When I think of the first leader who made a lasting impact on my life, the image that immediately comes to mind is not a PhD or CEO; instead, another three-letter title looms large in my memory – MOM.
From day one, Mom always seemed to have the answers to those tough questions like, “How do I stay true to who I am?” and even the less monumental ones like, “How the heck do you open this juice box?!”
As the years pass us by, we naturally lose touch with some of those earliest words of wisdom. Ahead of this weekend’s Mother’s Day festivities, let’s revisit a few of Mom’s best bits of leadership advice:
“You’ll Catch More Flies with Honey than Vinegar”
Leaders tend to have a lot on their plates. In a fast-paced environment, it can be easy to crack under the pressure of the responsibilities that come with a leadership role. However, this added stress does not necessarily need to negatively affect your attitude and interactions with others.
By approaching problem-solving situations with a consistently positive outlook, your team will not only feel more comfortable to express themselves and take risks, but you might actually have some fun along the way! The next time you’re tempted to speak negatively or raise your voice during a meeting, perhaps try clearing the air with a good natured joke instead.
“Sharing is Caring”
Children have the burden of learning how to share things like ice cream cones and new toys. As we get older, the stakes only get higher (I know, what’s more important than ice cream, right?) When it comes to accolades for professional success, salaries and much-needed project resources, there is only so much to go around the office.
Hoarding necessities and closing yourself off from coworkers may keep you comfortable for a while, but these selfish tactics have a way of catching up with you. Like the brain freeze that comes from eating that banana split solo, a lack of professional sharing – of ideas, time and resources – can stop your career dead in its tracks. The next time you have the opportunity, lend a helping hand; you never know when an unlikely partner might return the favor.
“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”
Unfortunately, peer pressure doesn’t go away once we graduate from high school. The dangers of group-think will continue to follow us throughout life. Just like Mom’s gentle warning about the dangers of smoking and the latest fads, there will be times when you need to break away from the crowd and think for yourself. Will you be prepared to make your own path?
After a certain age, Mom’s little life lessons may have been met with a sigh and an eye roll. But as you move forward in your career, it’s worth remembering your first loving lessons of leadership. Post any words of wisdom from your mom below!