Monica L. Martinez has never wasted an opportunity or learning experience. It’s kept her ahead of the crowd all of her life. Those lessons weren’t learned in Corporate America. No. They were earned at the State Fair in Michigan. Written by: Eric Baca
Several years had passed since Monica L. Martinez had earned them as a young girl in Michigan.
She made sure to bring them on her recent 1,000-mile plus move from Detroit to Dallas.
Redeemable? Probably not. But, for Monica, their significance and value have only grown over time.
“Finding that bag clearly reminds me of what I intended to do — cash in on something bigger later,” she said.
That early life lesson — sacrificing the immediate benefit and building a foundation for something greater later — has paced Monica’s education and propelled her through her corporate career.
It’s a simple enough concept, and yet one rarely followed in practice, says Monica. The Cliffs Notes Generation Monica has grown up in is more likely to read the last page of the book rather than enjoy the plot development.
“One of the things…that is different than in my youth is now I am challenged with balancing my time but also understanding the delayed gratification. When I reflect on my childhood, I can see how even then I had a strong sense of discipline and understood how sacrifices in the short term, both large and small, could yield greater results in the long term.”
It’s as true now as it was then for Monica, now an executive at Comerica Bank, where she is senior vice president of Corporate Contributions for the Bank’s Texas and Arizona Markets and also manages Comerica’s National Hispanic Business Development.
The titles suggest prestige, relevance and influence. All earned, no doubt, and many would say that Monica has made it. By many standards, she has.
The key to Monica’s success has always been the focus on the next day, the next project, the next goal. She is fond of saying, “I checked that box….” She knows so well where she is going that she could mentally — and physically — cross it off her list.
With this mentality, the wins and losses matter just as much because it’s always about evaluation: “What can I learn from that and make it better next time?”.
Her approach has been developed over time, honed and tweaked along the way. But her staples and charter for success didn’t begin in college. Like most leaders, these habits started in her youth. In this case, the training ground for Monica was the Michigan State Fair.
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Written by: Eric Baca
May 7, 2102