7 Reasons Why Being a Mom is the Perfect Training to Be a CEO
Ok, so how crazy/awesome is being a mom? Right??
If you’re a mom, you’re working 24/7—and lady, let me tell you: You friggin rock. Kids are hard work. They’re wonderful and just-WOW-amazing and I wouldn’t trade mom-ing for the world, BUT girl it is tough!
I respect the hell out of moms! Anyone who puts their heart and soul into running a household and keeping tiny humans alive, fed, happy and cared for deserves major kudos.
And hey, even amazing moms get that gut-wrenching fear they might be “doing it wrong.” I totally get that. I’ve had those moments just like everyone else…when I argue with my kid about something stupid or snap at her over something small just because I’m having a bad day.
I cringe. I feel bad. Sometimes I even cry. But you know what? No one’s perfect! Not moms—and certainly not CEOs. Being a leader is hard. With great power comes great responsibility…and the power to create something amazing—whether it’s a business or ANOTHER HUMAN comes with a lot of weight.
Point being, if ANYONE knows how to lead it’s MOMS! Being a mom is the perfect training to be a CEO. If you can lead a household, you can pretty much deal with anything the business world can sling at ya!
1. You Set the Vision
As moms, we are responsible for our vision of the family. We set the standards—like what values will and won’t be important in this house. We make the rules and we set the guidelines, policies and procedures.
Will our kids be allowed to watch certain cartoons or eat certain foods? When is bedtime? We’re in charge of setting our family by-laws—and the structure of our family is based on what we set forth.
In the corporate world, leaders hold the vision for their company. A visionary leader sets the tone and they can see what’s on the horizon. Not only do they have vision but they share that vision with those around them. (Total mom-stuff!)
2. You Execute on Your Vision
We set the vision, so then WE are also responsible for carrying out our vision and leading our household to live by those standards.
How often have you heard, “Mom mom mom mom MOOOM! Can I? Can I? CAN I?” even when you’ve already laid down the law? We end up repeating the same message over and over until we’re practically blue in the face.
But guess what? As CEO, you have to do that, too! You’ll constantly receive requests and some of them (while desperate and dire) just don’t align with your vision for your company. If they don’t fit with your standards, you have to say NO. Sometimes over and over and over…
3. You Determine Your (Company) Culture
What’s your household’s “culture”? As an online business manager (OBM), I talk about “company culture” a lot. I ask questions about how the CEO and company leadership set the tone of the company. I ask CEOs of businesses of all sizes, as well as celebs, if they’re embodying the culture of their brand.
As a mom, that’s all on you, too! If Mama’s upset, everyone’s upset, right? Mom sets the tone and tenor for the whole household’s attitude. Her family mimics her coping skills and outlook (whether she wants them to or not)! Is Mom feeling moody? The whole family might feel crabby and irritated. Is Mom feeling positive and generous? Maybe she’ll notice her kids mimicking her optimism.
These responsibilities you manage at home are the exact same things you do within your business. So now’s the time to OWN IT in both places! As a business leader, you should be setting the culture of your company. If you want a positive workspace that walks the talk, you have to do it yourself. YOU set the tone both at home and at the office.
4. You Make Tough Choices, You Learn & Adjust
As leaders and as moms, we’re constantly faced with choices. Not just Coke-or-Pepsi choices, but real, live, huge choices. And how do we even know if our choices are “right”?
We start to measure our choices against our standards—but really, mostly, we don’t know! We aren’t psychic and we don’t have a crystal ball. (Don’t I wish?!) Sometimes we just have to go with our gut and hope for the best, both as moms and as leaders. We might have data and we might have examples from those who came before us, but sometimes we can’t see exactly how things will play out for years.
When people tell me I’m a good mom, I say “thank you,” of course—but really, I’m most concerned about laying the proper foundation for my kids. Day to day, that’s a challenge. And hey, I adjust as I go. We all make mistakes and we all learn—and we try to teach our kids both what we’ve learned and as we are learning. I won’t know if I taught the right lessons until much later when the data comes in. Maybe when they get into high school, they’ll be confronted with drugs or some other hard choice. I pray they’ll make the right decision. But today, I don’t know. I won’t know for a long time, so I just make the choices based on the data I have and wait and see. As a business leader, it’s no different.
5. You’re Already a Professional Juggler
Women are great multitaskers! Remember how we all laughed at the exposed realities of parenting in that BBC Dad clip? Have you seen the BBC Mom parody version? Mom can juggle ten tasks, while dad is focused on one. Yes, there’s some discussion right now about the efficiency of multitasking in business (but truthfully, I feel like men are mostly leading that conversation)!
Guys just aren’t great multi-taskers and women know how to do it by default, whether it’s at home or at the office. We simply can get more done because we do it automatically. For example, while my husband packs for himself for a vacay, I pack for three of us AND get the dog set, walked and ready. By the time he’s done packing, the house in order, the kids are fed, and everyone’s moving forward. I get it done as I’m going from location to location because I just naturally think, “What 5 things can I do on my way?”
We get interrupted all the time and we don’t skip a beat! Things are thrown at us completely out of the blue and we STILL don’t skip a beat! We multi-taskers run circles around these boys—and as female CEOs, we’ve got all that and more covered!
6. You Understand the Importance of Setting Up Systems
Packing for vacay is yet again a perfect example. Not only do I multitask, but my girls and I have developed a packing system for figuring out how to pack clothes as well as how to determine the exact number of shoes, toys, and stuffed animals we bring. Systems are critical—and as moms we’re constantly setting them up.
We get “workflow.” We understand the need for systems—to get dinner on the table, to get everyone out the door in the morning, to get everyone to lessons and appointments and birthday parties and playdates. It comes so naturally, we might not even think of it as a system or a workflow it itself. It just happens—there are steps to every process and we’re able to envision the steps and break them down simply to get things done.
Systems are absolutely critical to survival in a busy household as well as in a budding business! CEOs do the EXACT SAME THING. They break down the steps required to get a task done, they establish repeatable processes, and they share them with their employees. They find efficient ways to do things so nothing is missed. Moms and great CEOs are experts at systems.
7. You Understand & Appreciate Teamwork
Moms have kids—and altogether the family is a team. Mom might set the vision and implement the systems. She might juggle the tasks and run the household, but it requires a team effort to get it all done. Whether you’re a single parent or married, chances are you rely on your support system of your spouse, friends, family, and neighbors, as well as teachers at school and others to get it all done. That’s your team. Your kids are your team.
CEOs and business leaders know they can’t do it all alone, either. Successful businesses require teamwork. Leaders have to be an inspiration and a motivator—just like Mom. They have to cheer and give instructions. They’re the coach, the captain, and the fan all wrapped into one, but they’re nothing without their team.
Both CEOs and moms have a deep appreciation for teamwork and team effort. Working together is the best way to get ‘er done!
Bonus: You Already Know How Crazy & Rewarding it is to have the World’s Hardest Job!
We alone are responsible for keeping the kids alive and keeping the house from burning down (at minimum). Aside from the fact that we frigging rock, we do the hardest job EVER. Nothing is harder than managing an active household. Nothing.
Not only that, but we’re responsible for creating children who we really hope will turn out to be happy and well-adjusted—and you know, generally good human beings. That’s a hard job, too—THE hardest job, in fact! WAY harder than being a CEO, President, Manager (or any other big-shot company title).
When it comes to business, people can come and go. If it’s not the right fit or an unhealthy environment, or if you plain ol’ fail, you can walk away. Sure, you might lose money. You might even end up having to change your career direction entirely. It might be stressful, but at the end of the day, you can leave.
As a mom, you’re in it FOR LIFE. You’ve taken on the hardest job and you’ve signed up to do it for the rest of it. You are incredible!! If you can handle that, you can seriously handle it all. That’s why being a mom is the PERFECT training to be a CEO!