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May 27, 2008

Role Model – Susan Jacques

I recently had the privilege of hearing Susan Jacques tell her story at the Women’s Jewelry Association event called Women In The Know held at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC, NY). She’s the President and CEO of Borsheim’s a world-renowned jewelry store in Omaha. The Chairman of the company is Warren Buffett, which got my attention more than diamonds would.

What I found most memorable about Susan’s incredible journey from Rhodesia to the US and a career ascendancy that anyone would admire, was her statement:

“There were no billboards saying ‘chance of a lifetime’ as I rode from Santa Ana, CA to Omaha.”

She was hired as a $4 an hour sales associate and appraiser. Fewer than a dozen years later, because of her passion, dedication and reputation for integrity and business acumen, Warren Buffett invited her to a one-on-one meeting. A series of Illnesses and deaths befell several family members who would have been heir to that position. Buffett asked her to become the President of the store, a position she’s held since 1994.

There are so many times when my clients (and I) are passionately swept up in the day-to-day work of our lives. This story reminds me that while pursuing your life’s work, opportunities you aren’t even seeking are manifesting. Time and again I have seen and personally experienced Marsha Sinetar’s great book title

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