People really do care about each other. My son and I got COVID and I was very sick. My friends showed up in a way that was a true blessing AND I never saw them. Food, prayers, calls, card, flowers, just pure support.
Most of us will be okay. It is terrible that people have lost their lives to this virus, however most of us will be okay and will build antibodies to fight this illness. I was so sick and could not get out of bed but I did come out the other side and most will too.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place.
As a part of my series about how busy women leaders are addressing these new needs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Moore.
Michelle Moore is SVP for LabCorp, the largest diagnostic company in the world, proud mom of three amazing boys, President and Founder of Mother’s Grace charity, and author of the new book A Mother’s Grace: Healing the World One Woman at a Time (HCI, August 25th).
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Looking for a job in the medical industry, I started working for LabCorp right after grad school. I started Mother’s Grace charity 12 years ago after being diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer, and having my middle son who was 7 at the time, rushed to the hospital the night before my first chemo appointment and diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. I spent the next year in very a grueling cancer treatment while teaching my son how to be insulin dependent.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started at your company?
There are so many but one of the most impactful to me was traveling to India and helping build a medical infrastructure at an orphanage for girls. It was a very cultural experience in a small village. It was so amazing for me to see 95 girls between the age of 5–17 living together with no electronics and sleeping on mats have so much respect, love, and camaraderie for their peers and leaders. They were filled with pure joy without having any material comforts.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I just finished my first book A Mother’s Grace: Healing the World One Woman at a Time, which has been a very personal project for the last 19 years. It is being launched and sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers on August 25th. It is the story of 12 incredible moms I have met and worked with all over the world, who have the most overwhelming, pain-filled stories, but have each come through the on other side and decided to do something beautiful to help support other moms and their communities. It has been a labor of love and also details my own personal story and how I met each of these women through divine circumstances and how our lives have continued to be intertwined. Many early readers of the book state it has helped them prioritize their own passions and find ways to connect and support others. In addition, it has helped them realize we all go through horrible stuff and we CAN make it through to the other side.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I would say my 3 boys, Jackson, Brooks, and Griffin have been so patient with me through the years, they’ve been my biggest cheerleaders, have supported my life choices, and love me unconditionally. They write me the most amazing letters and I have kept each and every one and I read them when I need motivation. Inspiring our children is an important primary goal and if we as parents can accomplish that, we can do anything.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Can you articulate to our readers what are the biggest family related challenges you are facing as a woman business leader during this pandemic?
I work full time as an SVP for LabCorp and prior to COVID I traveled for business 3 weeks a month. Having to do everything via ZOOM and conference calls is challenging enough, and then the kids come in constantly thinking that if you are in sweats and on the phone it’s not important. Also keeping them motivated to learn, and stay active, and not get depressed is tough…it’s so easy to just say watch Netflix when there are no demanding timelines on their schedules. So, you really have to balance their mental health with fun things and allow some freedoms with friends as well as keep them disciplined. In addition, my son and I both had COVID and that’s after really being quarantined at home for a very long time. I think it’s important to find a balance between trying to keep the kids safe but not letting them “crack” by facing the same 4 walls every day. We tried new things often to shake things up a bit…
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
See above…but also add sports like family golf, hiking,
Can you share the biggest work-related challenges you are facing as a woman in business during this pandemic?
I would say not connecting in person with clients and colleagues. Solutions seem to come more readily when you meet and collaborate together. Also, the lack of travel to get on site and give in-person presentations means less opportunity to build community with colleagues and clients.
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Adding in a little time to have some friendly banter on the Zoom and conference calls…we try to share what’s going on in our lives a bit before and after calls.
Can you share your advice about how to best work from home, while balancing the needs of homeschooling or the needs of a family?
I think the best advice that has worked for me been changing up the environment. Some days I work from living room, some from office, some from bedroom. Also get up early and do exercise prior to work day. Sounds cliché, but I have been hiking every morning at 5:30 a.m., then I stop and get my ice tea, and then go home to get situated with my task list. I get up at noonish to stretch and roll out and it’s working great — a routine really helps me. I also think having something to watch all day while on the phone is really helpful through a window to the outdoors: I have two humming bird feeders outside the office and watch all day, which keeps things peaceful.
Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?
Exercise, prayer, meditation, having a routine, journaling every day, and having something to look forward to…like an outing on a Friday or the weekend, so it seems like it’s the “end of a work week.” My oldest son and I set out to do a Happy Hour once per week with a theme, like Mexican food and margaritas. He researches the drink and I do the food it helps us catch up and it’s a fun project for him.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons to Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
- People really do care about each other. My son and I got COVID and I was very sick. My friends showed up in a way that was a true blessing AND I never saw them. Food, prayers, calls, card, flowers, just pure support.
- People are collaborating to help others. Everywhere I look, someone is coming up with a way to support front line workers and local business. If we all turn our anxiety over and just find ways to support one another, our energy is turned away from our own crippling anxiety towards helping others, and we all come out ahead.
- Most of us will be okay. It is terrible that people have lost their lives to this virus, however most of us will be okay and will build antibodies to fight this illness. I was so sick and could not get out of bed but I did come out the other side and most will too.
- Families are being rebuilt and rekindled. I think the best thing that has come out of this and shown a true light at the end of the tunnel is that we are becoming closer and more present to our families. 90 percent of the people I speak to say they have deepened their faith and their familial ties during this time. Patience is also growing and that will help us rebuild.
- We are learning how to be change agents. Each of the women in A Mother’s Grace turned their adversity into action. You do not have to start a 501c3 to be a change agent. You can send cookies for an assisted living facility or to healthcare workers, take homemade food to a family that is dealing with crisis, be a sponsor, or write a lovely email to someone who is experiencing grief. Do something. If we all did one small thing for someone once a month, the world would be a different place.
From your experience, what are a few ideas that one can use to effectively offer support to their family and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Right now, people are missing human contact. Keep in touch with people you care about. Send a text, make a phone call, even make food for a neighbor and if everyone feels safe, share that meal. Also writing hand-written cards with uplifting messages are helpful. Doing a group zoom call and having an agenda helps as well. Take a hike with someone and really talk about how this is impacting you and your family. Find an online group mediation or mom’s Zoom prayer group. There are so many ways to connect with friends, family and even strangers that will calm anxieties and open up communication, just allow yourself to be open to the possibilities!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“You must believe,
Deep inside of you,
That you were born to
Do more than survive, Make a living and die.
You were created with a gift Trapped inside of you;
Your job is to find that gift And serve it to the world”.
- Dr Myles Monroe
I never ever thought of going into philanthropy or starting my own charity, nor had I any experience or interest. But just like the quote, I found that gift divinely and believe it’s what I am supposed to be doing. It came because I let go of plans, predictions, and control, and all of a sudden this new path appeared.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!