A female parent. A woman in authority. Or, an old or elderly woman, like Mother Hubbard.
Necessity is the mother of invention. The mother of all construction projects. The mother of all ocean liners. To give rise to, to give birth to, to care for or protect like a mother. Birth mother, den mother, expectant mother. Mother country, mother figure, mother hen. Mother ship, mother tongue, queen mother. Single mother, surrogate mother, mother-in-law.
There is great power in the word mother. I think that power comes from the fact that if you are reading this blog, you have (or had) a mother. It is a word that unifies us all. A good friend of mine, Lee Cockerell, who ran Disneyworld with 40,000+ under his care, would say "Manage like a Mother."
How many times have we heard that mothers are the true superheroes in our world? Multitasking masters, proper prioritizers, consummate communicators. And of course, the keeper of the snacks. Great managers, like moms, are natural leaders. They build a culture of trust, candor, and accomplishment. They have teams of people that love their jobs and feel lucky to go to work everyday.
Moms (and managers) when seen in action, they seem a little magical. But it is not magic. A large part of their success as leaders is that they work hard on developing appropriate soft skills. And, in fact, many of the same soft skills that lend themselves to being a great mother are also what makes a great manager.
The Mother of Soft Skills
Another good friend Loralyn Mears, PhD has recently launched HRTheatre.us. Today, especially in our post-pandemic world, the mastery of soft skills is critical. Her company STEERus is the world's first soft skills academy. So, I guess one could say that Loralyn gave birth to HRTheatre.us right?
Letters from an American is the newsletter from Heather Cox Richardson where she ties the day's news to events of the past. Her day job is a professor of 19th century American History at Boston College. But her newsletter (and now podcast) reaches millions of people. Her newsletter is her baby.
Historians are fond of saying that the past doesn't repeat itself; it rhymes. To understand the present, we have to understand how we got here.
Ah yes. How we got here.
Well, we know one thing for sure: it all started with a mother.