Moms and Leaders
Do you think there are similarities between the leadership characteristics of a mom and exceptional leaders in the workplace? I suppose I am drawn to that question with Mother’s Day upon us. I have a lot to draw from, being a mom for over 32 years and a business professional for nearly the same. I also have my beautiful mom still around at 95 years young, who has taught me (and continues to teach me) endlessly about leading a family and about being a good human. I have learned as a mom and as a leader that both are cheerleaders, advocates and unwavering supporters.
Amy Pocsik, author, writes about the 5 Reasons Moms Make for Great Leaders in an article in Fast Company. Each reason resonates with me as a mom and as a leader.
Reason 1: Rise to any occasion with focus. Moms tend to juggle a million things. Business leaders do too. It requires the leader and the mom to take the lead when their team or their child is in distress. Whatever the issue or situation, both will rise to meet it with a level of strength that most didn’t realize they had in them. The biggest lesson for me here related to focus is to always be present. The individual, whether leader or child, needs us to be in the moment with them instead of thinking about other looming priorities. I am a work in progress here.
Reason 2: Create a level of certainty. This resonates my mom spirit more than anything. As a single mom during a period of my life, I remember my daughters asking how something (which seemed impossible at the time) would happen. With every ounce of my being, I would say, “We will figure it out.” And we did. Inside, the insecurity was there, but outwardly it was important to provide the calm. The same applies in the business world. Authentic and forthcoming but knowing there is always a solution.
Reason 3: Trust your gut. Listen to the needs of your people… and your kids, and harness your intuition. Assess the situation with facts and logic and then trust your gut. As a mom, this is our “momma bear” instinct. Relying on our intuition and trusting our knowing. This works in our business world, too. Even better when we tap into our trust partners. They are the ones that help us noodle ideas to get to the best solution.
Reason 4: Stay nimble. Continue to look for ways to make things better and seek new perspectives. Practice pivoting. Get out of the rut of doing things the way you’ve always done them. As an executive coach, I have a way that I lead the people I coach. While my approach is successful, I am continually looking for new tools and ways to enhance my craft. As I mom, that nimbleness is ever-so-important because as our kids grow, their needs change too. Being able to meet them where they are, and not where I want them to be, helps all of us grow and strengthens the relationship.
Reason 5: Keep your ultimate goal in mind. My ultimate goal for my business is to help leaders be the best they can be. To not settle and to work hard and with passion every single day. As a mom, my goal was (and still is) to help shape my daughters to be strong, challenged, independent and successful, and to be happy with who they are, every day. My 95-year-old mom still does that for me.
Pocsik says, “The trenches of motherhood provide a treasure trove of leadership tactics. Skills honed from years of caring for tiny humans have turbocharged the results I am able to generate as the CEO of a successful company.” I couldn’t agree more.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms, foster moms, grandmas, aunts, women who stepped in to be moms and those who have that innate mom touch. We celebrate you… not just on Mother’s Day, but every day!!