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7 Reasons Why Moms Make Great Leaders

7 Reasons Why Moms Make Great Leaders

Today, I’m digging into an idea that's both personal and professional: the intersection of motherhood and business leadership. Whether you’re a new mother, a seasoned leader, or dipping your toes in the world of entrepreneurship for the first time —  and anything in between —  this conversation is for all of us.

Some studies have found a positive correlation between mothering children and having successful careers like this research from 2014 by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. But it's not just about productivity: the skills honed through motherhood have a significant overlap with those required for effective leadership. What traits do you see at this intersection? I see seven key qualities.

Before we dive in, I want to acknowledge that every parenting journey is unique, and everyone leads in their own individual way. The traits I'll discuss here are often developed through motherhood, but they aren't exclusive to moms. Also, not every mother may resonate with these points, and that's perfectly okay. The intent here is to shed light on some unique leadership qualities often found in moms, not to make blanket assumptions or create a 'mom mold' that every mother should fit. So, let's dive in!

1: Crisis Management

Motherhood brings unexpected situations to the forefront every day. Every mother I know has deftly navigated crises, both big and small. Consider the sudden school project due tomorrow, the fever spiking at midnight, or the inexplicably lost favorite toy - it's Mom who steps up, with an artfully efficient calm. This aptitude translates seamlessly into the business world. Effective crisis management is pivotal to any organization's survival. Leaders who mirror a mother's calm, quick-thinking, and solution-oriented approach in public relations during a crisis are indeed a precious asset to their teams. Is that production delay really worth throwing a fit over? Did that business partner actually say they didn’t want to be our friends anymore, or did we catch them when they were hungry?

2: Decision-Making

Mothers find themselves in the throes of decision-making every day.  Food, clothes, education, screen time, sun exposure — the list goes on and on. The stakes are even higher when considering that every little decision affects a child's well-being and development. In the business context, good leaders are required to make many business-critical decisions, influencing their operational teams, company direction, and the well-being of many people and families. A mother's seasoned and empathetic decisiveness emerges as a winning trait here, delivering confident, quick, and thoughtful decisions. Quick! What band-aid do we have at our disposal to treat the situation that didn’t go according to plan?

3: Time Management

With or without spousal or familial support, a mother’s day is often a whirlwind of tasks — from work to home management, childcare to self-care — time becomes a resource to be managed meticulously. In fact, recent sociological studies have found that the burden of household domestic labor for mothers has increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreaks. For better or worse, these imbalances have given many mothers rigorous time management skills, an absolute necessity in leadership. In an era of perpetual busyness, leaders with the capacity to balance, manage time, and sustain workflow will stand out — qualities that mothers have honed.

4: Adaptability

Adaptability is a mother’s backbone. As children evolve, so do their needs, and mothers pivot with grace, adjusting their strategies at a moment's notice. Mothers, already seasoned in the art of adaptability, find themselves fitting into leadership roles seamlessly. They adeptly handle shifts in market trends, team dynamics, or any other change the business landscape throws their way. 

5: Long-Term Thinking

Mothers possess a clear vision for the future — planning for their children's college education, a family vacation, or the next step in their career. Harvard Business Review often emphasizes the role of strategic thinking in leadership, stressing how leaders with a clear future vision drive their organizations toward long-term success. With their natural propensity for strategy, mothers excel at playing the long game. 

6: Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is practically second nature to a mother. It's an integral part of their everyday life: convincing a picky eater to eat something other than goldfish crackers, resolving sibling squabbles, or finding the toy that's somehow still lost. Their lives are an unending series of problems to solve, or restructure in a positive light. In the business world, this quick and efficient problem-solving is paramount. An excellent mother or leader even guides other people to solve their own problems, uplifting their own ability to grow. 

7: Lead by Example

Mothers lead by example every day, aware that their actions significantly shape their children's development. We know that we are constantly under watch. This awareness naturally extends to a unique leadership style. Authenticity and integrity form the bedrock of effective leadership. As the Harvard Business Review points out, good leaders build a committed relationship when they demonstrate that they can be trusted to guide and follow through. With their consistent practice of authenticity and integrity, mothers enhance their effectiveness in leading teams. 

Final Thoughts

I want you to stop for a moment and consider: maybe you are at the crossroads of a new leadership opportunity, maybe starting your own business, or considering that next promotion. Think about all the skills you've been practicing day in and day out as a mom. Trust me — you're already a leader in so many ways. Being a mom is hard work, and in many ways, it’s the most important leadership position you will ever have. 

You're there, right in the middle of the action, making choices under pressure, solving problems on the fly, managing a tight schedule, dealing with the unexpected, planning for the future, and setting THE example. These are the hallmarks of a great leader, and as a mom, you're rocking them every day.

If you want to talk more about the tightrope walk that is motherhood, leadership, and business, let's do it. Shoot me a message to grab a coffee or chase children at a park playdate. But until then, a reminder for all of us mothers: You're not just ready; you've been doing it already.