A Little Wisdom for the Most Important Woman in My Life

Sally Grimes, Group President, Prepared Foods

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This International Women’s Day, there’s reason to be optimistic.

Looking around the world – I see women of all ages standing up for what they believe in and speaking their minds on what’s important to them.  They’re making a difference, opening the door to conversations that were once shunned.

Looking around the executive conference room – I see a Tyson Foods leadership team more diverse than it was just a year ago, including three women in top positions, guiding the future of America’s largest food company.  Our consumer empathy is stronger today because of our unique perspectives.

Looking at the snaps I’ve exchanged with my 17-year-old daughter Isabel (yes, Snapchat is our most frequent form of communication during the week!) – I see a young woman more graceful and confident than I ever was, eagerly anticipating college and feeling empowered to pursue any career she chooses.  

I’m grateful my daughter is stepping out into the world today vs. years ago, but I know we can make even more progress toward parity.  It starts with each of us – women and men – and the examples we set.  While I don’t have all of the answers (which Isabel will quickly confirm!), here are a few nuggets I’ve shared with her lately:

  • Remember not to be too hard on yourself.  The world will do that for you.
  • Remember that humility is not the opposite of confidence.  Humility is about listening and learning to grow.
  • Remember that kindness is the most significant “thing” you can give another person.
  • Remember that when you fail (and you will fail!), you can ask for help.  Strong people ask.
  • Remember to be bold.  Be silly.  Seek the remarkable.  Take chances.  Because, everything will turn out ok.  (In most cases, more than ok!)
  • And remember, only you can control your happiness.  It’s your choice each and every day.

I’ll admit: I have to remind myself of these nuggets too.  Remembering the little bits of wisdom we’ve all picked up over time, let’s choose to be uniquely ourselves and to help shape a world that values everyone for their uniqueness.  

Let’s make it so that next year, we have even more reasons to be optimistic.  

Taking another look around, I see that the most important woman in my life is indeed optimistic.  Change is happening before her eyes.  Be the difference, I tell her – an extra nugget as she creates her own path.


Published: Mar 8, 2018.