Every mother I know strives to be a great leader. Great leaders get things done. Great leaders build fantastic teams. Great leaders get bonuses! Great leaders and great mothers know they need a strong personality to lead their team to success.
For us mothers, our bonuses most often come in hugs and kisses and cooperation. Hey, that’s a year-round bonus, right?
So which traits do you share with corporate leadership titans?
- Great leaders are optimistic. Leading your team with a can-do attitude is contagious. And optimism can be learned according to Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, Director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center at Penn State University.
- Great leaders are honest. Being honest with your skills and limitations helps you model humility with your kids.
- Great leaders delegate. Delegation is fundamental to teaching responsibility and the life skills your children will need in adulthood. Sure, they’ll need several sessions or years of you helping them in learning advanced skills, like cooking and cleaning thoroughly, but they can learn to do everything you do.
- Great leaders communicate. Communication involves both speaking and listening, and it can sometimes seem that your child doesn’t listen. Two moms, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, wrote the book that can help you out, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.
- Great leaders inspire. It’s true, your attitude determines your altitude. When your children see you enjoy your life, you become an inspiration to them.
- Great leaders align their team. Keeping your children focused on individual simple steps toward a goal will make your life so much easier. Baby steps still rock.
- Great leaders are balanced. Leaders who have interests outside of their responsibilities bring renewed energy and ideas into all aspects of their life. You deserve to nourish yourself every day – through friendships, exercise, and favorite pastimes. Your children will love seeing you happier and might even develop an interest in your hobbies, too.
- Great leaders give credit.
Make sure you credit your children every time they please you and you’ll get more consistent performance. Saying, “I really appreciate how much you helped” is so simple and goes a long way.
- Great leaders encourage growth.
Repeating the same tasks without learning new stills quickly becomes demotivating. Encourage your children to say when they’re ready to try something new. Encourage them to devise a better way to do their tasks, too.
- Great leaders praise. Who doesn’t like a high five when things go well? Praise is one of the easiest and most effective incentives for children and adults alike, according to a study from the business school at Wichita State University. Consistent use of praise and attention can easily reinforce good behavior and habits, while criticism has been shown to deflate and demotivate.
- Great leaders are fair. This can be a tricky one when your children have very different skill levels because of age.
- Great leaders are mentors. According to Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership, a mentor is someone who cares about someone else. You are a natural mentor because you look out for the well-being of your children and are ready to lend an ear and direction when your children come to you.
Add some of these techniques to your day and see yourself and your children flourish.