Mother knows best, as they say, and Margaret’s mother is no exception. Margaret still can recall her three main lessons:
• 1. Go, go,go!
• 2. P.P.T. (the Power of Positive Thinking)
• 3. M.O.M (Mind Over Matter)
Today, as Vice President of Corporate Research, Quality and Technology at Kellogg, Margaret brings this wisdom into the office, where even her staff can recite these axioms by heart. “I think mind over matter is important because you must think positively of a situation, of others, and of yourself. If you go into something with a cynical attitude, you’re going to create a bad dynamic immediately,” she explains.
Margaret’s family still remains her greatest influence. Growing up, the thought never occurred to her that there were limitations to what she could do. “As a female I had good role-modeling from my mother and grandmothers. They taught me to be an independent thinker, to form opinions, and to not be influenced by my peers.”
With a twin brother and two older siblings, Margaret learned how to negotiate her way early on. The skills she developed have helped her become a better manager. “As you move up in the organization, it’s about being able to influence people and lead them in the right direction. And that,” she explains, “requires good communication skills, which you hone growing up in a big family.”
Although Margaret is proud of her accomplishments, she admits that she is not a role model for balance. “I have been very single-mindedly focused,” she confesses. “I am very happy, but I think people who balance work and family life have a competitive advantage-it broadens their horizons on things, and that makes them better contenders.”
Margaret is single and does not have any children of her own, but seeks her personal balance through other means. She is close with her nieces and nephews and participates in programs which facilitate the building of self-esteem in young girls. Margaret adds, “As you progress, you realize that it’s really not about you. As leaders, we have a responsibility to help others be the best they can be. We should not underestimate our ability to help people.”
Article by Margaret Bath – Vice President, Research, Quality & Technology Kellogg Company