As a driven mompreneur of two boys I know all too well the struggle of wondering if it's possible to really "have it all" - a flourishing career or business, a thriving marriage and being a present mom. As the end of the year approaches and we set our intentions for a new year, instead of driving ourselves crazy trying to decide if we can possibly have the perfect career, marriages and kids, let’s celebrate what is evident and certainly what my own experience suggests: Being a mom doesn’t have to hurt our chances of being great leaders and achieving more. In fact, I believe motherhood is a valuable tool.
Here are 5 ways your motherhood skills can make you a better leader in your business, career and relationships:
1) Being A Go-Giver
Leadership expert Simon Sinek stresses the importance of giving in leadership in his award-winning book "Leaders Eat Last". Through his in-depth analysis, Simon shows us that throughout history, truly outstanding leaders have one trait in common: They give and protect selflessly. Great leaders eat last.
As a mom, I'm sure there is no way you could count up the number of times you put your family's needs before your own or how many times you have been the last one to sit down at the table to eat. It's a familiar story for most mothers.
The world of business is often filled with competitive ego's and cutthroat tactics but genuine giving for the sake of helping others and with no personal motive or agenda is hard to come by. The natural spirit of giving in motherhood is also powerful tool in leadership.
Bottom line, those who give more, receive more.
2) Ninja Multi-Tasker
The daily demands of motherhood rank right up there with running a Fortune 500 company. To survive you have to be flexible, be able to go with the flow without losing your sanity and be able to manage a wide variety of tasks and challenges without falling apart.
Moms are ninja multi-taskers who know how to be efficient. The daily demands of work, family and problems that arise out of nowhere make them masters at juggling multiple highly fragile balls in the air. Those same skills can lead a business, organization and teams to ensure everything runs smoothly like a well-oiled machine.
3) The Negotiator
If you are a mom, you have acquired some pretty wicked negotiation skills. From helping two siblings work through an argument to finding a compromise in not wearing a batman costume to church, being a mom teaches you how to be a better negotiator.
Just like "Because I am your mom and I said so" is not an effective way to teach children how to manage their emotions and resolve conflicts, telling your team, colleagues or those you have partnerships with "Because I am the owner/boss and everyone will do as I say" doesn't build trust or rapport.
Being a mom teaches us how to have more empathy and being a good negotiator to find common ground and compromises, are invaluable skills in career and business leadership. It's not about trying to make everyone happy, it's about creating a space where others feel safe to be heard while finding a resolution that is in the best interest of everyone in the long run.
4) Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
To quote Richard Carlson author of the self help book 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life'
“Something wonderful begins to happen with the simple realization that life, like an automobile, is driven from the inside out, not the other way around. As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It's absolutely true that, "Wherever you go, there you are.”
Moms know that they can not stress about every little hiccup that daily life throws their way. Just like managing a household, a marriage and children, our business and careers are a perpetual flow of ups and downs. We have to pick our battles and focus on the bigger picture and allow the smaller inconveniences roll off of us.
Just like moms, good leaders don't allow the small stuff to weigh them down. They know that they will have to roll with the punches and keep going with a positive mindset and attitude.
5) Failure Is Not An Option
As moms we don't ask if; we ask how. Think about the last time your child came to you and said "oh by the way I have a major project due tomorrow for science" and while probably not very happy about the last minute notice, you immediately sprung into action. You didn't say "sorry, I don't know what to do so you will just have to get zero on that". You tapped into your creativity, pulled some amazing resources together and got it done to resolve the problem at hand (saving the well deserved lecture about last minute notifications for later).
Moms know how to assess the situation, take inventory of available resources and promptly get to work. Great leaders do the same thing when faced with difficult business decisions and setbacks. They don't throw up their hands and admit defeat, they find a way and lead by example to resolve the problem at hand.
Most moms bring a level of maturity and endurance to their leadership that can't be taught in books, courses or on-the-job trainings. I personally have never had a problem with stepping into my corporate leadership roles because of my mommyness.
Never doubt your ability to be a great leader. Your motherhood skills are an invaluable asset in the marketplace but don't just take my word for it. A study done by WorldWit found that 69% of workers would rather work for a mom than a non-mom, while only 2% preferred a non-mom.
You were born to be a bold, authentic leader. Believe in yourself and others will too!
What are some leadership skills you believe moms are exceptionally good at? Leave me a comment, would love to hear from you.
P.S. Looking for a business strategy coach to help you use your skills in motherhood to uplevel your business? I would love to chat with you. Book a FREE 15 Minute Life Changing Conversation with me now.