Words of Wisdom with Peter Tateishi

Peter Tateishi
President and CEO, Sacramento Metro Chamber



What are three things you wish you’d known as you embarked on your career?

1. How to appropriately negotiate my salary.

2. To admit my limitations and the things I didn’t know.

3. Don’t wait or assume that someone else will speak up or stand up for you.

Did you have a mentor? If so, what was the most important piece of advice they gave you?

Yes. My mentor helped temper me and constantly pushed back by forcing me to answer the question of “To what end?” Strategies have many reasons, but if the strategy doesn’t fully meet the desired or any end result, then you have to slow down and think through the plan better. I’m quick to roll my sleeves up and aim to find a solution when needed but that piece of advice reminded me that sometimes pausing and thinking through the problem first results in better success.

How did/do you handle work/life balance?

It is easy to take family for granted. Because we assume they will love us unconditionally, we often times fail to remember that it is also our job to love them unconditionally. I make weekends family time and protect that time as best I can. I communicate openly and honestly with my family to establish realistic expectations. Don’t ever set your family up to be disappointed in you because you over promised and underperformed. Finally, make it a priority to take a vacation and when you do, NO WORK.

Do you have any suggestions of books, articles, websites, etc. that might help a young professional?

"The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable," by Patrick Lencioni.

How important is it to be involved in organizations outside of work (church, networking, philanthropy, alumni, athletics, etc.)? Why?

Beyond the good will and personal development that you receive when you give back to your community or get involved in organizations, the contacts that you make are invaluable. It still amazes me today how many people I know from my days as a Religious Education Teacher and a swim coach. Those connections continue to open doors that otherwise would not have been available. Additionally, being engaged gives you a purpose beyond yourself that helps you become more invested in the success of your community and our region.

What do you love about Sacramento?

The Sacramento Region has so much diversity and complexity to it, but at the same time, a very small town feel. I enjoy the one to two degrees of separation between almost everyone in this community. Because of this, Sacramento allows you to not just feel like you are part of the change, but allows you to actually impact the change. It is not every town where anyone who wants to make change can so easily be part of it.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the 40-and-under business professionals in our region?

Don’t forget that there are a lot of people out there who want the job you have and are capable of doing that job (and potentially better). I constantly remind myself that I am expendable and replaceable. It challenges me to push myself harder and to earn the position that I have. Nothing is entitled or owed to me.