Karin’s Leadership Articles

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. Moms have a lot going for them that makes them amazing leaders.

Most moms bring maturity and a 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.

7 Reasons Good Moms Make Amazing Leaders

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 here we go.

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 takes 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. And in all that juggling, good moms learn to keep perspective on what matters most.

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 the 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 influence

Because 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 (and dads) for all you do to grow the future–and for translating those skills to your day job.

You May Also Enjoy These Articles on Developing Leadership in Children

Developing Leadership Skills in Children: 11 Ways to Grow Your Kids

Children’s Books on Leadership: Questions to Inspire Young Thinking

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

39 Comments

  1. Ali Anani (@alianani15)

    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?

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  2. Steve Borek

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

    Reply
  3. Alli Polin

    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!

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  4. Terri Klass

    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!!

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  5. Bill Benoist

    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 🙂

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  6. Kimberly LeGore

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

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  7. Jeannie Sullivan

    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….

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  8. LaRae Quy

    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….

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

      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 😉

      Reply
  9. Wendy

    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!

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  10. Steve Broe

    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.

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

      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.

      Reply
  11. Cynthia Bazin

    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!

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  12. Lisa Hamaker

    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.

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  13. Kim Nelson

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

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  14. Julie Pierce

    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!

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

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

      Reply
  15. freda chikonde

    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

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

      Freda, Great to have you join in…. so, so, true 😉

      Reply
  16. Mary Kathryn Johnson

    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!

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

      Mary Kathryn, YES! Great addition.

      Reply
  17. Jeff (@jeffdharmon74)

    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.

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

      Jeff, I so agree with you. Those instincts can go a long way!

      Reply
  18. Malaika Serrano

    Love it! Great post, Karin.

    Reply
  19. Elaina Roberts

    I enjoyed the Mother’s Day article.

    Reply
  20. Michael Baranowski

    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: http://www.elearners.com/online-education-resources/careers/turning-mom-skills-into-job-skills/

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

    Michael

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

      Fantastic, Michael. Thanks for sharing your article.

      Reply

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