Leaders & Daughters - To My Daughter

To my 14-Year-Old Daughter: Five Things to Remember


Dear Erin,

You are now a teenager and I’m so proud of you. We are alike in many ways so what do I wish someone would have told me at your age?

1- Be Bold Embrace failure as much as success. Try new things. Get messy and live. Speak up even when you think your answer isn’t 100 percent correct or you might not be completely ready for an opportunity–in life, in love and in your career. Many times, I’ve seen women not speak up or go for a job when they absolutely know the answer or are fully qualified for the job. Men tend to go for it sooner with similar results. Speak up. Jump at chances that will make you stretch. Be bold.

2 – Be Inquisitive Find your superpower. Figure out what you like, what you are good at and hone your craft. But also, learn and expand your mind in different areas. Stay well rounded. Take classes or read books on topics you aren’t sure you’re interested in. Talk to people about what interests them. Within all of this, don’t forget the power of the arts. Even if you aren’t an artist, dancer or musician, these things enrich our lives and minds. Be inquisitive.

3 – Be Connected Your web of friends and family enriches your life. Connect with those around you and stay connected. Life is busy, especially when you have young kids and work. Friends help you focus on your identify as a person. And those friends who knew you when you were young can make you laugh like no other. Family helps you remember you are loved and cherished. Keep them close. It’s important. Be connected.

4 – Be Positive Your outlook determines the life you live. You don’t have to be positive Patty all the time, but don’t be negative Nelly either. Train your brain to think positively. See the world through rose colored glasses. Exercise and meditation go a long way. So does taking care of your body. A positive outlook attracts the right people and experiences in life. Work at it. Be positive.

5 – Be Kind Listen–don’t be an ass. You have capabilities and strengths that others don’t and others have capabilities and strengths you don’t. We are all in this together. Try to help people less fortunate than you are. You’ll enhance your life and do some good. Stick up for people. For goodness sake, don’t stand by if someone is hurting someone else. Embrace differences. Any group I’ve been a part of at work, school or in social situations is greater when the group is diverse. Be kind.

Finally, life is a gift and the way we engage with the world and ourselves has a lot to do with our attitude. Good luck, honey, and I’ll be here whenever you need me.

Love, Mom

Learn more about EgonZehnder Leaders and Daughters

Recent posts

Ma Chère Camille

Ma chère Camille, Aussi loin que je me souviens, tu as toujours su ce que tu voulais. Ta détermination te prédestinait à de grandes choses. Ta discipline scolaire et sportive t’ont toujours démarquée. Aujourd’hui, je...

Yum! Brands’ Greg Creed: Courageous Woman

Dear Lauren, It’s hard to believe that you are turning 30 this year, which only reinforces my belief that the days can be long but the years are always short. It has been a joy and brought me so much pleasure and...

Dear Sowmya and Pallavi,

I am writing to both of you on this platform because I believe I am writing on behalf of all the working mothers. Ours is a unique sisterhood because working moms totally understand each other. I have been a working...

To My Chinese Viking

What can I say about my Chinese/Swedish daughter that hasn’t already been said in Mandarin-Arizona-Local Hawaii talk as she represents Hawaii at the 2018 Distinguished Young Women event in Alabama? You gave toys...

It’s What I Do, Jiminy Cricket

soldier? check teacher? check writer? check coach? check volunteer? check philanthropist? check sports champion? check hubby, daddy, checker of the parrots at Diamond Head? check this is not about me, this is about my...

Bold, Smart and Beautiful

Dear Savannah Rose, You are bold, smart and beautiful. Truly beautiful inside and out. When you were born, God let an angel leave the sky to bless my life. You were spicy and creative from the start. You were born with...

A Blue Ocean In Front of You

Dear Marias, One year later, I am back again to you with a letter to support your motivations, ambitions and successes. Moreover, I want to thank you for helping me to successfully overcome a “very challenging” 2017...

Egon Zehnder CEO Rajeev Vasudeva: To Mihira

Dearest Mihira, Eight months ago, you had consciously chosen to come back to India and look for a job in its expanding design industry after getting your second degree and graduating from one of finest design schools in...

For Carmella and Elle: My Top 10 List

There are never enough words or times to tell you how much hope, optimism and inspiration you bring to me, each and every day. Clearly, the very best thing I ever did in my life was marry your father, and be a Mom to...