7 Reasons Good Moms Make Amazing Leaders

Why Good Moms Make Amazing Leaders

No one puts mom as a job title on their resume. In fact many moms hide their mommy status when interviewing for a new job. They may even strip their resume of relevant volunteer experience that would reveal their motherhood status.

I’m in the other camp entirely. Most moms bring a maturity and level of endurance to their leadership that’s hard to gain as quickly from other leadership roles. I’ve never had a problem with a leader on my team related to her mommyness. And I’d rather work for a boss (and with peers) who have children. Turns out I’m not alone.

A study done by WorldWit found that 69% of workers would rather work for a mom than a non-mom, while only 2% preferred a non-mom.

So in the spirit of Mothers Day, I bring you 7 reasons moms make amazing leaders. Does this apply to Dads too? Of course, but it’s Mothers Day, so lean in and read on.

7 Reasons Good Moms Make Amazing Leaders

  1. It takes a lot to shock them – My mom’s favorite story is when I ate the diaper pail deodorizer. I’ve got some doozies from my own kids. Moms deal with such stupidity around the clock. So it take more than a little workplace nonsense to get them rattled.
  2. They take the long view – Moms invest deeply for the long run. They know that every move won’t be perfect, but they’re going for the long-term impact. Good moms and amazing leaders see mistakes as an opportunity to grow.
  3. Juggling is a way of life – For most moms, juggling has become an important survival skill. This translates well to prioritizing and getting a heck of a lot done.
  4. They’re resourceful – No funding? Ask a mom to figure out a way to make it happen. Moms have to get creative and make the most of what they’ve got lying around.
  5. They have to act like grown-ups – My friend says that she considers a finished book report a win if the kid is the only one crying. Moms get enough drama at home, they don’t have energy to get sucked into more of it at work.
  6. They learn to speak simply and check for understanding – Moms know that just because you ask a kid to do something, doesn’t mean they heard you. They learn to double-check to ensure the message is clear.
  7. It’s all about influenceBecause mommy said so doesn’t work. Moms learn to influence and inspire the behaviors they most want to see in their children.

Thank you moms for all you do to grow the future–and for translating those skills to your day job.

P.S. A free subscription to Let’s Grow Leaders makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift for you or your mom. Enter your email address to join the LGL community.

Your turn: What other transferable skills help make good moms amazing leaders?
Filed Under:   Authenticity & Transparency, Career & Learning, Developing Leadership In Children
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt, is CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders and a former Verizon Wireless executive. Karin was named on Inc.’s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference, the American Management Association List of 50 Leaders to Watch, and as a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust. She’s the award-winning author of two books, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results— Without Losing Your Soul, and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. She’s regularly featured in business publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc.

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What People Are Saying

Ali Anani (@alianani15)   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Karin- great ideas from the natural mothers who lead with inspiration, intuition and deep love mixed with readiness to sacrifice their comfort, time and even feelings.

But, how about fathers?

Karin Hurt   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Ali… of course, fathers too… but it’s Mothers Day weekend. They’ll get their turn ;-)

Steve Borek   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Imperative to keep Mom happy. Mama not happy, nobody in the house is happy! ;-p

Karin Hurt   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

That’s the spirit.

Alli Polin   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Awesome! Love this post! I also think that many Moms I know have learned patience and standing strong with their convictions. It’s tempting to cave when your child asks for something for the millionth time but caving every time teaches that bad behaviors get rewarded. Reward the right things and that’s what gets repeated!

Karin Hurt   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Terrific add! Yeah, it’s tough to stand strong. My husband caves less that I do ;-)

Terri Klass   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Terrific post, Karin to honor mothers! I would also add that mom’s empower collaboration skills in others as they are so good in rallying their troops (professional and personal) to try new things and achieve extraordinary results. And I agree with you that I love to work with and for someone who has children- they understand that things don’t always go as planned and often turn out slightly differently than originally thought.

Happy Mother’s Day Karin!!

Karin Hurt   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Oh yes, that’s a really good one… teaching how to work (and play) well with others.

Bill Benoist   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Hi Karin,

I would also add how mothers often sacrifice themselves for their family. I think there is nothing better that demonstrates servant-leadership. They are great in nurturing and looking out for their team.

Wishing you a wonderful Mothers Day :-)

Karin Hurt   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Bill, Beautiful So many mothers really do sacrifice a great deal for the greater good. Thanks for that.

Kimberly LeGore   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Happy Mother’s Day to an inspirational Leader and Mom!

Karin Hurt   |   10 May 2014   |   Reply

Kim, So great to hear from you. Hope all is well. Right back at you.

Jeannie Sullivan   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

This is a great article Karin! Happy Mother’s Day to all those mothers and (fathers) who embody these leadership traits.

I love the website and great information I get….

Karin Hurt   |   10 May 2014   |   Reply

Jeannie, thanks so very much. So great to have you joining the conversation.

LaRae Quy   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

LOVE this article!

Really great, wise, and funny stuff here!

My favorite: “It takes a lot to shock them.” So true…moms really do know how to handle both a legitimate crisis and a bit of drama, and distinguish between the two….

Karin Hurt   |   10 May 2014   |   Reply

Thanks, LaRae. Agreed. It helps to also keep a sense of humor. Sometimes seeing the comedy in the scene helps too (as long as you don’t laugh out loud ;-)

Wendy   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Very true Karin! I read most all of your posts and can relate to many of them, including this one. Have a great Mother’s day!

Karin Hurt   |   10 May 2014   |   Reply

Wendy, Thanks so much. So great to hear from you. Hope you are doing well.

Steve Broe   |   09 May 2014   |   Reply

Hi Karin, you mention that moms take the long view. Expanding this idea, moms have goals and hopes for their family that the kids may not appreciate this year and even endorse – and yet in ten years time, everyone is grateful that they were prepared for the vision of the future that the mom held for their family.

Karin Hurt   |   10 May 2014   |   Reply

Steve, Thats so totally true. Mother MADE me take typing lessons (yup, on a typewriter). I thought that was ridiculous. Now I can write so much faster than I could if I hadn’t learned that skill…. that’s just one example.

Cynthia Bazin   |   10 May 2014   |   Reply

Karin, absolutely love this blog! I love all the different points you made, but I especially liked the one about mother’s being resourceful. How true that is! I will be sharing with my community. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Karin Hurt   |   11 May 2014   |   Reply

THanks so very much, Cynthia. I do appreciate the kind words and the sharing!

Lisa Hamaker   |   11 May 2014   |   Reply

THANKS Karin! I love #7. I am a step-mom. After reading the title, but before reading the article I thought about my role with my kids and realized it’s similar to a lot of my work roles where I had responsibility and not authority–organizing cross functional teams is one example. So appealing to enlightened self-interest is a useful skill

To add to your list, moms know when to say no. I think it is an underutilized skill.

Karin Hurt   |   12 May 2014   |   Reply

Thanks so much Lisa…. REALLY great adds. I so agree, knowing when and how to say no is so important for parents and leaders.

Kim Nelson   |   12 May 2014   |   Reply

Love #2–the Long View is certainly something I do!! Mistakes happen, let’s learn and grow!

Karin Hurt   |   14 May 2014   |   Reply

Kim, Great to see you here. Thanks for sharing.

Julie Pierce   |   13 May 2014   |   Reply

Love this, Karin! I agree that motherhood is not a strike against a leader, but yet another layer of experience in her favor. Thanks for sharing – hope your Mother’s Day was wonderful!

Karin Hurt   |   14 May 2014   |   Reply

Julie, Thank you. My mothers day was fantastic. Hope yours was too.

freda chikonde   |   14 May 2014   |   Reply

Very interesting and very really describes a real mother. Mothers have a big heart and tolerates alot. BUT be careful when a mother finally gets upset, all hell breaks loose

Karin Hurt   |   14 May 2014   |   Reply

Freda, Great to have you join in…. so, so, true ;-)

Mary Kathryn Johnson   |   28 May 2014   |   Reply

Great post, Karin ~
There are too many transferrable skills between parenthood and entrepreneurship, but the most important and best used for me are communication and adaptive creativity!

Jeff (@jeffdharmon74)   |   15 January 2015   |   Reply

Great piece. I often question why parents leave that “hat” at home when they lead in an organization. To me parenthood and the natural instincts that come with that are 100% transferable to leadership as you’ve described.

Malaika Serrano   |   30 March 2015   |   Reply

Love it! Great post, Karin.

Elaina Roberts   |   11 May 2015   |   Reply

I enjoyed the Mother’s Day article.

Michael Baranowski   |   18 September 2015   |   Reply

I know Mother’s Day has passed but this article really caught my attention. Moms should be putting the title “mother” in their resume! That is a very interesting study by Worldwit that 69% of workers would rather work for a mom than not to. I have definitely noticed that throughout all my careers. We have a little article that completely reinforces that moms make great leaders, take a look:

Thank you and I look forward to the Father’s Day one too.