If I Knew Then Advice on careers, finance, and life from Harvard Business School's Class of 1963

Joan O. Rothberg

Careers 0 Comments & 73 Likes
Marriage & Family

Staying married (49 years): Be tolerant; don’t try to change him or her; do something each day to make your spouse happy.

Raising children: Try to build character — honesty, morality, and kindness. Set the example for them to follow.

0 Comments & 13 Likes
Life's Lessons

My career is unique because it spans a half-century — from when there were no business opportunities for a bright female MBA to now, when there is every opportunity for women. Overcoming great obstacles in my early career gave me a sense of accomplishment and personal pride. I led the way by example and helped other women achieve their potential.

I know now what I knew then: never, ever give up, because things and attitudes can and will change.

0 Comments & 9 Likes
Charity & Spirituality

Charity is very important. If you’re older and rich, you have a moral obligation to help those less fortunate.

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I learned this at the Harvard Business School: Listen, learn, lead. I learned this through experience: Give credit, honest feedback, and professional enrichment. Set high standards and get rid of those who do not measure up, so you lead an elite corps who take pride in their work.

To be a better leader, I could have developed greater ego and personal charisma.

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Life's Lessons

Never complain. Never explain. When people ask you how you are, just say, “Fine.”

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Growing Older

Eat healthy food, exercise, laugh, dance, tell jokes, do something new every day, and travel as much as you can. Most important, stay optimistic.

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Keep your costs and financial commitments low and short-term. Don’t underestimate your capital needs over time.

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Turning Points

I was accepted at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School and went to HBS. I turned down job offers that would have made an impact on my career and my family. Who knows what would have happened? It is an unanswerable question, and I am more than satisfied with how my career turned out.

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