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May 8, 2019

Leadership Lessons from Moms

Mother's Day 2019

This Sunday, May 12 is Mother’s Day. We all owe much to our mothers from giving us life, food, clothing, shelter and, most of all guidance and support to help us to develop the best within us. I’d like to share with you some valuable lessons mothers teach us that can be very useful in the workplace, especially for leaders.

Create connections with your team members
Just as no matter how busy a mom is, she always finds time to make her children feel special, which builds their confidence in themselves and their abilities. In the workplace, formal and informal chats, some appreciation and praise go a long way. Recognize the contributions of every member to the team and recognize all wins as team wins. As a leader and contributor to the success of the organization, it is important to be both humble and proud of one’s accomplishments, which means to be proud of your accomplishments, but not gloat and to remember those who helped you to succeed.

Practice empathy
A good mother sees situations through her children’s eyes and a good leader sees the other person’s perspective in order to create a win/win situation and make the other person feel that their interests are being met. A leader can persuade others through empathy with “feel, felt. found” statements. I know how you feel; I felt the same way until I found out.” In these situations, the leader validates the person’s feelings, yet may be able to turn them to a different position. Mothers understand verbal and non-verbal cues from their children and know how to react to them by listening and helping the person to find solutions

Be fair and consistent
Create rules and policies that apply fairly to everyone on the team. This does not mean that the expectations need to be the same for everyone; each person has specific tasks, and in some cases, with rank comes privilege and responsibility. The point is that everyone knows what is expected of them and that there will be consequences, if these goals are not reached. Mom gave a later curfew to the oldest child who also had to do more chores and a vice president has more responsibilities than an account coordinator, but the same base rules apply.

Try your hardest
Moms often tell their kids that luck is when opportunity meets preparation. You can’t expect the world to hand you success, you need to make your own luck through hard work. Hard work often consists of follow-up and nudging others to provide answers and to think two steps ahead so you know when to follow up. Life and Work will throw you curveballs, you need to go with the flow and not let life’s curveballs discourage you from hard work. Hard work also will enable you to show how you are adding value to your organization and a good team player asks how “can I help?” and goes beyond assigned tasks when needed for the sake of the organization. The valued employee is one who can pick up on the needs of others as part of anticipating when they should volunteer to chip in.

Be a role model
Mothers who want their children to read, eat healthy, and exercise, read, have good eating habits and engage in physical activity. In the workplace, the leader follows the same rules and expectations that the team members do. Your team will watch how you treat others, dress, and work.

Mothers do know best. It may take us years to realize this, but their combination of knowledge, experience and caring can provide valuable guidance. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, fathers, sons and daughters of the world.

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