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Raising Women to Be Leaders
» Raising Women to Be Leaders
Wall Street Journal (02/12/07) P. B1; Hymowitz, Carol

The Sullivan sisters--Denise, Maggie, Colleen, and Andrea--overcame many obstacles to become the successful executives they are today, attributing much of their achievements to their upbringing. Their father, Dennis Sullivan, took them to work, taught them about profit margins and marketing at early ages, and instilled in them a staunch work ethic and independence. He notes, "I'd ask them what their goals were and when they told me, I'd add a few more to their list." Their mother, Connie Sullivan, worked as a Realtor while holding up her household duties, teaching her daughters about femininity and how to bounce back from failure when their goals were not reached. Negotiations between sisters to swap chores quickly transformed into business management skills, and moving frequently as children helped them to become more flexible in their approach to various situations. Colleen Sullivan Bastkowski says she is the competitive one, while "Denise is the strategist, Maggie the networker, [and] Andrea the communicator." Denise and Maggie are also seen as pioneers who paved the way for their younger sisters to garner management posts. Denise Sullivan Morrison is now president of Campbell USA, Maggie Sullivan Wilderotter is chairman and CEO of Citizens Communications Co., Colleen Bastkowski is a regional vice president of sales for Expedia Corporate Travel, and Andrea Doelling is former senior vice president of AT&T Wireless.
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