You’re never too old to call your mom.
Morris Panner, CEO of DICOM Grid, a cloud medical image management solution, says he has called his mom “literally everyday” for the past two years as a small payback for all that she’s done for him — and because it starts his day off on a positive note.
“It’s something that both of us kind of depend on,” he tells Business Insider. “When you talk every day you kind of have an ongoing conversation, which is nice.”
He says that while there’s a certain baseline of love and respect when talking with any member of your family, it’s different when you talk to your mom: “That relationship in some ways never changes and that’s a nice thing, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to integrate her into my own family.”
He says he likes to call when she’s alone at the house while his dad is at work to talk about “normal, everyday things,” like when she’s going to get her hair done, or how the dog is doing. “It’s a small way to honor the commitment that she made,” he says.
Since Panner is frequently traveling for work, his mom’s first question for him is always, “Where are you today?” He says she likes to hear about warm places like California during the winter because she lives in snowy Rochester, New York. “It gives her a kind of fun postcard of a different moment,” he explains.
Panner says these phone calls have been effective in helping him de-stress because talking with his mom takes him out of his day-to-day concerns and focuses him on something more significant and enduring. When he takes a few minutes to talk with his mom, he says he always realizes that a problem isn’t that big of a deal and that he shouldn’t take his everyday concerns too seriously.
Even when he’s dealing with company issues, he always answers his mom’s phone calls in the office to set the tone that family and friends come before work — and it’s been effective. He says his employees aren’t afraid to ask if a meeting can be moved because they have a family commitment. “If you want to be a family-friendly company, you have to understand what an important priority family is,” he explains.
In turn, having a culture that encourages a strong work-life balance has made DICOM Grid employees “hugely more productive” because they understand that it’s a mutual relationship. “When you care about people and their priorities, then they will care about you,” Panner says.