On February 10, 2014, one of the most beloved Hollywood celebrities of all time, Shirley Temple, passed away, but during her 85 years of life she accomplished much. There are plenty of life lessons that people can get just by remembering her. Women in business, in particular, can learn a lot and be motivated from her.
Here are some life learnings that women in business can apply from how Shirley Temple lived her life:
Who could ever forget Curly Top, Bright Eyes and Heidi? These classic films became the pillars of the very name of Shirley Temple. At the very young age of 3, she sang, acted and danced her way to the delight of movie goers. Since then, Shirley Temple became one of the most popular child stars of all time. The little girl charmed her way, and coupled with pure talent, was able to make 40 successful movies before turning 12. Little did she know that she became the heroine who saved a major movie outfit from being bankrupt.
The early acting career of Shirley Temple passes a message to women in business and even for women who are interested in starting their own businesses—start early! Never assume that being young is an obstacle to achieving dreams and goals. Success comes in different packages, and experience shows that starting young almost always leads to early success. And even if there aren’t any major movie companies to be saved, experience shows that starting young can save many businesses.
Be Versatile and Flexible
Not only was Shirley Temple well-known as a child star. People have also seen her carry different political positions. From 1969 to 1992, she served many U.S. Presidents, including Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H .W. Bush. She was appointed to a variety of positions, including being a Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador to Ghana, Chief of Protocol of the United States, and Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. She also was in charge of the arrangements for the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter.
In like manner, women in business also wear different hats when dealing with their clients and customers. They should be quick to adopt these roles whenever possible to provide excellent service at all times. To do this, they should understand that no two customers are alike. Hence, they should invest more time to really understand their customers. They may find it helpful to use business intelligence tools to help them understand what customers need, why they purchase specific products, and how can they provide exceptional service—especially when calamities strike. A genuine interest in clients and customers will pave the way for business leaders to wear different hats perfectly.
Be Prepared for the Tough Fights
In 1972, Shirley Temple was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her operation, she publicly announced what she had gone through, bravely facing her daily battle. She was not ashamed to admit her ordeals. In fact, she proudly became the one of the first prominent woman to speak openly about cancer.
In business, there are plenty of stumbling blocks, and sometimes they are larger than the business. But like Shirley Temple, obstacles should be faced with your head held up high. Whether the day starts with having the most hair-loss inducing moment or a competitor trying to paint your reputation or your business in a negative light, women in business should be ready with their toughest fight. With the right focus, an aggressive yet practical plan, and a determined objective, obstacles in life can definitely be overcome.
Shirley Temple’s lifelong legacy and life lessons should never be forgotten by women in business.
About the Author
Margaux Dela Cruz writes for Mapline, an online mapping tool.