Smart, savvy and inspiring, Anne Chow of Southlake is a superhero through and through. She’s a CEO, a community leader, a wife and mom to two. Her daughters, 21-year-old Alana and 19-year-old Camryn, are forging their own paths into adulthood. And though Chow’s learning to redefine her role in their lives, she’s every bit the present and supportive mom they’ve always known.
The 54-year-old supermom tells us why she thinks the notion of balance is bogus, trying new things is essential, and prioritization is the key to success in career and in family.
DFWChild: What’s your superpower as a mother?
Anne Chow: I’m a driver and a connector. I’m able to keep things moving forward—mostly!—and leverage the resources around me.
C: Who do you consider a superhero mom?
AC: My mom is a superhero. She always pushed us to realize our fullest potential. She taught us the importance of resilience, getting back up when we’re knocked down, and advocating for ourselves, those we love and those in need.
C: What’s the best advice you’ve been given from a fellow mom?
AC: Focus on quality time with your children and don’t obsess about quantity. As a working mom, you’ll miss stuff. Be sure you don’t miss the critical moments and experiences that are most meaningful.
C: What five words would you use to describe yourself?
AC: Authentic, driven, energetic, caring, leader.
C: What would be people be surprised to know about you?
AC: I bungee jumped off a hot air balloon.
C: Have you learned anything new about yourself recently?
AC: I discovered my inner writer through blogging and co-authoring a book.
C: What are the most important life lessons you taught your kids?
AC: 1. Do your best to be your best, which may or may not mean being the best. It’s all about being the best you that you can be. 2. Try new things: new foods, new experiences, new groups, which enable you to meet new people. 3. Be someone others can count on. Your character and integrity are everything. Surround yourself with others whom you can count on, too.
C: What’s the best lesson you’ve learned in your life journey thus far?
AC: Life is an optimization equation. Know what you’re optimizing to.
C: Is there a “golden rule” that you strive to live by?
AC: 1. It’s not always possible, but I try to ensure I never miss those no-do-over moments. 2. Always move forward, learning and growing are constant states. 3. Be the change you wish to see in the world. —Mahatma Gandhi
C: What are your thoughts on work-life balance?
AC: I believe the notion of balance is bogus. Life isn’t meant to be lived in balance; life is an optimization equation. At any given time, each person is looking to optimize on a set of priorities that’s important to them. You must be clear on what success looks like for you and know that your priorities and view of success will change as your life moves forward.
C: How do you stay grounded?
AC: My kids, my family, my friends, my dog and my fitness boxing.
C: It seems every mother deals with mom guilt. How do you handle yours?
AC: I have a ton of mom guilt! I try to not dwell on the past and be present. I’m working on not beating myself up about things that I woulda, shoulda, coulda done better. Leaning on friends and family, and being transparent with my kids, are key.
C: How do you ensure your daughters get the support they need?
AC: It’s all about staying in touch to let them know you’re there to help, but not expecting reciprocation all the time.
C: What’s your parenting style?
AC: Partial tiger mom. I was somewhat authoritative when they were younger. Now that they’re young adults, that’s evolved to providing supportive guidance and ensuring they know they can always lean on me.
C: How else have you evolved since becoming a mother?
AC: I’ve become more compassionate, patient, empathetic and curious. I’m a better learner, and I’m more driven to ensure that our next generation of leaders can forge new ground. My greatest legacy is my children. My life’s work is about them and their generation of women leaders.
C: You’re passionate about women in leadership. What causes are you involved in?
AC: I’m a champion for the Women of Color Initiative at AT&T. Through this initiative, high-performing women of color are invited to participate in an opt-in experience to explore how leaders like them achieve success, connect and gain support.
I’m also the executive sponsor for the AT&T Women of Business employee group, which seeks to inspire all members—women and men—to recognize their full potential.
C: How else do you hope to make a mark on the world?
AC: To leave this place better than whence I came. By this place, I mean: a conversation, a meeting, a relationship, a speech, an organization, a team, a company and this earth.
Children’s Health, AT&T Discovery District and DFWChild Magazine join forces to celebrate SUPER MOMS leading up to Mother’s Day. From patient mothers and health care heroes to everyday working moms, we’re proud to celebrate the #SuperMoms who help defend and protect kids.
For more information visit redballoonleague.com.
Image courtesy of Anne Chow.