Think you have what it takes to be a great leader? If you’re a mom, I’d say you probably do. Somewhere between diapers and diplomas, most moms develop leadership skills that rival any CEO. They earn their honorary degrees on the campus of motherhood. And they’re as competent as their colleagues in the corporate cubicle. Excuse me a moment while I make some assumptions and generalizations. I realize that there are some moms out there who haven’t quite learned these lessons…but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about YOU! And I want you to know that you’ve got everything it takes to be a great leader.
10 Reasons Moms Make Great Leaders
- We know how to foster growth. Our job as mothers is to train them up in the way they should go. Whether we’re correcting or conversing, every interaction we have with our children is part of the plan to help them grow and succeed. Wouldn’t it be lovely if every boss felt the same way about helping employees grow?
- We’ve learned to embrace change. So maybe we cry on the first day of kindergarten and the entire summer before college…but somewhere along the line we accept the fact that change is a good thing. Leaders who recognize this truth are the ones who innovate and evolve in the shifting marketplace.
- We protect our people. I dare you to say something slanderous about my child or treat her unjustly. I’ll tear you to pieces. (Well, not really.) But at the very least, I’ll make sure my child never has to experience your mean spirit again. Great leaders stand behind their people like an angry mamma.
- We’re great listeners. I used to think good parenting was about saying all the right things. Now I know it’s more about listening and responding appropriately to each child’s needs. It’s about knowing when to follow the rules and when to follow your heart. And letting my kids come to their own conclusions at times. Imagine if our world leaders listened like that.
- We get things done. If I ran my house like some corporations or government agencies, there would be a lot of meetings and even more paperwork. But that’s not how moms get things done. We’re quick to make decisions. We’re not afraid to do the dirty work ourselves. And we don’t give up until our bodies give out. We might not do them perfectly, but we get things done.
- We don’t try to do it alone. Well, maybe the new moms try to fly solo for a few years. But they crash and burn like the rest of us. That’s when they learn to delegate (to husbands, kids and babysitters), find mentors, and create a support system (mom’s night out, anyone?). I wish more leaders understood that it doesn’t have to be so lonely at that top.
- We’re problem solvers. Any mom knows that as your children get bigger, so do their problems. And a good mom can solve five different problems while she’s cooking dinner. She also knows when to let her children solve their own problems. Sounds like the perfect training ground for a future leader.
- We follow our instincts. Good moms read the parenting books and solicit the advice of others who have gone before them. But in the end, they do what they think is best for their child. I remember my pediatrician telling me that I would know what’s right for my child. That I would have a feeling I couldn’t explain — and that I should rely on that feeling. I like to call it the work of the Holy Spirit. And leaders who are tuned in to that wisdom are bound to make better decisions.
- We know how to prioritize. Nobody is juggling more than a busy mom. No one has to reconcile conflicting priorities as much as a busy mom. We’ve perfected the art of reprioritizing and refocusing – and saying no to anything that isn’t mission critical. Now that’s a skill every leader should have!
- We have vision. Remember those eyes in the back of your head? They enable you to see more than what’s in front of your face. They allow you to see the big picture. And they give you the confidence to move forward every day, knowing that there is greater plan unfolding right before your eyes. Yes, moms are the ultimate in visionary leadership.
What mom qualities do you have that make you a great leader?
Copyright 2015, Theresa Ceniccola
Image credit: Photodune. Licensed by author. Text added by author.