A survey of almost 200 leaders from over 30 global organizations has shown that there are five major competencies that strong leaders exhibit: having high ethical standards and a concern for safety, empowering others to self-organize, promoting connection and belonging, being open to new ideas and experimentation, and being committed to the professional and intellectual growth of employees. It is easy to see how nearly all these competencies are required in parenting. In fact, the percentage points assigned to each of these competencies also reflect their relative importance within a home setting. For mothers, the safety of their children reigns supreme, and all other goals are secondary to their child’s health and wellbeing.
Moms with more than one child want nothing more than unity between children, though things don’t always go smoothly from the start. Moms often have to take time to teach their children the value of empathy, sharing, turn-taking, and active listening (listening to others in order to understand them, not only in order to respond). They also take time to teach their children vital life skills such as speaking directly to a sibling if they are aggrieved (instead of speaking to someone else), emotional regulation, and conflict resolution. They teach their “teams” at home to find win-win solutions to common challenges. All these skills are required for teams to flourish, and moms know are quickly able to identify the different personalities and conflict and attachment styles of their staff. Their experience enlightens then on the fact that often, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution to problems, and that adaptation is of the essence.
Mentoring and Coaching
Moms and dads have the potential to play a powerful role of mentor and coach, teaching their children important study and interpersonal skills such as following a routine, problem-solving, and decision-making. In many ways, their role in the family is similar to that of a mentor for budding entrepreneurs. Like traditional mentors, they offer useful guidance, encourage their children to take a different viewpoint to solve problems, encourage them to set goals and mark off milestones, and more. They also introduce them to new contacts (or friends) and offer a different perspective when their kids get stuck in a fixed mindset.
Organization and Time Management
Most first-time moms are struck by the seeming lack of hours in a day—at least initially. The thought of having all day to oneself to work, go to the gym, and meet a friend for lunch seems like a lifetime away. Still, moms somehow find a way to meet their obligations while also raising their new baby, toddler, or child/children. This necessitates the establishment of timetables. While being a mom requires a degree of flexibility, following a schedule is a key way to achieve their goals and ensure they have enough quality time to spend with their loved ones.
Being a mother entails many skills that can be applied in leadership. These include mentoring, organization, and building a united team. While some of these skills are purely academic or professional, others hone a child’s emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills. Parents are accustomed to thinking on their feet and coming up with creative solutions to difficulties. They also know how to overcome resistance by trying to get their children to see an issue from a wider perspective. Their ability to motivate and enhance understanding can be very useful in a business setting.