I have recently collaborated with a dynamic leadership expert, Laura Lopez who wrote a practical guide teaching you how to achieve better results at work by applying lessons from home: The Connected and Committed Leader. I especially like what she has to say about creating environments in which people are engaged, something we all struggle with whether at home or at work. Here is her guest post and her website: http://laura-lopez.com/
I used to believe that we could only have one mother.
I was wrong.
because my definition of the word "mother" was based on it being a
noun. Four years ago when we adopted our daughter Leila from Russia, I realized that the word "mother" was actually a verb.
I realized this, I saw that in my life I had many mothers, not just my
one biological mother. Several people, actively "mothered" me into who
I am today.
Being a mother, like a leader, is more than just a role.
In fact too many leaders, like mothers, rely too heavily on the title
and do little-to-none active, verb-like "mothering" at all.
That's because mothering, like leadership, takes a lot of effort and time. It is always easier to slip into an 'I said so", authoritative, noun-like stance that a role usually relies upon.
is no surprise that when I became a late-in-life mother, I finally
understood the true meaning of leadership. Prior to that, I wasn't the
best leader that I could have been.
Motherhood has taught me a ton about leadership and now through my book, The Connected and Committed Leader,
I teach my lessons from home as a way to achieve better results at work
and in life. I see leadership as a life practice for success that is
relevant in any realm of our lives.
Mothering, the verb, is the ultimate leadership experience.
all, as mothers we have to get results on a daily basis with often
unwilling or unmotivated participants! And, at the end of the day, we
want our children to reach their highest potential with an empowered
belief in themselves. Sounds like the job of a leader, doesn't it?
Yes. No doubt.
Here are some tips for redefining both leadership and motherhood into active verbs and leaving the rigid, role-like nouns of these two terms behind:
1. Practice active observation.
we observe others, we are able to suspend judgment and be present with
them. We stop asserting our will onto them. Being actively present
for someone will make another person feel appreciated for who they are
and is likely to want to give you their best.
2. Engage in actively receiving others.
we receive others actively, it means that we give them room to be
themselves. Their ideas, their perspectives and their choices have
room to grow and expand without ours being threatened. This is
especially difficult when we don't agree with their perspective.
However, when we are able to actively be receptive to others, they will
grow to reach their full potential in our presence.
3. Actively guide others.
and teaching others requires time. There is no such thing as lazy
leading or mothering. When it isn't active, you aren't doing it.
Every interaction is a leadership and teaching opportunity. When you
are passive, you often aren't guiding others. You may be teaching the
absolute opposite thing that you want to. When you guide, you invest
yourself and your time into the development of another person.
what's your definition for the word "mother"? Hopefully you will agree
that it has a lot to do with inspiring you to be the best you can be.
Sounds like the role of a leader, doesn't it?