Full Interview of Natalie Picha
Partner & Wealth Management Advisor, Royal Harbor Partners
My motherhood training has made me a better community leader, wealth manager and business owner; and being a community leader, wealth manager and business owner makes me a better mom. With each role, I bring new information and skills that may have come from the other.
I believe we should bring everything we are to the roles we occupy.But this can create the biggest challenge.I may be in a council meeting, preparing for a vote on an important matter when I see an urgent text from my daughter.It’s not possible to be two people at the same time. As women we are not always good at giving ourselves permission to be human.I am only one person, and my undivided attention will be required at one time or another. I give 100% effort to each of my endeavors, but it is impossible to give 100%, 100% of the time, to everything. Choosing what has top priority at any given moment is the biggest challenge.My family has been my greatest strength as I’ve taken on leadership roles. We’ve learned together. Even now, I get those phone calls and am relieved by the follow up text, “sorry mom, forgot you’re in council,” “don’t worry, call me after.”I am grateful and blessed to have those, no mommy guilt moments.
Define a great leader—what are some traits you think great leaders possess?
I believe in servant leadership. I see leadership as serving others by using your voice. A good leader uses their voice (both actions and words) to bring about good for others. They have integrity and conviction and will take a stand even when decisions are tough, and the right answer may not be the popular answer or even the answer you wish you could give. Leadership takes personal sacrifice. I see great leadership everywhere. Leadership can be deciding you will be the family member who serves to bring about reconciliation to a family squabble. You could be the child on the playground who decides to be the friend to the one no one wants to play with. In our world today, everyone of us, regardless of position, has opportunities to lead.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
1. Know you belong there, and we need your voice – do your homework and be prepared. It’s hard work.
2. Don’t do it alone – have a solid support system – family, confidants, and advisors you trust. Let them know who they are and the role they play as you work toward the next level.
3. Start somewhere and without an end in mind. When a personal mentor suggested I volunteer for the Charter Review commission, I could not have known I would someday serve as a council woman and Mayor Pro Tem.
What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?
Responding without all of the information. I mention this because this is a challenge in my own life. Sometimes, we think we are right but don’t yet have all the information. The situation may demand we have an answer and sometimes the answer is, “I don’t know, but I will find out.” Something I deeply respect, is when a leader says, “I was wrong.” Being willing to acknowledge a misstep and having a solution shows you are still working for the greater good and you won’t let your own fallibility stand in the way.
What advice would you give someone interested in becoming a community leader like you?
Get involved now, and when I say now, I mean like today! Start attending the meeting. Get to know the duties of the position. Research those who currently hold the position or have in the past. Fully understand the time commitment and be realistic about your ability to fulfill that time commitment. Let people know what you want to do and why you want to do it.
How has COVID impacted your community? Business? Family?
COVID – a global pandemic says it all. There isn’t anyone, anywhere on the entire planet that has not been impacted in some way. My family has been fortunate and to date no one has contracted the disease, although one of our daughter’s workplace had positive cases. Our biggest concern has been for my mother-n-law, parents, and 91-year-old grandmother. We all help care for each other, and some contact is required. If any of us were to be carriers it could be devastating. We take all the precautions we can.
I am proud to say, Seabrook, TX, has worked together to prevent the spread of the disease. It is because of the coordination of our city’s management team, staff, and volunteers that has brought us together as a community. City employees and volunteers need our support and gratitude. They are putting themselves and their families in harms way to continue to serve the public and I am honored to work with these awesome people who serve the City of Seabrook.
For Royal Harbor Partners, Wealth Management, the current crisis has given us the chance to help more people and businesses. People recognize the necessity of the active portfolio management we provide. Additionally, Covid has reminded others of their own mortality and the need to do estate planning that they may have been putting off. We have a fantastic team of advisors working together to help people and businesses navigate financial decisions amid continuous market volatility. It’s times like these that we get to do what we do best – help people.
Of the roles we have identified here (wife/mother, city councilwoman, partner/wealth advisor) – which role is the most challenging? Why?
I believe that people, especially women bring their whole selves to every role they serve.We all have God given skills and talents and it is our responsibility to cultivate and share those talents with others. As we mature, we gain perspective and dexterity. I have 3 daughters and was only 21 when my oldest was born.From day one, I was in motherhood training.I would not have been a very good mom to a teenager on the day my daughter was born.Years of training, and quite a bit of trial and error, would cultivate the skills I have today to parent my now adult children.We’re all in training every day.All of my on the job training, as a wife, mother, wealth advisor and so on is what I can bring to each position.