Series on Top CEO's Secrets of Success - Melinda Gates
Co-chair—The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
It is hard for women who have families to juggle work and career and busy lives.
On the day I die, I want people to think that I was a great mom and a great family member and a great friend. I care about that more than I care about anything else.
One of the things I was most impressed about when Bill and I met Warren Buffett very early on was he introduced us to his friends. And Warren has the most high quality set of friends you could meet, and these are friends that he has had over his lifetime. And it really got me thinking, "wow, I better cultivate my friends."
Warren does little things with his friends, like he will send you an article of something he is thinking about, reading about. That was a way to help me think about my friends.
One more thought: There is a person who helped me in the business community, that’s helped me with some leadership consulting and even management of the foundation. He has two older sons, and when I was really struggling with three young kids—and with the foundation growing and changing CEOs—he just said to me, ‘Melinda, you don’t get a do-over with your kids.’
So, the foundation is a marathon for me, not a sprint. And I always have to remember that, at the end of the day, my kids come first.