CEO Mom: Talbott Roche, Co-founder and Senior Vice President of Blackhawk Network

Talbott_Roche_pc_to_Terry_Vanderheiden_1_.jpgby Heather Cassell (San Francisco)

As a busy working executive mom partnered with a technology entrepreneur Talbott Roche finds creating quality of time and time is the key to success for her career and family.

“I actually enjoy it thoroughly,” says Roche, 42, and the oldest child of a single successful working mother. “It makes for a partnership where we understand each other’s pressures and we understand each other’s excitement about our business opportunities.”

Roche, co-founder and senior vice president of Blackhawk Network, the largest provider of third-party prepaid cards, doesn’t mind the busy schedule raising two children who are 8 and 6 years old. For Roche there is a “common thread” between family life and working life being a working mother that is “enjoying seeing and developing the successes of other people,” she says.

“My greatest success and greatest sense of fulfillment come from building a really high performing team,” Roche says. “When I think about being a mother it’s the same flavor of success, it’s seeing your children succeed and be happy and joyful.”

“It’s exciting and I don’t think that we could do it any other way,” Roche says.

Her husband and she were ready to have children when they did. Happily married for 14 years, they didn’t have children right away, she says. Instead they spent a lot of time together building their careers and traveling and “spoiling” themselves.

“We were so excited about the journey of having children and so invested in it as a team,” Roche says excitedly. “We brought a real passion to it.”

How this busy executive mom maintains the passion working and raising her family with her husband is that they are truly a team. They set priorities and share responsibilities on the “home front,” not only with each other but also with a community that works with them as a part of their team, she says.

“If I tried to be at every event or attend to every need on the work front and/or the family front I would definitely fail,” Roche says.

“We have people that we really trust,” Roche says about her community filled with a nanny, teachers who “understand that they are there to support our children in the right way,” and family nearby.

Roche says she has learned how to delegate identifying important issues for her work and family and handing off the rest in order to be successful at work and at home, she says.

In order to learn how to delegate, Roche says, she had to refocus her lens reframing how she defines success. She does this by identifying what the “critical objectives” and making time for those important things. She says she does this by asking herself, “What are the things that you feel most passionate about?” and “What’s important to your children?”

Learning how to do this wasn’t easy.

“I’ve learned to let some of the self-criticism go,” Roche says, who now leverages that “energy into positive actions” such as combining family trips with long business trips and working beside her children while they do homework.

She also doesn’t spend time beating herself up in order to spend the time “moving forward” and learning how to say “no”.

Roche’s advice to other working and future executive moms is to “begin your day and end your day being thankful for all of t opportunities that you have; try not to be too self-critical when you feel that you’ve fallen short of your full potential; and try to redefine success in terms of meeting your potentials…not everybody else’s priorities for you.”