I believe that the essential nature of motherhood requires leadership - and the essential qualities of great leaders are reflected in motherhood.
I've discovered this over and over in the almost five years I've been a mother. I feel as clumsy in motherhood as my daughter is with tying her shoes...but that's another point to highlight the obvious connection to leadership and why my work with women has been to put a spotlight on the inherent leadership opportunities that await us in motherhood. I find the most grace and success come when we integrate our perspectives on the two and have found myself saying this about leadership to my executive clients about parenting. "It's the same dang thing."
As women see take to work what they know works at home, and bring home the skills they’ve applied to succeed professionally, I suggest we start by reflecting on these three perspectives on leadership in motherhood:
What We Do and Who We Be matter more than what we say...
As do all leaders, mothers demonstrate to the world what's possible and impossible by the ways we choose to live our own lives.
Check in....are you living in line with your message to others?
Surrender is the fastest way through it...
Surrender is not sacrifice and it's not synonymous to loss. In motherhood and leadership to surrender is to make way for something new to grow into its fullest potential, which can sometimes be our own ability to stand in our power!
Check in....where or with whom can you loosen your grip a little?
It is how hard we love, not how hard we push that produces results...
No excel spreadsheet or time management tool (or yelling nurse!) will be more effective than a mother's love and a leader's commitment when we are truly energized...
Check-in...how can you inject more love or purpose so your vision energizes you?
And consider this!
While giving birth is one of the most extreme and complete ways a woman can experience her creative power, it is not the only one. A woman's beliefs of herself and about the world around her can be reinforced or reinvented while creating projects she is passionate about. The more intentional and supported she is, the greater likelihood she will walk into motherhood with the beliefs that empower her and enable her leadership.
Giving birth isn't an event. It's a lifestyle.
When a woman's creative power is unleashed, be it through motherhood or leadership, our toughest job can become our greatest work.
So check in...whether your next creative project is the birth of a human baby, your next career move, an artistic expression or the implementation of a cause you believe in, it can be energized by the same mindful perspectives listed above.