Shelley Zalis, founder of The Girls’ Lounge, explains at South by Southwest why motherhood isn’t an excuse to withdraw from leadership roles. She explains that motherhood is the best thing that can happen to a woman because the best leaders in the world are caregivers. This is because a caregiver is a nurturer, collaborator, supportive, encouraging, and nurturing, etc. She goes on to say, shame on mothers if they take the excuse of being a mother to opt out of leadership roles. Instead, she encourages mothers to opt in, lean in, and kill it as a leader.
A study done by WorldWit found that 69% of employees would rather work for a mom than a non-mom. Only 2% of employees preferred a non-mom. It takes a lot to shock a mom. Moms know that every move won’t be perfect, but they’re going for the long-term solution. Moms see mistakes as an opportunity to grow. Moms know how prioritize their time in order to juggle many things at once. Moms are resourceful and know how to find the answer or make the most of what they have. Moms are mature and have to act like grown-ups. Moms get enough drama at home so they don’t have the energy to get sucked into any at work.
Moms know how to say things simply so that a child can understand. A mom knows just because she said something doesn’t mean that everyone heard her. Therefore, she will make the message clear. Moms know how to influence and inspire the behavior that they want in their children, which is the core of leadership. Children are not going to do something, just because “mommy said so”.
Beate Chelette, creator of The Women’s Code, says that your first boss was certainly a woman – your mom. She boldly states, “Make no mistake, motherhood is a leadership role.” Every mom has to gain buy-in from her kids to eat certain foods, go to bed on time, or do their homework. Once you’ve honed those leadership skills, leading adults is a cinch. Moms have to be leaders.
According to Beate, mom leaders have characteristics such as being sweet and kind, and they generally tend to lead by example, and gentle persuasion, rather than domination. These leadership traits do work because we know our mothers always got us to brush our teeth, eat our vegetables, and all the other things that we need to grow up. This is why moms are leaders.
We need both male and female qualities in the work place. Beate expresses with certainty that motherhood helped to train her for her leadership role.
This is Why Moms are Leaders
For me, personally, the hardest thing about being a mom is gaining the confidence to opt in, or lean in, and become the leader at work, that I am at home. This is especially difficult after giving birth and juggling the responsibilities of having a new little person in your household. Whether you have one child, or many children, the daily routine of care-giving can be exhausting and it’s especially difficult when its seems like no one notices how hard you are trying.
Whether I succeed at work, or not, the most important job that I will ever do is being a mom. Yes, my confidence is lacking at times because I feel fat, overwhelmed, and like I’m failing to be the person that I should be. After I came back from maternity leave, many people told me that they didn’t think that i would return to work. What they don’t know is, being a mom makes you stronger. I have four precious little people depending on me every day. I have to keep going no matter how hard it gets.
Being a mom is all about getting your life to where it runs smoothly, regaining your mind and body, and then being fully present. As moms, we need to lift each other up. Gain your confidence back, and go for that next stretch assignment, or ask for the promotion. Just because you are a mom doesn’t mean that you’re not deserving. You ARE deserving because you are a mom and you CAN do it! Don’t feel like you need to be the perfect mom, to be a leader. Focus on the fact that you ARE a mom, and BE everything that you are as a mom, to get there.
Use your TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS, be UNDERSTANDING and ENCOURAGING, be TRUSTWORTHY, be OBJECTIVE, give POSITIVE PRAISE, be HELPFUL, be RESPONSIBLE, be a MENTOR, be COURAGEOUS, and REMEMBER that YOU’RE IN CHARGE.
Thank you moms for all you do to grow the future by translating your skills to your everyday job. Let’s help and encourage other moms to regain their confidence and do the same.
7 Reasons Good Moms Make Amazing Leaders
Disclaimer: Bad boss posts are normally about poor examples of managers. Being a mom does not make you a bad manager or leader. Being a mom makes you a great leader!