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Leadership and Life Advice from My Mom

I previously posted this story under another title, but since it’s been 4 years, I thought I was expand it and share again.

Recently I received some great life and leadership advice from my mom.

Please understand, my mom is retired from over 40 years of work in the business world, but she is usually not the first person I would think of for business advice. I mean, she is smart, no doubt about that, but she is my mom.

I would read Truett Cathy or Warren Buffett for business advice. I look to John Maxwell (and others) for leadership advice. I have a plethora of people I go to for life mentoring. I go to my mom when I cannot find my recipe for cornbread. (She makes some killer cornbread by the way.)

Before you write me…I know, my mom is a great place to get life advice. I’m trying to be funny and make a point. (I wish I didn’t have to give so many disclaimers 🙂 )

Anyway, a friend is a salesperson for a manufacturing company. He has been concerned he might lose his job because his sales aren’t meeting expectations of management. My mom shared with me what she has been telling him. He claims that he could sell more product, if the production people could produce his orders faster. He says sales are not the problem, a lack of production is keeping the company from moving forward, and other orders seem to be produced before his orders, which is hindering his ability to meet his quota.

My mom told him he may need to leave his comfortable desk and chair, shut his laptop for a while, show an interest in the production people, and, if necessary, learn to help make the product. Her quote, “You need to make yourself indispensable to the company right now, because desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Make yourself indispensable.

You know, my mom is right. Too many times when our organization is suffering we cast blame rather than rally the team. We throw in the towel rather than work for a solution. We give up rather than create energy around us.

It is easier to quit sometimes than to weather through the rough periods, but the greatest and sweetest victories come to those who stick it out through the hard times and make it to the other side.

My mom was basically saying:

Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do so you can get done what has to be done.

I know…that’s deep right? And, I’m not as eloquent of speech as my mom. But it’s true. Sometimes it’s necessary to do the uncomfortable, the thing you don’t really want to do, maybe even the thing you don’t feel qualified to do…if you want to be successful. I frequently talk with people who are struggling in their personal life…either vocationally, in their relationships, or even physically. They want things to improve, but they aren’t willing to do the hard things to get them where they ultimately want to be.

Are you discovering tough times? Are you struggling to get where you want to be? Learn a lesson from my mom.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

What is some life advice you got from your mom?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • @synectics says:


    Great post esp with Mother's Day just having passed. My mom gave me lots of advice, but mostly it was about her getting out of the way and letting me become the person I was created to be, whether or not it lined up with her version of what I should be.

    This wasn't hands-off parenting, but it wasn't constraining me to conform to her limits of understanding the world I was being launched into.

    Your post caught my attention shortly after I finished my blog post today… on being aware of these constraints that come from those we love and respect… Full post at

  • struggletovictory

    The best advice my mom ever gave me is to "be yourself and people can't help but love you." I know that comes from someone who loves me no matter what. But, I have focused on that so many times when I wasn't sure how to pursue something. I would remember her advice and be who God created me to be. That has never steared me wrong.

  • Melissa says:

    Since I've written the last couple of days of losing my mom to cancer at age 23 years, advice was limited….but important things I remember are:
    God Loves me
    Show Kindness
    Be Thankful
    Be Helpful
    Keep a Sense of humor
    Stay Strong
    So those are a few things that she shared with me….and they still hold true 30 years later.