Long Before Sheryl Sandberg, There Was My Mother, Lois Wyse

Wyse, LoisHere is a brief excerpt from an especially charming article written by Rob Wyse about his remarkable mother. To read the complete article and check out others written for LinkedIn Pulse, please click here.

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Sheryl Sandberg wrote her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, a year ago.

She is a brilliant woman. Sheryl may or may not know that my mother helped pave the way.

My mother was an influence for hundreds (maybe thousands) of women. The reason? She rose as a businesswoman and creative force against all odds.

She did it in the Mad Men era of 50s, 60s, 70s — plus the 80s and 90s. As her career began, in every business meeting – every meeting — not just some, she was the only woman at the table.

She had no woman to look up to as a role model. She had to depend upon businessmen, not business people, to get a chance.

Her chances came as the creative director and president of the ad agency that bore her name.

Her male clients were wowed by her words – and bought her ideas.

She won every major award in advertising. She wrote the line, “With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.” She recommended that a small retail chain called Bed and Bath be renamed Bed, Bath & Beyond.

She was the first woman board member of a major utility, the Consolidated Natural Gas Company. She was on the board of directors of The Higbee Company, a leading department store, eventually bought by Dillard’s.

She wrote more than 60 books and was a New York Times best-selling author.

She was also a founding member of the Committee of 200, a group of women with executive jobs, and of Catalyst, a women’s research organization.

Every day I write, and part of her channels out of me. She is with me everyday – although she is no longer here.

For years, I have written for CEOs and leading executives as a communications consultant and people I have worked with have influenced me and others.

So, it is natural for me to write about the person who had the greatest influence on shaping me, my mother.

She taught me how to write. I did not even know it at the time. Much of her writing was before computers. I grew up listening to a typewriter banging and clanking at lightening speed. White out, scissors and tape were her “cut and paste.”

She always said, “Writing is rewriting.”

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Here is a direct link to the complete article.

Rob is a Communications Advisor/Strategist/Writer for Global Executives, Managing Director, New York at Capital Content.

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