Seeing the Need

April 17, 2014

by M.C McBain
IBM Vice President, Global Business Development

Marycarol "MC" McBain

Marycarol “MC” McBain


Dear Marycarol,
I hope you get to accomplish everything on your checklist of life with some added bonuses that you might not have expected – after all those can be the most fun!!!
Here are some tips that I hope will help you along the way but don’t sue me if I left anything out.
First and foremost, figure out what YOU need to have a happy life not what someone else tells you it should be. Make sure you have a rock solid support system and don’t take your spouse, family or friends for granted. While work is important – love is even more important.
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Make Your Own Luck

April 10, 2014

by Laura M. Haas, IBM Fellow

Laura Haas

Laura Haas

I know right now you are struggling with some tough time-management issues, not to mention wondering for the 10,000th time what you want to be when you grow up. Although somewhere deep down you know you are a victim of your own success, and that all is going incredibly well, you are exhausted, stressed out, overweight, and torn. Success was supposed to be fun. And it will be, you’ll see. There’s just a lot of hard work and hard choices to get through first.
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by Kumi Ito
IBM Solutions Program Executive, Global Technology Services

Kumi Ito

Kumi Ito

Dear young Kumi,
Hi, I know you are always anxious about the future, from your career to your height… but I promise, you don’t have to worry about all of them. Life is full of fun and greatness. You just think about your real hope and the way to get it.
You don’t have to follow your parents’ words literally, “Become elementary school teacher” – if you find the way you want to go, they will support you. And keep your reading – I still love reading books. The books are always your best friends. Also, your singing will bring you a new world; please practice and sing outside.
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by Laurence Guihard-Joly
IBM General Manager, Global Technology Services

Laurence Guihard-Joly

Laurence Guihard-Joly


Dear young Laurence
I was invited to think for a moment about a thing or 2 I could share with you, a thing or 2 that might make you feel good today and in the future.
Writing to you now, it is just striking me that I am writing to you in English and not in our beautiful French language… then you know something is wrong here… or right may be :-)
Then first, I will reveal to you: Yes! You will go to USA someday, yes you will go to the West, yes you will cross the Death Valley, and ride a horse in Arizona, and yes you will wear a cowboy hat and boots that day… Ah! Now I know I got your attention and you are going to read the following…
You are now 8 years old and you wonder why you are “just a girl”.
You wish you would be a boy, not a girl. Because boys around seem to be allowed to do everything in life. At school they can play football — in a country where only boys can play football — they can run and yell, they can play cowboys and Apaches. They wear jeans and ask for huge ice creams, and they do not have to wash the dishes. You are so frustrated when you are not allowed to go play ball in the field. You sometimes feel different, climbing trees instead of playing dolls.
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Enjoy the Competition

March 20, 2014

by Elizabeth Norton
IBM Vice President
Value Services Operations and Strategy

Elizabeth Norton

Elizabeth Norton


Dear Elizabeth,
Get ready for a full and happy life ahead! One of the best pieces of advice I can offer… is to be thankful for family and friends. They will be there for you at every critical point in your life. While you may not realize it, every day, you’re learning lessons that will last a lifetime. Not a day will pass that you won’t be grateful for your family, friends and upbringing as it’s prepared you so well for the future.
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by Glusum Demirbas
IBM Director, Worldwide Technical Sales

Glusum Demirbas

Glusum Demirbas


Dear Gulsum,
If I tell you that you cannot imagine the life you have ahead of you, not even in your wildest dreams, would you believe me? It will be interesting and exciting. 
I realize not all memories you have now are happy — trust me, you will remember every single of them later with a smile on your face — yes, even the bad ones — and keep them forever. The lessons you are learning, swimming against the current now, will make you stronger, a better person – you are a good student, I am sure you will pay attention!

You know all those times you spent convincing your father to let you continue school when he said “no, girls should not go to school beyond elementary”… when he said “one bad grade and you are out of school”… and how you talked and talked and finally convinced him – and never gotten anything but As in all your classes… Your convincing skills will help you later, when you need to talk to a team of people about accomplishing what it seems to be impossible…
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by Linda Sanford
IBM Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation

Linda Sanford

Linda Sanford


Dear Linda,
You cannot imagine the life ahead of you. It will be full, I can assure you – but live and love life to the fullest right now … the happy memories you are creating you will cherish forever. The lessons you are learning working on your grandparents’ farm will also stay with you – so take ‘em to heart!
You know all those times your Grandfather tells you “get your fingernails dirty” when you’re pulling weeds or pulling shallots … you have to dig into the dirt to get to the root of things. You will find that principle holds true in every job you will have later in life. You have to dig into the details – you will have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands and fingernails dirty to do the best job.
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Embrace Your Mistakes

February 27, 2014

by Shannon Todd-Olson
IBM Business Analytics and Optimization Service Line Leader
Latin America
Global Business Services

Shannon Todd-Olson

Shannon Todd-Olson

Dear Shannon,
If only the chance to do it all over again. But honestly, I am not sure that there is so much to be said for the “opportunity to do it all over again”. The reality is that there is something to be said for the mistakes we make along the way. They build your character and I would not advise avoiding too many of them.
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