Mary Barra – Coaching Quotes and Tips

Mary Barra’s Coaching Advice

Mary Barra – Coaching Quotes and Tips – Contents

  • Career Advice Quotes by Mary Barra
  • Business Advice Quotes by Mary Barra
  • Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Mary Barra
  • Mary Barra Biography
  • Interesting Facts and Insights about Mary Barra
  • Mary Barra Inspirational Quotes
  • Books about Mary Barra
  • Common Questions about Mary Barra
  • Videos about Mary Barra
  • Mary Barra Quotes

Career Advice Quotes by Mary Barra

“Education will open doors. Talent will open worlds. But it is hard work that will enable you to accomplish more than you ever imagined.”

“Do every job you’re in like you’re going to do it for the rest of your life, and demonstrate that ownership of it.”

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

It’s OK to admit what you don’t know. It’s OK to ask for help. And it’s more than OK to listen to the people you lead. In fact, it’s essential.”

“There are always things that potentially impact how you are received. And I just don’t focus on it. I don’t focus on what you can’t control.”

“If you truly want to “change the world,” you need more than talent. You also need to do the work, because hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.”

“Whatever you decide to do, do it with passion and all of the energy that you have.”

“The biggest lesson I learned, and I take it to everything I tackle now, large or small, inside of work and outside: If you have a problem, you’ve got to solve it. Because that problem is going to get bigger in six months. It could get bigger in two years. But it’s not going to get smaller with time.”

“I’m reminded of a plant manager who asked his lead engineer to explain her hiring process. She said, ‘Well, we fill a bathtub with water and we offer the applicant a teaspoon, a teacup, or a bucket. Then we ask him or her to empty the tub.’ ‘I get it,’ the manager said. ‘A go-getter would use the bucket because it’s faster.’ ‘No,’ the engineer said, ‘a go-getter will pull the drain plug.'”

“I never want to get a job because I’m female. I want to get it because I earned it and I deserve it.”


Business Advice Quotes by Mary Barra

“My definition of ‘innovative’ is providing value to the customer.”

“We will continue to invest in game-changers.”

“We would have never been able to predict what we faced.”

“We need to find the opportunity not to do everything, but to do the important things.”

“And no matter what business you go into, you only win when your customer says you win.”

“Don’t confuse progress with winning.”

“More and more, today’s employees want to be connected to a broader purpose. They want their companies and institutions to make the world a better place.”

“We went back to really empowering the individual who knows every aspect of that vehicle and knows every trade-off they’ve made to get a great vehicle on the road … So every vehicle has its own chief engineer, and it’s single-point accountability.”

“At the end of the day, all businesses are about people first — because the only way we can build genuinely successful businesses is to build lasting relationships inside and outside the company.”


Leadership Advice Quotes by Mary Barra

“Everybody does a better job when they’re able to balance.”

“It’s important to surround yourself with people who will challenge you and tell you when and why you are wrong.”

“If we win the hearts and minds of employees, we’re going to have better business success.”

“Not everything needs changing. Some things need protecting. And that can be just as important, challenging and rewarding as changing the world.”

“When we have to make tough decisions, giving direction and setting the strategies for the products of General Motors, there should be constructive tension. We should have vigorous debates.”

“At the end of the day, when the decision has to be made, if we don’t have complete unanimity, I have no qualms about making it.”

“I want that tension in a constructive way to make sure we evaluate things from every angle.”

“As Charles Kettering said … ‘The only time you don’t fail is the last time you try something and it actually works.'”

“But as a visionary leader, you should be thinking about more than just the next quarter. You should also be thinking about the next decade, and what your company’s reputation and place in the world will be after 40 quarterly results.”

“As leaders in business, government, nonprofits, NGOs, or wherever your career takes you, you have a responsibility to help change the relationship and the reputation our institutions have with society.”


Mary Barra Biography

Mary Barra (born 1961) was appointed Chairwoman and CEO of General Motors Company in 2014. She was the first female CEO of a major global automaker. Prior to her CEO appointment, Barra served as the Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain at General Motors.

Barra graduated from the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. She then attended Stanford Graduate School of Business on a GM fellowship, receiving her Masters in Business Administration degree in 1990.

Barra started working for General Motors, at age 18, in 1980, checking fender panels and inspecting hoods to pay for her college tuition. She subsequently held a variety of engineering and administrative positions, including managing the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant.

Barra was listed on Forbes and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list. Barra has also featured on the cover of Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”


Interesting Facts and Insights about Mary Barra

  • Born: Mary Teresa Makela, December 24, 1961, Royal Oak, Michigan, US
  • Finnish: Barra’s parents are of Finnish descent.
  • High School: Mary Barra is a graduate of Waterford Mott High School in Michigan.
  • Education: Kettering University, Stanford University
  • Electrical Engineering: Barra graduated from the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.
  • MBA: Mary Barra attended Stanford Graduate School of Business on a GM fellowship, receiving her Masters in Business Administration degree in 1990.
  • Family: Husband, Anthony E. Barra, and two children
  • Husband: Barra is married to consultant Tony Barra, whom she met while studying at Kettering University.
  • First Female CEO: Mary Barra was the first female CEO of a major global automaker when she became CEO of General Motors Company in 2014
  • Boards: Barra has been elected to the following Boards and Councils: Disney board, General Dynamics board, Detroit Economic Club and the Detroit Country Day School. She also serves as a member of The Business Council, the Stanford University board of trustees, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business advisory council.
  • Powerful Women: Barra has been listed on Forbes Most Powerful Women list, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list, and Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women List.
  • Influential People: Barra was featured on the cover of Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
  • A Legend in Leadership: In 2018, Barra was awarded the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute’s Legend in Leadership Award.
  • Home: Barra lives in Northville, a suburb of Detroit.

“Whatever you decide to do, do it with passion and all of the energy that you have.”

– Mary Barra

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“And no matter what business you go into, you only win when your customer says you win.”

– Mary Barra

Book About Mary Barra

  • Road to Power: How GM’s Mary Barra Shattered the Glass Ceiling, by Laura Colby, 2015

Common Questions about Mary Barra?

  • What is the Salary of GM CEO?
    • As GM CEO, Barra’s total compensation package was valued at about $20 million,
  • What nationality is Mary Barra?
    • Mary Barra is American. Barra’s parents are of Finnish descent.
  • Where did Mary Barra go to college?
    • Barra graduated from the General Motors Institute, which is now called Kettering University

Mini MBA of Big Ideas

“Strategies for Influence” explores and shares a Mini-MBA of Big Ideas from the Leaders of Influence that can help you with your Career, Business, and Leadership. Click on any of the links below to explore the Big Ideas that have influenced our work and culture.

Mini-MBA of the big ideas that have shaped Careers, Leadership, and Business.


Videos about Mary Barra

Mary Barra, First Female Auto Industry CEO, On Women And Leadership


Mary Barra on Driving Into the Future


“It’s important to surround yourself with people who will challenge you and tell you when and why you are wrong.”

– Mary Barra

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/senatormccaskill/13586230934