Lessons From Dad

Jill Yarberry-Laybourn Foresight Leave a Comment

Family Dollar CMO shares how her most trusted advisor has been there from the beginning.

By Jill Yarberry- Laybourn

As people go through life, they learn a great deal from the individuals that come and go in their lives: friends, coaches, mentors, great bosses, and even horrible bosses. For Jocelyn Wong, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at Family Dollar, her father was one of her greatest advisors.

During Christmas breaks as a child, Wong inadvertently learned a valuable lesson from watching her father at work. That lesson has served her well and made her an extremely effective CMO. “He was brilliant, but he wasn’t a people person. I recognized he is really good at this but not so good at that.” It taught her “to know thyself” which is advice she would give to all young professionals. By knowing oneself, Wong believes that a leader can “cover your blind spots.” By knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses, leaders can hire people that balance out their “imperfections.” “I absolutely surround myself with people who can make up for my faults, if you will. It is so critical to have a right hand and a left hand that are going to think differently than me… They are going to be better at certain things.”

Her father also persuaded her to see the wisdom of getting an engineering degree.  “He wanted me to be able to take care of myself.  Looking back on his career, I think what he has wished me the most because he never had it, was a feeling of stability, security, balance.”  Because of Wong’s hard work and her father’s influence, she has all of that and more.

On visits, they stay up every night talking “…about anything and everything. He completely gets me.  He has always just, ‘gotten’ me.”

Jill Laybourn is a Freelance Writer for Forefront Magazine.


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