I was lucky to be raised in a large Irish family with seven children. I was not sure at the time that I was all that lucky,
as one can get a bit lost in such a big crowd. In retrospect, it was great preparation for life. My four sisters and two
brothers each had completely different personalities, opinions and approaches to life. We shared a common sense of humor, but, other than that, we could not have been more different.

My siblings taught me how to get along with a large and diverse group of people and that there is strength in numbers. I learned to appreciate our common views and to accept our differences. The most important thing I gained from a big family was a sense of humor. I also found that common sense and compromise were more important than just about anything else in managing life.

I have taken these lessons and skills into my business life, and they have been invaluable in my career development. In business, I am constantly applying the negotiating and diplomacy skills that I developed to survive and thrive in a family of seven children. In corporations, we find all types of personalities. I adjust my behavior accordingly, knowing that each of them brings something special to the table. I make the situation work, whatever the demands may be. I treat everyone in a way that I hope others will treat me.

My siblings taught me that we could accomplish anything we put our minds to, despite our differences. Together we learned that if there was not a way to fix a problem, there probably was a way to work around it. We found that hard work and determination were the keys to getting ahead in the world. This approach to life has guided me in the business world. In a way, it is a simple approach: Set a goal and work with others to accomplish it. There is great strength in a diversity of talent and opinions, so embrace the differences of the people you work with and remember that there also is strength in numbers. When you have accomplished one goal, move on to the next goal and keep moving forward. Finally and most importantly, have fun and keep your sense of humor while you are busy accomplishing all these great things.