A mother’s influence is integral in raising her child into a strong leader. Abraham Lincoln once said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Mothers are there for all of our ups and downs, they help guide us and they have an almost magical way of making things better. Children learn by what they see, and when they have a caring, loving and nurturing mother who believes in their potential they learn important principles of leadership.
Mothers provide that modeling several ways:
- Allowing their children to fail. Being available to guide a child, yet allowing him or her to make their own mistakes helps grow the child into a leader.
- Teaching responsibility, confidence, physical, mental and emotional strength, and courage.
- Modeling and communicating standards of behavior.
Tim Elmore, a best-selling author and president of Growing Leaders, suggests that particular actions, such as these found in mothers, help shape our future leaders:
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“Mothers can look through a child’s eyes and see tomorrow. Mothers deserve the credit for raising value based leaders who accept responsibility; who possess physical, mental, and spiritual strength; who possess courage and confidence; and look with optimism to the future. Great mothers help their children to recognize that they can achieve the impossible. Great mothers bring the arms of comfort to an insecure child in a world of uncertainty.” – Reed Markham, American Educator
- Instilling the values and characteristics of future leaders in their children such as:
Self-confidence – Mothers look for opportunities to enroll their children into activities that complement their skill sets and help them gain one of the most important skills of a leader – self-confidence. They are praised for jobs well done and guided to correct mistakes. This is how the sense of success is built.
Decision Making Skills – One thing leaders do on a daily basis is make hard decisions. Mothers help their children build this skill by allowing them to make age-appropriate decisions for themselves. It is what helps them learn responsibility and consequences.
Problem Solving Skills – Have you ever met a leader that didn’t have excellent problem solving skills? Like leaders, mothers deal with problems daily in the home. The way they role model problem solving skills, include their children in brainstorming, and allow their children to brainstorm solutions for their own problems is another stepping stone to a great future leader.
Teamwork – Every mother has a multitude of tasks to deal with daily. When a mother include their children in task completion, she is demonstrating teamwork as well as leadership. Never mind the fact that the task list gets done just a little bit faster. Isn’t that what teamwork is all about?
Passion and Motivation – Mothers encourage these traits in their children by helping them pursue and develop their interests. They actively show interest and support. There is no better learning motivator for a child than that of a supportive parent.
Mothers do these things, not always because they are enjoyable but more importantly, because these actions help shape their child into great leaders. I know I challenged my Mother during my rebellious youth. I am grateful for the nurturing and the grace she provided and the values and characteristics she modeled.
To all of the moms in the trenches this Mother’s Day, helping build and shape the character of children at all ages – thank you for raising your children to be our leaders of tomorrow. Please know the hard work and dedication you put in daily is very much appreciated!
What did you learn from your Mother that has contributed to your leadership ability? Tell us about your Mom and how she impacted your leadership style.