Just think about all the special skills and talents that moms bring to the table. While some people might have considered motherhood an “inconvenience” for business, the truth is that moms can be a major asset to an organization. And if given the support and resources needed to thrive, such as flexibility, they can become effective leaders who bring unique strengths to an executive team.
Here are five ways moms make exceptional leaders:
Successful leaders have traditionally been defined by their power and prestige, but studies show that empathy is strongly correlated with better individual performance. And not only that, companies that value empathy over cutthroat command are reporting better results overall.
But what makes a person empathetic? And how can you cultivate leaders who can see a problem or situation through the eyes of another? Having a mom on your team can go a long way. It takes deep humility and emotional empathy to understand and address the wants and needs of a small person who can’t yet communicate them. This kind of empathy is an invaluable skill that can not only help cultivate talent, but also shape the morale of an entire organization.
It goes without saying that the most effective leaders are experts at prioritization. They can scan the horizon and react to what is most important at any given time. Moms are constantly making heat-of-the-moment decisions based on an innate ability to prioritize what needs to be addressed right now versus what can wait — a skill that becomes even more sophisticated when there are multiple children to feed, bathe, clothe and keep out of harm’s way.
This ability to prioritize also gives moms a unique perspective about what truly matters and what doesn’t, preventing little problems from unnecessarily becoming bigger ones.
Today’s workforce is more diverse than ever — and that means more unique voices, personalities and styles of learning. Great leaders are able to adapt to an environment that’s constantly changing, tailoring their management style so it not only works for each employee, but also for the company as a whole.
The needs of a business today won’t always be the needs of a business tomorrow, and just as employees have different needs as they grow and evolve in their career, so do children in their development — and often unpredictably. There’s no right or wrong way to parent—it all depends on your child’s age, unique disposition and developmental stage.
Every leader will experience a major setback at some point — it’s inevitable. But what ultimately makes them successful or not is how quickly they can recover and devise a plan to move forward strategically. In fact, studies show that grit is a better predictive measure of success than conscientiousness and even IQ. And that’s great news for moms who rely on grit every single day, whether they’re navigating an unforeseen medical issue, handling a behavioral problem, or even dealing their own parenting fails. Moms are uniquely prepared to overcome a wide variety of emotional roadblocks with grace, grit and professionalism.
To be a great leader, one must also be a great problem solver who can think outside the box. Who better to have at the helm than a mother? Every day moms get stuck in calamitous situations where they are forced to make something out of nothing on a tight turnaround — running out of diapers during a long drive is no joke (true story).
These situations also have a humbling effect that’s beneficial to business. Moms quickly recognize that some problems are out of their control, giving them a unique ability to react to new info and determine whether it’s worth pursuing. Most problems have solutions, but some do not — and the ability to distinguish between the two is key.