Words of Wisdom with Rhonda Staley-Brooks

Rhonda Staley-Brooks
President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters


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

  1. Don’t apologize for being young and successful! I was 29 when I was appointed CEO.
  1. Ask for help – don’t try to do it all by yourself.
  1. Rely on mentorship at all levels and listen more than speaking.

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

Yes, I have several mentors.  The one piece of advice I will remember is to be myself.  Don’t pretend I’m something that I’m not.

How did/do you handle work/life balance?

You do the best you can.  I make a point of being available for volunteering at my kids school and attending 90% of their sporting events.  I have date nights with my husband.  Then there is time for just me, hair, nail and massage appointments (those keep me balanced).  Finally, spending time with the rest of my family and friends.

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

Good to Great is a wonderful book.  Take strength finders and focus on what you are good at instead of focusing on your weaknesses.

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

If you don’t get out and network or join leadership programs, you get stuck!  You have a bigger purpose and finding out what that is can only help you succeed in your career.  I love the non-profit community and giving back gives you a bigger purpose in life.

What do you love about Sacramento?

It’s a great place to raise a family.  There is plenty to do, see and eat!  I love my Kings (no matter what). Even though is extremely hot right now, you can’t beat the weather.

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

I was just 40 a few minutes ago and what I can say is enjoy it!