TEDWomen 2013 Top Ten Inspirations

5. Fortune 500 CEO sisters credit a “job jar” for their achievements

Women hold only 4.2 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions; Maggie Wilderotter and Denise Morrison are included in that small percentage of corporate leaders.  In 2012, Forbes dubbed the duo, one of “the most famous power sisters.”  Wilderotter, CEO of Frontier Communications and Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup, are thirteen months apart.  They have two younger female siblings who also became corporate executives.  Following in their father’s footsteps, as an AT&T executive, he taught them from an early age about taking risks and setting profit-margin goals.  This led them to submit proposals for any major requests that their young hearts yearned for, such as wanting to get their ears pierced.  They needed to prove more reward than risk, in order for their parents to agree — they both have their ears pierced, by the way.  But they also credit the ingenious “job jar,” for their current successes.  Growing up, their parents would write down tasks on little pieces of paper and toss them into the jar.  Each sister would pick a task from the job jar and would have one week to complete it.  As a reward, they’d receive compensation, or in a child’s terms, allowance.  They were also allowed to trade or take on extra responsibility, if they wished to do so.  The job jar, they say, taught them about pay for performance, the “art of bartering,” and lastly, that results matter. In a nutshell, what they learned was basic leadership skills, which they perform each day as they navigate the business world. “We would talk about the family as a team.  Everybody had to pull their own weight,” and that is what they both continue to do.  Thanks to these two incredible team leaders, they are paving the way for the countless young women of tomorrow while increasing the overall percentage of women business leaders.

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