this you had some really great stories around that. I think that these are issues that are a good reminder even if you’ve been out of school and you’re well into your career. Those three things are really good reminders for all of us because I think even though there’s a lot of shade thrown on Millennials about being entitled, I think sometimes we can feel that way even as we get further in our career. Have you earned it? I think those three tips are valid for all of us and a good reminder.

Courtney Bromley: It wasn’t me intending to offend any of the Millennials that were in these Global Sales School graduating classes because in some cases they weren’t just young professionals, some of them were professional hires who were going to the IBM training. My whole thing about not being entitled, it’s not being entitled across the board, not just with your career. I did have an employee at one point come to me with, “I’ve been in this job 18 months so will I be getting a promotion?” and promotions don’t come with time and job, they come with effectiveness and production. There is some of that from a career perspective, don’t be entitled to think that just because you’ve been in a job a certain number of days, weeks or years you automatically get a promotion.

Also even with our customers because I personally think the times where I have built the strongest relationships with my customers at the time – in whatever point in my career I was as well as some of the folks that have worked for me – is when you’re with your customer in time of crisis. If your IBM systems happen to run the customer’s most mission-critical application and all of a sudden those systems go down, you being there sitting on the phone with level 1, level 2, level 3 support even though you have no technical aptitude whatsoever to fix the problem, you being there to support the customer and ensure that as an IBMer you’re getting every resource necessary to get these problems fixed as quickly as possible, you do earn the right with that customer to continue to have a relationship with them and earn their business when you actually step up and help them in time of crisis.

Even not being entitled with your colleagues. There’s plenty of times where we work in these big teams and lots of people are contributing, if you’re not one of the contributors then don’t be surprised that at the end you’re not getting credit for the big win. Again, you’re not entitled to wave the flag during the win if you weren’t one of the people that was in there swinging away during the whole effort. From that perspective it’s actually entitlement across all different levels: career, colleagues, customers. You do have to earn the right for your clients to want to work with you, for your colleagues to want to work with you, for them to want to be collaborative with you because you are collaborative with them. It’s amazing how many times over the years it’s like, “I don’t want that person on my team, I’ve worked with them before and they were terrible.” Interesting feedback, might have been good to know that before we had them put onto different teams. Some of it is self-inflicted if you’re not being productive and being a real contributor to the team that you’re on.

Gina Stracuzzi: Very good points. What’s point #2?

Courtney Bromley: Point #2 with me was always around mentoring and networking. What I’ve always said to these classes as they graduate is, “Look around the room, you have 45 to 50 colleagues that you can continue to grow your career with. Don’t think that networking is just that you have to network up, because you can network horizontally across your colleagues, have colleagues that you trust that you can bounce things off of.” What I always encourage younger IBMers – actually, I mentor a number of IBM folks across all different levels. Some executives, some non-executives, I’ve mentored a number of people as they come into IBM, interestingly enough, Nancy was one of them. If they’re new to the company it’s not that they don’t know how to be an executive but it’s helpful to have someone who knows, like I say, I know where all the dead bodies are buried in IBM.

I can help figure out where a new IBM executive needs to go to get certain things done, so I’m always glad to network with my peers to help. That’s what networking is about, it isn’t necessarily just about climbing the ladder, it’s about building this group of individuals at all different levels that you can go to to bounce ideas off of, work through challenges, or in the case of somebody that might be new to the company, go to and say, “Courtney, help me, who do I go to for this problem?” Because when you’ve been around somewhere for a long time, you know who the right people are that if you go to them, they’ll get it done for you.

It almost transitions to the final point which is be that person that people want to go to, be the person that says, “You need help? Go to Courtney. You need help? Go to Gina. They can help you work through the issues that you have.” If you’re the kind of person that your style of a leader is that you’re open, you’re collaborative, willing to help, willing to get involved and in my case, be willing to admit that you don’t know everything and you’re not the end-all, be-all expert on anything and you’re willing to take constructive criticism, those are the kind of people that people want to come and ask you for help. They want to get your advice, they want to get counsel so if you could be that person that is a nice colleague, a good mentor, willing to help when people ask, then you also will probably be the kind of leader that people want to come and work for or be on their team. In IBM everything is matrix, no one actually works for anyone half the time or you work for multiple people, three, four bosses, you know how matrixing goes. Are you the kind of person that people want to be on your matrix team? If you’re not, that should be a pretty telling situation for you that maybe you need to reevaluate your style and your approach with your colleagues that people aren’t wanting to collaborate with you. That’s the third point of it after the mentoring and networking.

Gina Stracuzzi: Those are all really great tips and I believe that they’re good reminders even for us that have been doing this for some time because it’s easier to get into a pattern of behavior and start to imagine that you’re entitled to certain things or feel like you don’t have to network anymore or reach out to people because you’ve already done all that and you’ve gotten to this certain level. Maybe you’re not being as much of a team player as you once were just because you’ve gotten busy or whatever the case is. It’s a good reminder that if you’re not part of the team, then when you need a team you’re not going to be part of the team. It really is worth looking at these things in terms of everyone’s career and asking yourself, “How am I doing in these areas?”

Courtney Bromley: Most of the mentors that I’ve had in IBM have all retired. Long, lustrous IBM careers, Anne Altman, Jim Martin, Bob Samson, anybody that’s a former IBMer might know some of these names. They’ve all retired and I’m still here and I want to be here for a while so I almost had to do that same thing and figure out who in IBM can I make new mentors that are the next generation of leaders after the folks that have since retired? Some of which actually have less years with IBM than I do which isn’t surprising, people that are fast-moving up the chain may only have 20, 25 years right now and here I am sitting, the old person at 31. Even as a senior leader now, I have to make sure that I’m still providing value to my customers, to my team, to my colleagues, to my leadership or else they don’t necessarily need to keep me around. There’s plenty of people, we’re almost a 300,000 person company, I’m sure they could find someone to sit in my chair if I’m not being effective anymore. You always have to make sure you’re continuing to reevaluate yourself and not drink your own Kool-Aid because that’s a dangerous pitfall.

Gina Stracuzzi: We have a question from Mary. Mary wants to know, “What were some of your earliest sale successes and how did they position you for moving up the leadership chain?”

Courtney Bromley: I’d already become a manager at this point, but on 9/11 I was actually the client executive for the Department of Transportation for IBM. On the morning of 9/11 I was actually on my way down to FAA Headquarters, part of DOT because we had a large contract, we were doing our weekly PMR. I got a call from my customer that FAA headquarters lost power the morning of 9/11 which is a little known fact. I turned around and had I not, I actually probably would have been on the GW parkway about the time that the plane hit the Pentagon. Instead, I turned around and moved back in Bethesda at my office and basically right after that, TSA stood up in the Department of Transportation, 185,000 person agency. Again, I was the manager of the team at the time but I didn’t have extra reps, I didn’t have extra people, you don’t have an extra person sitting around just waiting for a new agency to pop up in your territory. I ended up actually working TSA myself, I was my own player/coach because that was what was needed at the time because also, at the time our CEO Sam Palmisano was personal friends with Norman Mineta who was the Secretary of DOT at the time on 9/11.

As a company, we turned to the government and said, “What do you need? What can we do to help?” Being able to be in the forefront of IBM then, we worked with Unisys, we bid the ITMS contract, we helped TSA stand up all of the infrastructure at the 439 airports. Again, IBM is a subcontractor to Unisys at the time but I was in the focal point for IBM on that contract working with the TSA leadership, working with the Unisys leadership. It’s times like that, it was almost like Back to the Future because I think I was a much more effective rep having at the time 12-13 years at IBM having been the manager of reps. Now I was basically having to use my own cooking, whatever coaching I’d been giving my team I now had to basically coach myself. It’s amazing how much I enjoyed that job, being basically my own boss and being my own rep again because as a company we were ready to help, we got no pushbacks like we would normally for anything we were trying to do to help TSA  stand up.

At the time you really felt like you were doing something important, it’s not that I hadn’t done important things with other customers but this really felt like if we get this stood up, we as a country, this is going to make a real significant difference. At the time people were not happy with TSA and things have come a long way, I think we all know, but at the time Pat Schambach was one of my favorite customers of all time, CIO of TSA. Then he became a colleague at a different company and we worked on a board together for a number of years on Homeland Security Defense Business Council.

He’s another one of those type of leaders that you want to model yourself after, Pat made people want to do well. You wanted to do well to make Pat proud, I think that his team at TSA saw that, those of us on the contractor side saw that. We wanted our company to do well and help TSA in all of the activities that Pat had for us because you want to make Pat proud because he’s that kind of a leader. He engenders that kind of support amongst his colleagues and his team, that’s the kind of leader people should want to be. You should want people to want to work hard for you and Pat was 100% that kind of a leader. I really feel like I learned a lot from that activity, after that it gave me the opportunity since I had just worked on a huge piece of what became DHS, that when DHS was formed I was asked to be the executive over all of DHS. I think that was a real stepping stone opportunity for me that at the time I would never have realized, but in looking back I think I showed enough leadership across the company and up to my leaders at the time that they were willing to let me take that next step. I think that’s when I was promoted to the IBM executive level, after that.

Gina Stracuzzi: It’s a vote of confidence that they didn’t try to immediately send in somebody that was already at the executive level and say, “We’ll take it from here, thank you very much.”

Courtney Bromley: Yes, “Thanks but no thanks, you go over here.” [Laughs]

Gina Stracuzzi: They must have really already had good faith in you too because that was such an enormous undertaking and everything was new and raw, so kudos to you in advance of your promotion on that. Cathy wants to know how long it took you to get from executive role to where you are now, to the GM role.

Courtney Bromley: IBM has multiple levels of executives, I’m a GM level. There’s a director level, vice president and GM so I became a director level in 2005 and then I became a vice president in 2012 and then I became a general manager in 2020 so almost 7-8 years. I will tell you there was a point – and I would have been fine with it, and maybe this is heresy for me to say – being that I have two sons, 22 and 17, I’ve turned down opportunities in the past where I would have had to travel, where I would have been getting on a plane on a Sunday night and returning home on a Thursday and I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” I probably could have been at a higher level earlier in my career if I would have been willing to make that sacrifice, but I wasn’t. That just wasn’t important enough to me and I will tell you, when I hit almost 30 years, I was like, “If I never get above of vice president at IBM and I have a 35-40 IBM career, I’ll be okay with that because that will be the choices that I make.”

I chose not to take the jobs where I had to get on a plane five days a week and that’s my own personal choice and I do not begrudge anyone that makes a different choice and wants to be on a plane and wants to take the opportunity to get promoted earlier in their career because they’re willing to go put in some sacrifice. I have absolutely no qualms about, it’s everybody’s personal choice but my personal choice was not to do that. So, in hindsight I could have probably wanted or been able to move up earlier but for me this has actually worked out because the job I’m in now, I still get to stay in the DC area. I have all of the federal governments, non DOD intel and then all of the US states nationwide from a state, local and education perspective. I’ve got great teams all across the country, no one’s traveling right now but even if I had to now, my son is 17, he has a car and his father is here too so I could travel without thinking.

At the time I think Brian was maybe 11 when I was offered the opportunity that would have required so much travel and it was just for me not the right thing to do. I couldn’t leave my 11 year old, that just didn’t feel right to me, it may feel right to other people. I would never want to offend anyone but this was the right decision for me at the time. Now, again, 17, junior in high school with his own car, I barely see him so I don’t think he’d even know I was out of town [laughs]. I’m fairly certain if I did travel, he wouldn’t even know I was gone, let’s be honest.

Gina Stracuzzi: “Hi, honey, I’m back.” “Oh, you were gone?” [Laughs]

Courtney Bromley: [Laughs] exactly, “Where were you? Didn’t even know.”

Gina Stracuzzi: That leads me to two lines of thinking, one of these is something that we cover in the Women in Sales Leadership Forum and that is forging your own path and having the courage and conviction to do that and stop comparing yourself to other people and what they did. I’m thinking now that we’re in this world where no one travels and there’s a lot of talk that it may never return to the level of travel that people were doing because we realized it doesn’t really need to happen and the world still goes round, how do you think that will affect people’s promotional opportunities when the playing field is a little more leveled between those who want to travel and those who don’t?

Courtney Bromley: What I would hope is that the playing field levels to the point that you get to pick the best candidates, not just the person that wants to sacrifice their personal situation and travel instead. I’m always about pick the best candidate, I don’t care whether you’re black, white, orange, purple, female, male, it doesn’t matter, I always want the best candidate, I want the best person for that job. I might be the best person for a couple jobs but I’m not the best person for a number of other jobs so if you can instead narrow it down so that you’re actually able to take the candidates that have the capabilities that you need for a particular role and then take all of the travel and all of the ancillary issues out, I think we might be getting to a point where we actually get the best candidates for the particular positions that we have opened. That I think is very positive.

Gina Stracuzzi: That’s what I was thinking in my mind because now you don’t necessarily have that differentiator that said…

Courtney Bromley: “Joe was willing to travel but Paul wasn’t so we’re going with Joe.”

Gina Stracuzzi: Exactly, so this could be a very positive thing in many respects.

Courtney Bromley: Maybe we over-Webexed here at IBM, but I’ve gotten to know colleagues that I have literally not ever met face to face, but I feel like I know them, but I’ve literally never been in the room with them because right as we merged our federal and public sector market about this time last year – it was January of last year – you think about it COVID hit by March. We had one face-to-face meeting as a leadership team and then basically that was the last of our getting to know each other personally. But in the last year I’ve cultivated relationships across IBM and across our new public federal market with people that I consider friends and I’ve literally never met them in person, but I feel like I know them because I see their face on the little squares as we get on Webex [laughs]. I think the same can be true with some of our customers because especially now in federal with all of the administration change, we’re going to end up getting to know our new customers via electronic media. We’re not going to be marching down to have a big executive pow-wow in a headquarters’ conference room anytime soon because people just aren’t going to be interested in that. We’re going to feel our way through what is the best way to get to know people electronically in a world where we may not be in person with them for potentially the remainder of this year. I guess it depends on how the whole vaccine roll out goes that maybe in the second half of this year we start to see people in person again. Who knows? But you pretty much have to plan for the worse and plan for the fact that we won’t be in person anytime soon, you have to deal with that and adjust.

Gina Stracuzzi: A number of people that I’ve talked to and guests that I’ve had on the program and guests that Fred has had on other IES webcasts, one really great thing that’s come out of this is that the number of people at a client’s site or the number of people from the company’s side that are now included in meetings and stuff has really expanded. You can’t take all these people to a meeting with you but you can include them on the virtual ones so people who never would have met in their own companies are now friends working together. It’s really opened things up and given people a chance to get to know each other which is a great thing. Let’s talk about why someone might choose to work at IBM, what do you think would make it attractive to a salesperson?

Courtney Bromley: The one thing that I’ve been saying – again, back to the comment that we had earlier that here I am, 31 years in and people don’t do that anymore – what we’ve been seeing a lot of is these younger professionals come in, they work here for a couple years, they put IBM on their resume and then they get lured away with a better offer to go somewhere else. In the last cohort for Global Sales School that I spoke to, which was actually the only one I’ve done virtually so I have done one of these now virtually which was interesting, the one thing I said to them that I think is maybe one of the reasons that IBM would be attractive is you can change jobs without having to change company. I know IBM is very polarizing, people either love us or hate us, there’s usually not a gray area. I don’t know why that is, it’s just over the years I’ve figured out people either align and think that we do good things or they can’t stand us and they don’t want anything to do with us. Taking the gray area out, we have so many different offerings.

We literally can do manage service, we can do on-prem, we can do off-prem, we can do cloud, we can do non-cloud, we can do hardware, we can do software. In our software stack and portfolio there’s thousands of products, so as an IBM seller you could be a particular brand person, you could sell just security or you could sell to a set of customers or you could be a cross-brand seller and be selling all of the software products, or you could go into the managed service business or you could go into our global business services where you’re consulting to a client. Those are all different career paths that in most cases are a bunch of different companies, but in IBM it’s all one company. Then that becomes my team’s responsibility to manage that matrix for the customer and be that umbrella over all of the silos that you have or could have inside a company. But because of the breadth of things that we have to offer, it does give people an opportunity to get a variety of different experiences and never even have to change your business cards, you just change the title on the business card as opposed to the company. I think that was attractive for me and probably why I’ve stayed 31 years because I’ve done all kinds of stuff. I did networking, I did hardware, I did software, I’ve done some services, I’ve done a little bit of everything over the 31 years, haven’t just done one thing. I think that’s attractive, especially if the pendulum swings a little bit more towards people staying at companies instead of two years, two years, two years. When I first came out of college, that was considered job hopping and if you had a different company on your resume every two years it was like, “That person’s a job hopper.”

Now that’s actually not frowned upon, it’s almost encouraged. That’s a different mentality but I’m actually hoping we can get to somewhere in the middle where folks can go and maybe they do change companies to get more experience or maybe it’s just offers they can’t refuse financially. I’m also hoping some people will choose to stay and build their network and their experiences within a company whether it’s IBM or Microsoft or Oracle. Any of these big companies have lots of opportunities that people can go to within the company that they reside as opposed to having to leave and start over in a new company because once you leave, you are leaving behind some of your mentoring, some of your networking. There’s pros and cons to changing jobs and in some cases it’s the right decision for people. I’ve had a number of colleagues leave IBM and it was absolutely the right decision for them, we were sad to see them go but it was good for them from a career perspective. You could have some of the same good career moves and just do it within the same 9 bar logo of IBM if you chose to.

Gina Stracuzzi: We’ve only got a few more minutes, someone had sent in a question that goes along with this. Debbie was asking about mentorship programs within IBM and there’s also the difference between mentoring and sponsorship. Someone who sponsors you will help pull you up within the ranks of that company and make sure that you’re getting the visibility that you need to take on those positions. Is that something you see a fair amount of in IBM?

Courtney Bromley: I see both. For folks in IBM that have been identified as Business in Technical Leadership – we change the name of it all the time, I think the last name I remember it as BTL – people are identified early on as someone with executive potential. If you’re coded by your current leadership that you’re someone that might be new to the company but has executive potential then yes, I have seen the company move people through and, to your point, be pulled up very quickly. There’s official mentors, I’m an official mentor in the system but I do quite a bit of unofficial mentoring, just more me being a sounding board for someone who might be in the services side and is interested in the rest of IBM. Since I’ve seen all the different pieces and parts of IBM, if they have an aspiration to do X then what should their next move be? That sort of mentoring to help people navigate through because again, it’s a big company, 350,000 people worldwide.

There’s plenty of opportunity and some people do, I have colleagues that have gone international and taken advantage of the fact that we’re an international company and gone and done a stint in Australia or in the UK. For them, that was just a fabulous opportunity to get international experience while staying with IBM. I’m officially people’s mentor in that system but I’m also unofficially a number of people’s mentor that just use me as a sounding board when they’re thinking about making career moves. All I do is I’m just honest with them, “I think it’s good, I think it’s bad, I’d look this way, I’d look that way, I’d consider this, I’d consider that.” I just help them make their decision but let them make the decision for themselves with any advice that they do or don’t want to take from me because I’m certainly never offended if they don’t care for my advice [laughs]. It’s my advice, take it for what it’s worth, if it’s helpful, great and if it’s not, again, no offense taken.

Gina Stracuzzi: I wish I had people like you in my backyard, so to speak, when I was coming up through the ranks. We are at the end of our time, unfortunately. Is there one parting piece of advice that you would give people? Also, how would you suggest people find you if they would like to talk to you about IBM or just get your advice on something?

Courtney Bromley: My one piece of advice is almost the first piece of advice that we discussed and that’s just don’t be entitled. If you think about expanding that definition of not being entitled, it really can apply in all aspects of your life, even with children. Just because I’m their mother doesn’t mean I’m entitled – I guess I can say that I’m entitled but I’d actually like to earn the right for my children to listen to me and want to listen to me because of the relationship we have, not just because I’m banging them over the head with a mallet because I’m their mother kind of a concept. I really think that entitlement across many different aspects is something that people should try and avoid. I’m glad to have folks reach out via LinkedIn, message me and then I can message back and go from there.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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