5 Leadership Lessons Momma Taught Me

large__3009370044What is the greatest gift my mother gave me apart from life? I can confidently say she taught me what authentic leadership is. She is real. She loves all her kids. Her resilience is unmatched. Today, I dedicate Mother’s Day to my dear Mummy. I wish I could be near her to just give her a hug and say ‘thank you’.

Resilience builds leaders. My mother taught me the benefit of ‘hang in there’. She let me know that life will throw many curve balls at me. What would make the difference was how I dealt with them. A great faith is what my mother nurtured in my heart. Faith in God and people. That inherently, people have some good in them. As a leader, I will face many challenges and successes. I need to have the power to master both and not allow them to get to my head. I have to summon the “You get the best efforts from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.” Bob Nelson

Leaders take control of circumstances. Make the best of whatever little you’ve got. Don’t not be driven by every idea, thought or trend that flies by you. Do good at all times and get the right things accomplished. Even when money was tight and she could not get us new cloths, my mother would make sure that what was on my back was clean and well-pressed. She reminded me what William A. Foster immortalized in his quote: “Quality is never an accident: It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”

Love unreservedly. Leaders must show love and care at all times. Sometimes, it may be ‘tough’ love to help correct something that has gone astray. People “…don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Theodore Roosevelt. I was taught that love can move ‘mountains’. It cuts through pain, hurt, and hardships to bring forth joy and peace. I have seen my mother struggle through many things; lack of material wealth, discrimination, and much more. But the one thing she has never stopped doing is giving love from her heart.

Leaders have values to guide them. Values guide a person’s principles or standards of behavior as well as one’s judgment of what is important in life. Because my mother chose to take time and guide me in the right path, I became a better man. I can confidently take up my role as a father, husband and member of my community. “Values are critical guides for making decisions. When in doubt, they cut through the fog like a beacon in the night,” said Robert Townsend.

Integrity is a leader’s hallmark. When all else is stripped off, it is the the honesty and strong moral principles that will keep me afloat. Zig Ziglar frames this in a very real way. “The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity,” he said. Remember, people don’t  follow you because they have to, they follow you because the want to. If you don’t possess integrity, then you can’t attract men or women of high value to you. All you’ll end up with are ‘villains’ and ‘thieves’, people who rob you of your very humanity.

What lessons did you acquire from your mother? I encourage you to think through at least one …and write it down.

[photo credit: Vicki’s Nature via photopin cc]

Certified Professional Coach, Communication Specialist & Author

I help motivated but overwhelmed individuals and organizations regain their purpose to lead so they can focus on what matters most to build a transformational legacy.

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