Facing down new motherhood while excelling in your career can be intimidating to say the least. If you’re wondering how you’re going to juggle being a mom at home and a leader at work, you are certainly not alone. And, no, not all of us self-identify as a “MomBoss” - and that’s ok.
The good news: the basics of parenting are surprisingly similar to the skills that help great leaders succeed. Turns out, keeping a newborn alive, getting your toddler out the door and steering the ship at work have a huge amount in common. Basically, you’re continuing to be a multitasking machine - working on building and improving your management skills while learning to be a Mom. You’re so good you didn’t even realize you were multitasking.
These 5 skills just begin to scratch the surface of impressive traits moms bring to the workplace, but it’s a hell of a start. Most of what it takes to be a Mom is also precisely what is driving you to the next level at work. Whether it’s that zen like patience you’ve been developing (hello, screaming child), the confidence you’re building (yes, I did that), the important lessons in honest, accountability and trust you’re teaching your children or the acknowledgement that you are in charge, you are making the decisions and you can’t please all the people all of the time. Don’t believe us? Read below for just a few of the ways that Moms make great leaders and congratulate yourself for all that learning, growing and doing.
- Roll with it: You might think that motherhood will make work more stressful, but it will also force you to take a step back and acknowledge that despite your best efforts, you cannot control everything. Accepting that reality does not come easily for many of us, but the ability to flex and adapt to changing situations is critical for a good leader. You can no more control a newborns moods than you can unexpected shifts at work. Motherhood often gives us no choice but to take a step back, prioritize what needs immediate attention and let go of the rest. Mothers and leaders are creative problem solvers who have to think and act on their feet, quickly distinguishing between problems with a solution and those that have to be let go.
- Get Back Up: Parenting fails are so common they have multiple hashtags. Leaders and parents alike will both face setbacks, it’s inevitable. How we recover from those moments is what sets us apart. Resilience and grit are proven to be amongst the strongest indicators of success for leaders, and no one is more prepared to overcome obstacles with patience, humility and professionalism then a working mom.
- Embrace the unknown: Is there anyone else who has to embrace the unknown more often and with more confidence than a new mom? No matter how many books we read, there is no way to fully prepare for a tiny human flipping your life upside down. As a leader and as a mother you have to give kids and employees the responsibility and autonomy to take the lead. They will mess up. But they’ll also learn to do it better and faster the next time. Good leaders know how to give employees the space to explore andthe tools to create but also when they should step in to correct course.
- Everyone is unique: If Sesame Street and sibling squabbles teach us one thing, it’s that each individual is unique. By taking the time to understand what motivates them, you’ll get better results. Moms are perhaps the most empathetic employees you can find in any organization, and that empathy is invaluable for driving morale and success. Leaders must adapt to constant changes and tailor their management style to the needs of employees, the organization as a whole and customers. Growth in a business can be as rapid and unpredictable as it is with kids. Leaders and mothers handle pressure, keep perspective, and are continually placing their employees and their kids ahead of themselves for the greater good of the company and family.
- Just Do It: No one is more action oriented than Moms. Take a look around, we’re always in the thick of it trying to move things forward. Any good leader gets in the trenches with their team. They understand the obstacles and work on a solution. Leaders give more than they receive and place the needs of their team and the drive towards a solution ahead of their own. In today’s workplace we see a lot of the opposite - too many would be leaders vying to get to the front and knocking people down in the process. That reflexive impulse of mothers to drive towards action while putting others first just might be your secret weapon.