We honor our mothers on Mother’s Day because, frankly, they are our mothers, and we love them immensely, despite some of the challenges we ostensibly faced and put them through during our growing up years. But mothers are more than just mothers. They literally are some of the best leaders this world has ever seen. Just like leaders in the business and education world, mothers possess the same, if not more, leadership qualities than the great leaders. Consider just these ten leadership qualities:
1. Mothers know how to plan strategically. With soccer, dance, karate, basketball, robotics, music, and a host of other activities their children are involved in, mothers know how to strategically plan to get everyone where they need to be and on time. Plus, she plans dinners, lunch, breakfasts, cleaning of the house, dental and eye appointments, doctor visits, science and other class projects, dances and musical recitals, and dozens more activities. Most planning of the household squarely lands in the mother’s portfolio. And she completes them with strategic ease and accomplishment.
2. Mothers understand economic development and the markets. Mothers know what the best products are, why she should buy them, and where to find them. They don’t ever buy retail. She knows how to find the best deals at every department store.
3. Mothers are the greatest cheerleaders and purveyors of positive attitudes. With all of the whining and moaning and groaning that some children profess, mothers continue to be the go-fight-win-you-can-do-it-type-be-happy cheerleaders. They are ones who tell us to buck up and just do it. They are the ones who gives us a huge hug—many dozens of hugs—and tell us that we can do it and then do everything they can to help us progress and grow and to be successful.
4. Mother are financial gurus. Who normally manages the budget in a family? Most of the time it is the mother. She is the one who shops, pays the bills, doles out the money when children need something, figures out how much school costs, completes all banking transactions, and performs other high-level financial transactions. They teach their children financial responsibility and budgets by giving allowances and helping them follow patterns of financial awareness. Mothers usually do not allow us spend our money frivolously. Rather, she teaches us financial awareness.
5. Mothers are courageous. Think of this: Mothers watch children sometimes run out in the middle of road, teach us how to ride bikes, jump on trampolines, pole vault, climb tall mountains, rappel, navigate the chaos of life, and participate in a plethora of other potential dangerous situations. Any mother raising children in this day and age with all of its challenges exudes courage.
6. Mothers are excellent role models and mentors. When we think of role models and mentors, we don’t have to go beyond our own home. Our mothers have been incredible role models. Many mothers now work outside the home and do well. Many other mothers stay home and provide leadership for the home. Who is the first person most children go to when challenges arise? Their mothers. Even years after when children leave the home, who is the first person grown children want to talk to? Yes, their mothers.
7. Mothers know how to manage failures. How many times do children deal with failures? Mothers know how to help children climb out of the abyss of failures, even if the failure seems to be trite. A failure is a failure to some people. Mothers mitigate the failures, whether they are low grades, being kicked out of class, or a challenges with friends. How many of us have ended up in our mother’s arms because we couldn’t handle the situation(s)? They love us and will help us in any way to be successful.
8. Mothers take and delegate responsibility. Ultimately, mothers take responsibility for everything—bills, shopping, care of the home, cooking, cleaning, dance lessons, etc. But they also know how to delegate responsibility. All of us had chores to do, tasks to complete, and duties to perform. Our mothers outlined everything for us, knowing full well that the responsibility was ours and hers simultaneously. She taught us to be responsible and how to take on responsibility and follow through.
9. Mothers are great communicators. Much to our chagrin, mothers’ language goes way beyond the “No, don’t do that” we thought we grew up with. Mother can communicate on all levels—babies, toddlers, pre-teenagers, teenagers, young adults, adults, and husbands. Plus, they communicate with everyone from the paper deliverer, bank, grocery store, telephone and electric company, city and county officials, school teachers, administrators, and many, many others. Who don’t mothers communicate with? They are master communicators.
10. Mothers have a sense of humor. Many business gurus think great leaders need to possess a sense of humor. Thankfully, mothers have a sense of humor. They laugh and cry with us. Anyone who can watch adolescents go through puberty and laugh with them should be nominated for person of the year. Mothers do it all the time and seem to do it with humorous style.
Mothers are definitely leaders and In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling wrote “He didn't realize that love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark.” Mothers do leave their mark, sometimes more imprinted than we acknowledge. Ironically, as we grow older, we finally realize how important mothers are. Some years ago, former Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, said, “It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character.” And they continue to help form our character over all. That’s what leaders do, and mothers are the greatest leaders in the world.
Thank you, Mom!