Employees Learn Leadership Lessons from Mary Kay Ash

06-12-2017 9:00 AM

Just tell the truth.

I’m a big believer in talking straight. Fortunately, I saw Mary Kay Ash model this.

Back when I was young, I remember riding a crowded elevator. After a few people got off on each floor, I turned around and saw Mary Kay Ash.

“How are you?” she said.

“Great!” I said.

“What do you think about my suit? How does it look?” she asked.

Stop here. What would you say?

“It’s nice,” I said. But that wasn’t totally honest. The suit was off a bit.

“No, I think it looks awful,” she said. “The lines are off.”

“Well, OK. I see that,” I said.

“I want you to be honest. It’s OK. That’s why you are here. If I ask you a direct question, just tell the truth,” she told me.

As we walked off together, she gave me a hug and a kiss.

I remember not wanting to wash my cheek for a while because even with her lesson, she made me feel very special. From then, I have always talked straight.

Jill Smith Tuttle, Director, Organization Effectiveness

Working together makes everything better

Mary Kay believed everyone should work together — even if it wasn’t your job. Mary Kay always said that the chairman of the board isn’t the most important person if the air conditioning is out. The maintenance man would be the most important person that day.

Nancy Thomason, Executive Project Specialist and Board Member for The Mary Kay Foundation.

If Mary Kay went through the building and saw something that needed to be done, she would do it. She wouldn’t worry about whose job it was. For instance, if she saw a yellow leaf on a plant, she would take that plant to the sink and douse it!”

Jennifer Cook, Director of and Board member for The Mary Kay Foundation.

Be a team player. Remember that being a success doesn’t always depend on you alone, but also on the work and achievement of your teammates. Your potential is limited if you try to accomplish everything by yourself.

Mary Kay Ash