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On Raising a CEO

By Helyn Huffmaster

We are starting a new series today written by Helyn Huffmaster, mother of our CEO Sadie Hess! Be sure to follow along with this series!

I have been given carte blanch to write on “Raising a CEO”.  I do feel it will read more like “A CEO Raising her Mother”  But you will learn some interesting things about the CEO of COMPASS and maybe some things to avoid when raising your children.. Hopefully one or two pieces of good advice will sneak through as well.

A little background here to set the stage.  I had been working for a bank for 15 years and, while I loved  the customers and my coworkers, I never liked how everything you did was based in the fact “I don’t trust you”.  It is understandable that there has to be strict rules as to double custody of money, etc. but I just did not like it.  I want to trust people.   I found out why it was so important.  My immediate supervisor was embezzling money and she did it in such a way that it would have looked like I was involved.  She was not a bad person, just bad choices, and she confessed to it. I had no problem other than I was a basket case until it all got straightened out.  In comes my eldest daughter to rescue me from the terrors that can be the banking profession.  Upon her insistence, and you don’t argue with CEO’s, I went to work for COMPASS, the company that she had started several years before.

People frequently ask me how it is to have my daughter as my boss, I always reply that she became my boss when she first came home from the hospital.  Right off she told me when she would eat, when I would or would not sleep (mostly not- although I have gotten back on that – I now occasionally catch a cat nap in my office.), when she needed to be held and entertained, how loud I could be around the house when she was sleeping, how long I had for meals for myself, and pretty much generally ran my life. This was all in preparation for her running a large and successful business.

This might seem short but my “Creative Writing Class” was many years ago and this is about all I can handle for the first time out.  We will be meeting again periodically and with practice this should improve.

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