Leadership AND Motherhood: A celebration of snotty noses and compassion for others

Balancing leadership and motherhood is challenging. Many of my clients are mothers. Most of them have shared with me that sometimes they feel like they are not doing a brilliant job at either.

For Mother’s Day let’s celebrate how being mothers enhances the quality of our leadership, as well as our lives. 

Three talented women shared with me their insights on Leadership AND Motherhood, and how parenting hasenriched their leadership ability. You may be surprised by what I heard.

  • Enhanced ability to prioritise.‘Balancing a global leadership role and parenting has forced me to prioritise my time in a more intentional manner and ensure that I am spending time on the things that are important, both personally and professionally. I take ‘harder’ decisions more quickly – I simply don’t have the time to procrastinate.’
  • Increased empathy and tolerance towards others. Motherhood has resulted in tolerance of different behaviors and styles, and provides an insight to more varying working patterns.‘Motherhood has helped me to build a level of resilience that could be used to help others find a way through challenging situations in their work-life integration.’
  • Maternity leave can advance your career.  This one might be a paradigm shift for some extraordinaryNews readers…‘Maternity leaves have been highly beneficial to my career and leadership development by providing an enforced break from the status quo. Each leave required handover of my authority and ownership to someone else for a period of time and ‘letting go’. This gave me time to clear the decks and reflect without the clutter of day-to-day work, and allowed me return to the job without the baggage of what went before. I returned to the same job, and the leaves were an opportunity to re-shape the role… There were things I never took back, but rather left them with the people that had taken them on (and who had also gained an opportunity to stretch and develop). I moved onto new and more stretching areas myself.’

My three women, while brilliant are not perfect! ‘Great leaders and mothers don’t get it right all the time – they make mistakes.’

And here is one leader’s personal and poignant story about the importance of letting her children into all the components that make her who she is.

Happy Mother’s Day! If you are a mother, take a moment now to reflect on how being a mother has enriched your leadership. If you are a leader with mothers in your team, notice what leadership qualities they bring.

Have an Extraordinary Mother’s Day