Siemens CEO (USA): Barbara Humpton

Summary

In this episode, we sit down with Barbara Humpton.  Barbara grew up to parents who were both math professors so initially set her eyes on being a math professor “when she grew up.”  After taking a job at IBM and working on a globally impactful project, she was hooked into the world of working on impactful technology to make our world a better place. I won’t give too much away before you listen, but if you decide to listen to the entire episode you will get to hear:

- Some of Barbara’s formative experiences that empowered her career journey

- Barbara’s advice for you if you’re thinking about changing jobs or making a career pivot

- Her take on the federal government’s latest initiative to increase manufacturing in the United States

- What she would tell her younger self

Podcast Transcript

Note:  There may be errors to this transcript (some funny, some confusing - we used an automated transcription software!)

Barbara Humpton  00:00

I stepped back from the podium and stood next to the president and he leaned over and said,

Ash Faraj  00:05

insightful and inspiring career stories from today's top CEOs, business executives, and government leaders. I'm your host ash, and you're tuning in to the ExecuTalks podcast. But before we get into the show, I want to tell you about one of my favorite podcasts. I mean, like top three podcasts listened to, it's called the optimistic outlook hosted by Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA. A new landmark infrastructure law means it's time to address our crumbling infrastructure. But what's next? Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton answers this question in her podcast the optimistic outlook, where you learn about advancements in electric vehicle charging, how to solve the ongoing chips, shortage, and a future with sustainable aviation fuel. Listen, wherever you get your podcasts, I strongly strongly recommend that you give it a listen. In this episode, we sit down with Barbara Humpton, Siemens USA CEO, Barbara grew up to parents who are both math professors so initially set her eyes on being a math professor when she quote unquote, grew up. After taking a job at IBM and working on a globally impactful project. She was hooked into the world of working on impactful technology to make our world a better place. I won't give away too much before you listen. But if you do decide to listen to the entire episode, you will get to hear some of Barbara's formative experiences that empowered her career journey. Barbara's advice for you if you're thinking about changing jobs, or making a career pivot, her take on the federal government's latest initiative to increase manufacturing in the United States, and what advice she has and what she would tell her younger self. I am joined today by a very special guest, Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton. Barbara, welcome to the show. And thank you for being with us today.

Barbara Humpton  01:48

Ash, it's great to be with you.

Ash Faraj  01:49

I hear that. By the way, one thing that I heard that ever since you were a young girl in middle school, you've always wanted to be a grandmother. Is that right?

Barbara Humpton  01:56

That's right.

Ash Faraj  01:58

I'm going to high school classroom with you. Who is Barbara relative to other kids?

Barbara Humpton  02:01

Well, you'll see me as an A student, you'll see me playing the French horn in the concert band and running track. I'm the person you're most likely to ask for help on your homework. I'm not the person you're going to invite to the big party on Saturday night, I guess you'd say a bit of a nerd.

Ash Faraj  02:22

Now, fast forward a little bit into college. I assume you chose to major in math in college, because your parents influences that right?

Barbara Humpton  02:29

Yeah, I was raised with two parents who are math professors, I was raised with this idea that math is fun. And when I saw the kind of life we were able to live, my impression was Ooh, this is a great path. I really thought that I would basically go to undergraduate mathematics, go to graduate school, become a professor and then enjoy those semesters with students and summers have, you know, all kinds of fun, but that clearly is not the way it's worked out so far.

Ash Faraj  03:00

I also saw that you did a little traveling abroad. You know, when you were in school, you went to South Africa, Italy? How would you explain maybe living in a different country? Some of our listeners don't really know what that's like? How would you explain that to your younger self who hadn't yet experienced living abroad?

Barbara Humpton  03:14

When I was younger, my parents actually had first hosted students from other countries. We had a student from Peru who lived with us. And it was the American Field Service had a program that actually sponsored students to live with families in other countries. And I applied to participate. I didn't apply for a full year, we had had Marissa with us for a full year. But I decided that I would apply for a summer program and actually asked the organization, they said name your top three countries of choice. I said, France, Germany or Switzerland. And they said they sent me a letter, congratulations, we're sending you to Vanderbijlpark South Africa, in 1977. At the height of the riots, you know that we're going on on outside of Johannesburg. One of the things that I share with everyone who will listen is that you don't know what you're going to learn from an experience in another culture. For me the idea of taking my high school yearbook to show my classmates the experience that I had in a typical UShigh school and having them actually scoffing at the fact that we had an integrated class of students. It was that shock to my system to realize not everyone around the world shares our values and view of the world. So you never know what you're going to learn. And that idea of being open minded, being willing to recognize that you can learn from others is one of the true gifts of travel.

Ash Faraj  04:52

So now after school, you want it to be a private teacher. What happened?

Barbara Humpton  04:58

Well, actually Maybe I should start with what my summer jobs were. Because, you know, I everything had been a little unconventional. I was the first female paper boy in my, in my town, for instance, to raise money to go to camp. And then when I was off at school I had, I had been back for summers, we're doing a couple different things. One year, a deckhand in Annapolis, Maryland, where my grandparents lived, I wanted to spend time with them. Another couple of summers working in the chemistry lab at the Virginia Military Institute, doing work on research regarding how to store nuclear waste, if you can imagine that. So I it was, yeah, I had really, I had always enjoyed variety, learning new things. And so when I was finished with my senior year in college, in fact, I had taken a year off to be a governess in Venice, Italy, and came back to finish my final year at Wake Forest. When IBM came to campus recruiting math majors, I felt like you know what, I ought to just see what this is all about. You know, this might make me a better professor, if I've had a little bit of experience with a company like IBM, I mean, IBM, they were, they were shaping the world of technology. And sure enough, they offered me a job and interesting, the manager who offered me my first role, and IBM picked my resume out of the pile, because she's a sailor. And she saw that I had been a deckhand in Annapolis and thought that makes for that makes for good discipline, and that'll be a good employee. So we went through a great start.

Ash Faraj  06:39

Wow, what a coincidence. That's cool. So what was the moment then, you know, listen to some of your other interviews, and you say that you love working on impactful technology? When did you realize that working on impactful technology was what you wanted to do for the rest of your career, as opposed to being a professor,

Barbara Humpton  06:56

you know, I don't know that there was any moment where I sort of said, Hey, this is it. And listen to me, even now I say, who knows, someday, I may be a professor still. So you know, I think we all follow paths as we go. And in my particular path, I mean, a feature of it was simply having, you know, the, having my windshield clear, and having the headlights on. So I could at least see a little bit out into the future. What's interesting, what's coming up, but you never know what's around the bend. So So in my first few years at IBM, as I was working on technology, that I mean, it was classified, so I can't get into details, but but knowing that we had a role in ending the Cold War, we were working on had that kind of global impact to me, was very meaningful. And I remember at a certain point, I was offered a management position, and my mom actually said, Hey, are you ever going to go back to graduate school, and my words to her were, Hey, as long as I'm having fun, I think I want to keep doing this. And, and so Ash, that's really the way it has gone. It's been, it's been one. I mean, it hasn't always been joyful at every moment. But it's been one really fun thing after another.

Ash Faraj  08:18

So that that early experience of like, wow, like this is actually world like it is actually world changing. It's stopping a war and that that experience was like, wow, this is that kind of maybe that that excitement, and that kept you going?

Barbara Humpton  08:31

Very much. So. And, frankly, even I'll just share with you that having that work being classified, knowing that we would never be able to tell others about it. But really valuing the moments when people came in to thank us for our work, you know, that we knew that it would never get any publicity, but being acknowledged by those who were doing the hard work on behalf of the nation was truly impactful.

Ash Faraj  08:57

You entered the engineering world in the early 80s, when obviously men largely dominated the field, it's a little bit better now, although it still needs improvement. And you know, obviously became a software programmer. That was kind of your first role, IBM from from what I know, and your manager or mentor told you to choose between being a mother and executive with us told the story many times at the moment, did you feel hurt? I mean, what was your initial reaction to that?

Barbara Humpton  09:21

Well, I mean, no, I don't think I felt hurt. I have this tremendous respect for authority. And so you know, I had gone into this meeting, hey, you've been assigned a mentor, and you have the privilege of sitting down for the first time with your mentor. So the two of you can get to know each other. And I recognize, you know, right off the bat that he actually didn't know me at all. If he had known me, he'd know that I already had two children. It wasn't a matter of a choice. And so then the question was, Oh, is he trying to tell me that I'm actually not executive material? Because because I've already made this choice. I think what he actually was saying was hey, don't set your sights too high, because, you know, the kind of attention the kind of time that's required to be an executive in our organization is really, really hard for a working mom. He was somebody who had children and his wife stayed home, there were just so many expectations and stereotypes all around us. That I mean, at the time, Ash, I just, I kind of took it as a given. And, and then, you know, over time, you start to realize that, well, there's a lot I can do. And I just kept working. I mean, I, I was involved in project after project, I was told time and again, that my leadership style was like a breath of fresh air. And, and so I was like, you know, I can do more of that. And the more I engage, then, of course, the further things progressed, I think I've shared with a couple of times the story that years later, I actually had the chance to talk to that leader, and to say, once upon a time, you actually told me that I had to choose. And, and it really ended up being a wonderful conversation. And it's interesting, because to this day, he still follows me on social media and has nice things to say from time to time. It's, it's developed into a great relationship.

Ash Faraj  11:23

Yeah, I can imagine how that works. It's kind of cool. How like you weren't, you know, you weren't like, Oh, I remember you, I, you know,

Barbara Humpton  11:29

there's not, there's not enough time in life to harbor grudges and seek revenge.

Ash Faraj  11:35

So, you know, you've been at Siemens, now for almost 11 years and you were at IBM for a long time, over two decades. You know, you also spent a year in consulting from what I know, Booz Allen Hamilton, you know, just kind of wanted to get your thoughts because we get a lot of these questions from listeners is like, what are your thoughts about, you know, so called Career hopping? Like, do you think it's good to stay at a company for a long time? Or it's okay to kind of switch jobs every year too, like, what what's your, what's your advice on like sticking with it? versus kind of career hopping?

Barbara Humpton  12:02

Yeah, it this is such a great question. And I have, I have a distinct perspective that's grounded in having worked in large scale technology programs that that actually take time. And by the way, that numbers are interesting. So I started in 1983, for 27 years. In essence, I was working for the same organization, it was IBM. And then IBM sold its federal business to a company called Loral. And then Loral merged with Lockheed Martin. And through all of that, I was working, in essence, with the same core management team that we had all started together at Lockheed Martin did a great job of merging cultures, bringing people from former GE, IBM, Ford, aerospace, etc. So by the time I left, Lockheed Martin, so you know, over the years, I've had this experience of actually working on things for sustained periods of time, my first project, I was actually on the project for seven years, many different roles, but seven years on the same project. And, and at the, at the time, a lot of companies were starting leadership development programs as a way to attract top talent to the company, what they would say, is this something like, come join us. And for the first three or four years, we're going to give you the chance to rotate through different, you know, different projects, see different parts of the business, and a lot of people did get excited about that. But my observation was that they ended up behind everyone else. Yes, they'd had a little taste of a lot of things. But what they hadn't done, which is something I'd had, the chance to do is get into something, make mistakes, clean up those mistakes, get things on a better path, learn from them, build a new plan, you know, all of those things that actually, and actually, maybe I want to make the statement that one of the most important things for anybody to do, is to stub their toe and you know, get into tough situations, and actually have to get through it, instead of handing it off to the next person. So I actually mid career had a manager who said to me, You should do your job as if you're the queen of England, as if you have to live forever with every decision you make. Right there. You don't get to rotate out when you're the queen of England. And so I love that idea that that actually we can and should be accountable and learn as we go. So for those who move a lot, I think they're missing an opportunity that is extremely enriching. Now, I also respect the fact that there are people working in fields where the cycle time moves much faster, and it's okay to be jumping. I'll just say that right now as I'm looking for top talent to come into our organization, I am looking for that proven track record of being able to stay make an impact, and only move when the when the proof is there that you're ready for the next thing

Ash Faraj  15:19

I like that. So in a way, like, you know, staying in an organization for a short period of time doesn't allow you to make an impact at that organization because some most impactful projects are like long term projects, they take a while.

Barbara Humpton  15:32

Yeah, right. I mean, you've heard the the the old adage that in most overnight successes were 20 years in the making. So there is real value in staying. Just a quick story about I'll call it the flip side of this, I once interviewed someone who had a resume that had lots of movement. And I just asked him to give a recap, you know, why don't you take me through your chronology and explain to me what you accomplished in each of these roles. And the first role he had left because he didn't like his manager, the second role he left because he didn't get along with his colleagues. The third role, he left because his customer just couldn't understand a brilliant idea. He was trying to push and etc, etc. And we finished this interview, I finished it 15 minutes early. Because I said, what I'd like to do now is do postgame color commentary with you. And I want to tell you what I've heard as a hiring manager, you've just told me that you're someone who can't establish relationships with the stakeholders who really matter, and you blame it on them. About a week later, I got a huge bouquet of flowers from this candidate, I haven't followed recently to see where he is. But I sincerely hope that what he's done is that he has owned his own accomplishments, or lack of them, and, and is now really, you know, working on establishing relationships with the stakeholders that matter.

Ash Faraj  17:01

And I could totally see like, how a hiring manager wouldn't want to give that feedback, because it might be, you know, they're just like, Okay, we'll pass it like, so the fact that he gave that feedback he does probably is probably appreciative, like, Okay, next.

Barbara Humpton  17:12

I hope so yeah.

Ash Faraj  17:13

So I mean, what do you think, you know, the curiosity in today's day and age, what's like, the length that you would say, is a good length to stay at a company,

Barbara Humpton  17:21

I think I'd gauge it on the role. And you know, you can look at these things, organically think about a role that you want to take for a lot of people, it's, I need my first management experience, right? And so you would hire somebody to take a management role, you certainly hope they're not going to leave very soon. Because think about the people who are depending on that manager, right, the most important relationship in a company is between an employee and their direct manager. So when someone takes that first management assignment, man, they really need to be there over cycles of, you know, the annual cycle that involves taking care of people salary and benefits, taking care of assignments, seeing employees start to grow their careers. And and I mean, is two years enough is three years enough? We're talking in terms of years, right? To really say, I've had that experience, I would suggest that you actually have to live through some of the major people management milestones, have you hired people have you had to separate people from the organization? Have you dealt with an employee who's had a major illness? You know, those are the kinds of people things that are great experiences that I don't care what role you ultimately take in a corporation. If you haven't had those experiences, you've got a real gap in your resume. There are other roles related to maybe some what you might call a technical role, you know, the product facing or, or a customer facing role, where you, you might tie your aspirations to a major milestone, hey, I want to be there for the launch of a product I need to see through the establishment of a new mode of operation. But But I would tend to tie these kinds of milestones to the organics of the business, you know, as opposed to any kind of just purely calendar driven timeline. Now, of course, there's always that serendipity, you know, when the phone rings, and somebody says, here's an opportunity, but I wonder how many people have had the experience I have, which is, I'd be in the middle of some really critical thing. And in fact, things would be just at the depths of their difficulty. I'm having one of the worst days of my career and the phone rings. And it's a headhunter, saying, Hey, I'm reaching out because my client is interested in your leadership for some key role. And the thing that just surges through my psyche is, that sounds like a great opportunity, but my work here isn't done. And I used to laugh about this that, you know, the the phone was never ringing when things were going like gangbusters, and I felt like I was settled. And I could leave. It only rang on those days when I was. And that's how I ended up with 27 years with the same team.

Ash Faraj  20:14

How did they know? So you talk a lot about having a good support network, right? Like that's, that's important to you, you know, aside from family, obviously, how does a young professional, you know, in their 20s, build a good support network? Is there a process to it? Is it just kind of like, I feel it or like,

Barbara Humpton  20:31

Let me share something I learned from Jim Fitterling recently. He's CEO of Dow, you may know, and we were in a discussion about workforce. And he mentioned that he has ERGs. And there's one ERG called Rise, it's the new employees in the organization, there's another ERG called prime, that people with multi decades in the organization. And he had noticed this really incredible factor, which is that prime and Rise had actually come together as two employee resource groups and started working with each other turns out that the more experienced members of an organization relish the idea of being able to form relationships and influence the newer members of an organization. So for new people entering an organization, I'd say, do not underestimate the power, you have to energize and excite those grizzled veterans in the organization, reach out to them, ask to be engaged with them in ways of, you know, learning ideating, you know, really bringing something to the table for the business. And I think what you're going to find is some of those seniors are just champing at the bit waiting to be invited in.

Ash Faraj  21:51

Yeah, no, I can totally see that. Like, what you can bring to the table is like the energy and then those relationships that you build with them are, those relationships don't go away,

Barbara Humpton  22:00

They do not go away. Now, you know, I've seen this happen over and over again, we see it in our business at Siemens, where you take a digital native and put them on the manufacturing floor, just side by side with people who've been doing things you know, and obviously evolving and changing their work environment over the decades. But when they're suddenly given access to an expert in digital tools, the digitalization, transformation starts to accelerate. And so I think there are, I think there's a real advantage for people entering the workforce today to share what they've been picking up in school, about this new generation of tools, I think that can be a real catalyst for acceleration to change. Hey, listen, though, the second thing I would I would give as advice is get to know people who are in different functions. So you may come into an organization, say, in a finance role. And there are other people in the organization engineering, or software development or whatever. Make it your business, to get to know your peers, the people who are in the same stage of their career as you are. Because what you're going to find is, it's a very small community in just about every sector of the market. And you'll see that people can support each other in all kinds of ways that won't be immediately evident to you. But the more you have that, you know, a common understanding with a group of people who you admire, you know, pick the ones who you recognize as the best employees, and spend time with them. And you'll learn a lot and you'll be able to help each other.

Ash Faraj  23:37

So I watched the State of the Union address that Biden gave earlier this month, obviously, you know, we want to move towards Made in America products. That was kind of a big message. And Siemens being one of the federal government's largest vendors, I would imagine is involved. How was Siemens contributing to this agenda have made in America?

Barbara Humpton  23:56

Yeah, a lot of people don't realize that Siemens has actually been a US company for 160 years. Yes, our global headquarters is in Munich, Germany. Fantastic, fantastic city, if you haven't visited, the US is the largest market for the company. And the presence here has been strong and transformative. I mean, from the very early days focused on communication, electrification, automation, and now digitalization. And when you look across this portfolio of capabilities we have we've got know how that is just perfectly suited for this moment. All across the country. We're making investments in infrastructure and we want the future of infrastructure to be more connected, more electric more autonomous. And who are you going to go to it's it's a company like Siemens who really has the know how to be engaged in that. So one of the one of the mega trends we used to talk about you know, globalization the ever more global supply chains. And several years ago that tide shifted, and we recognize No, no, the real mega trend at work here is glocalization. The idea that, yes, we can innovate anywhere in the world. But our objective is to make supply chains shorter, bring the ability to produce closer to the point of demand. And now all of this, of course, depends on being able to rebalance the supply of raw materials, etc. But, but it's underway, this has begun. And right now is a moment when the US is actually investing and glocalization bringing back manufacturing jobs. And we've got a brilliant opportunity right now, that's gonna result in tremendous growth of the US economy,

Ash Faraj  25:49

I could see how the manufacturing in the United States obviously creates more jobs for Americans and makes us more independent as a country. But what about the economics? You know, because I know that a large portion of semiconductors that we now use come from Taiwan, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the figure is like around 80%? Will semiconductor chips be cheaper than importing from with? What about the economics of it?

Barbara Humpton  26:09

Well, it depends on how big of a business case you look at. Right? Is it cheaper to make semiconductors in the US if your alternative is extensive wait times for product, right? So we what we are seeing here is a true rebalancing of it all. And, you know, you might look at any individual component and say, and what happened in past years was people looked at labor rate, the cost of labor. And they said, We're going to move manufacturing to low cost countries. And lo and behold, manufacturers became more and more specialized, the labor costs became a huge factor in decisions about where to locate manufacturing capacity. And so you know, all of those factors, resulted in the situation we have now, where you see really major specialization, and then frightening single points of failure. I mean, right, think about cities in China shutting down and what that means to global supply, or, you know, just shipping disruptions, etc. So, I mean, anywhere along that supply chain. So I think we're looking at a new kind of supply chain math, right now, risk reduction, overall, that will make the case for itself, maybe not in any individual buy, but in in aggregate. And then there's one other thing Ash, which is, the tools of manufacturing today include much more automation. And what that's doing is making individuals much more productive. So to the extent that people are more productive than they've ever been before, it actually lowers the impact of that, you know, low cost labor, that for so long was the driving factor. So I think what you're gonna see is new math, if you will, for manufacturing, and it's going to make a difference.

Ash Faraj  28:07

My next point was going to be this is something that, you know, you kind of always hear about advancements of technology that replace human jobs, you know, so you talk about automation. So obviously, there's some resistance for people who are afraid that their jobs are going to be replaced by a robot, like, what does that mean that I'm not going to have a job? You know, but obviously, you said in your remarks in the White House, you know, a couple of weeks back that advancements and technology are actually bringing more jobs. So can you expand on that to someone who may be hearing this concept for the first time?

Barbara Humpton  28:33

Yeah. Where I started on this thought in my White House remarks was this simple. From the first time a human picked up a rock and used it as a tool, tools have elevated the role of humans, I mean, right? What a human could do with the help of a stone, a spear was far greater than what was possible before. And all through history, this has played out. And there's a dark side to this, right, which is a lot of tools get used as weapons. We have to be cognizant of this. But where we use tools to elevate the role of humans, what we're actually doing is expanding what's humanly possible. That's what is coming in front of us. And after I made those remarks at the White House, I stepped back from the podium and stood next to the president. And he leaned over and said, You know, it's not scary when you talk about it.

Ash Faraj  29:27

That's lovely. You know, one thing I was just curious about was what do you what would you say is like kind of special about working for Siemens, that for somebody who's you know, looking to enter the workforce?

Barbara Humpton  29:36

There is no other company that has this portfolio right now when it is most needed. But look across this world of change we're dealing with whether it's climate change, urbanization, the aging demographics of people all around the world, the glocalization, we just talked about the digitalization of everything. Here's Siemens a focused technology company bringing together the real and the virtual world. And solving these large problems. This is a place where people can, can make change as individuals in ways that are truly shaping the future.

Ash Faraj  30:18

Something I look for when I decide to partner with someone or hire someone is

Barbara Humpton  30:23

alignment. I'm looking for people who have a vision that aligns with the one we have

Ash Faraj  30:30

the most important quality and a leader is

Barbara Humpton  30:32

vision. People follow leaders because of what they see and where they're going.

Ash Faraj  30:38

Oh, so like being able to cast a vision you mean

Barbara Humpton  30:41

yes, having a positive view of what we're building here.

Ash Faraj  30:45

Something that has helped me get past my personal fears and insecurities have been

Barbara Humpton  30:51

Time. Years Old Age wisdom,

Ash Faraj  30:56

something I've struggled personally with as a leader has been

Barbara Humpton  30:59

those fears and insecurities, what a waste of energy,

Ash Faraj  31:03

something I do to make sure I feel productive, and stay positive is

Barbara Humpton  31:07

work out.

Ash Faraj  31:08

If I were to go back and talk to my younger self in my mid 20s, I would tell myself,

Barbara Humpton  31:12

stop worrying about those fears and insecurities.

Ash Faraj  31:15

One setback or failure in my early 20s that I will never forget is

Barbara Humpton  31:19

i for the life of me can't think of anything. What was said about me right from the very beginning of my career at IBM was yet the two words used to describe me where energy and enthusiasm you know, it's funny, because I just have been racking my brain and going I mean, I know that there were tough things that happen, but nothing where I said that's I would never use the f word, right? Failure. No.

Ash Faraj  31:44

I think it's a good thing that the memory doesn't stay there. Because, you know, for some people, it's like, kinda like haunts them, you know, like a bad memory or something. But even if you didn't have like a small setback or something, you kind of just forgot about it.

Barbara Humpton  31:54

There was a manager we had back in those early days who used to look people deep into their eyes and say, your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. And do you know, I met people 20 years later, who were still haunted by those words, like, I just can't get over my greatest weakness. And I on the other hand, was like, That's my greatest strength.

Ash Faraj  32:18

The sweetest moment I felt in my entire career was when

Barbara Humpton  32:21

Maybe the sweetest moment was when I had an employee come to me and say, you know, Barb, everybody says, You're too nice. You know, and you are really nice. But what I've discovered is underneath you are tough as nails. I guess having somebody actually get it, that, you know, we can actually work well together, we can have fun, we can enjoy each other, and get things done. That's what I'm in it for.

Ash Faraj  32:57

Looking forward. If I could be remembered for just one thing, it would be

Barbara Humpton  33:01

Oh, my grandchildren, my grandchildren, Ash, just coming back to where we started. You know, it's interesting, because early on, the I want to be a grandmother was almost a cop out. You know, people were asking, What do you want to be when you grow up? And there were so many things to do, but I just couldn't choose. So for me than to simply say, oh, a grandma was a way to answer the question and be done with it. But you know, through the years I did it hit me that no grandmothers are so important. I loved my own. And, and this idea of playing that role for others being being somebody who was safe, who loved unconditionally, who had seen enough of the world to be able to say, You know what, everything's gonna be alright. That's, that's what I really craved and cherished and maybe having that as a life goal was a bit of a haven for me during those times when I wondered what in the heck is happening with my career. Right, this this next role, or, Hey, my mentor just told me that I have to choose, right? At the end of the day that thought that, hey, I'm going to be a grandma. And then Okay, getting through the teenage years with my children, I think I'm never going to be a grandma. But in the end, when it all works out, and you see these adorable can do no wrong little creatures enter the world it is. It's truly a glorious experience.

Ash Faraj  34:25

What a beautiful full circle moment there. So and the last one is if I were stranded on an island and I had access to one meal, it would be

Barbara Humpton  34:33

my husband's salmon filet. It's just the most delicious thing, and I could eat it every day. But I know that wouldn't be helpful.

Ash Faraj  34:40

Barbara, thank you so much for taking the time today. Our listeners will really appreciate that you took the time and I can't thank you enough for coming on.

Barbara Humpton  34:47

Thanks for the opportunity Ash.

Ash Faraj  34:49

Thank you so much for listening to this episode. Please check out Barbara's podcast, the optimistic outlook wherever you get your podcasts trust me, it's worth the listen. On another note we're slowing down production of new episodes for a while but we have a whole library of episodes that you can binge on our website or wherever you get your podcasts I can't thank you enough for being a listener if you ever want to connect with me please please email me ash at executalks.com Be Well my friend.

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