It’s Mother’s Day in the United States – a day to set aside to thank, honor and remember our mothers. As a leader, I hope you are doing those things for the mothers in your life, and after reading this post, I hope you do a little bit more.
This post isn’t meant to “take away” from the sentiment and purpose of the day, but rather to enhance it further – to take us beyond the many reasons to thank our moms to intentionally learning from them.
I’ve often said that as we become better leaders we become better human beings – the same is true with parenting. The lessons we learn as leader can be translated to parenting too.
Today, we go the other direction.
Here are some leadership lessons I’ve learned from the two best mothers I know – my mom, Jan and my wife Lori.
Belief matters. Mom’s believe in us – and because of that we reach higher and further than we would have otherwise. Do you believe in (and are you showing it) to those you lead?
Busy or not, stop and listen. Mom and Lori are both excellent at this. It doesn’t matter how busy they are if you need them to listen; they are there. Would your team say the same about you?
Think ahead. The moms in my life think ahead. More than just planning, they anticipate situations, play out how important events and situations will happen, and often help others think those things through as well. Are you taking time to think ahead about the events that will affect your team?
Let you try. Listen I’ve done things that didn’t go so well – things that my wife and mom realized weren’t the best option at the time. But they didn’t always try to stop me – they let me try – and in some cases let me fail. We all learn from our mistakes and Moms often lovingly let that happen. Are you giving your team members room to fail?
Use their intuition. They value their intuition and use it. They know that decisions aren’t just about the facts. Men, maybe we don’t have “a women’s intuition”, but we sometimes hear that voice. Are we listening to it, and at least considering what it is telling us? As a leader (male or female) are you valuing your intuition when making decisions that affect your team?
I hope you have learned from this short (it could have been much longer) list, and I hope that you will make your own list as well, from a reflection on your personal experiences. When you do, it will give you one more reason to thank Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom and Lori – I love you both.