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Finding the Space to Lead

Janice Marturano | 31:00


Thank you all for giving me a chance to share with you this morning, a little bit of this last seven years of teaching mindful leadership.

And I like to start by telling you a little bit of how I'm standing here, because sometimes oftentimes, just before I take to the stage for things like this, I have these moments of how did this happen? I was an NYU Law grad. What am I doing here? What is how did this work? And I didn't start Buddhism when I was a teenager, and I'm not a Buddhist. So So what am I doing here?

So my journey, I have to take you back to the turn of the century. To the beginning of this century, I'm not that old. I have moments but not yet.

I was a 21st century juggler, like maybe most of you in this room are many of you in this room. So in the air, I was a spouse, married to my college sweetheart, still happily married. I was a mother of school aged children. I was juggling being the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of a fortune 200 company, General Mills, I had aging parents. And I was the president of a board of a large nonprofit in the Twin Cities. So I was busy juggling. And most days, I sort of felt like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. In fact, I was doing a lot of doing. I was very busy. My schedule was more than packed.

But it seemed like I was getting through the day, more or less. And then one day, at the turn of the century, I was called down to the CEOs office. And I was told that General Mills would be acquiring Pillsbury. And it was going to be my job to lead the team responsible for getting FTC clearance of that deal.

Now, as I said, I started here in New York, with a large firm learning corporate law and strategy. And so doing a deal wasn't new to me, this was going to be a very big deal, because it was essentially an acquisition of equals. But it was a deal. And we sort of expected that it would take four or five months. But on top of all my juggling, this was now a new ball to juggle. And a pretty big one. Well, as it would turn out, this deal, would be the deal from hell.

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