Moms don’t need MBA’s—we learned everything we need to be efficient managers right at home! We’re used to organizing our kids’ schedules, stretching the budget, negotiating with different people, from our own husbands to teachers to the toddlers in our playgroup. And we’re masters at motivation! How else would we get a broody teenager to take out the garbage?
Believe it or not, mothers can make better bosses because of motherhood. We’re skilled at conflict resolution, communication and team-building (things that companies spend thousands of dollars teaching in seminars!) and it’s just a matter of tapping those qualities and consciously using them in the office.
Mommy Skill 1: Multi-tasking
Moms are used to doing several things at the same time! We do laundry while watching the baby, and cook dinner while helping the kids with homework and making tomorrow’s meal plan! This makes us far more efficient than people who are used to linear thinking, and are easily ruffled or derailed when their tasks are interrupted. Plus, we’re used to remembering different details at the same time, and don’t overlook the important stuff when the deadlines are tight!
Mommy Skill 2: People Skills
Moms mastered interpersonal conflicts even before the term became a management buzzword. We’re used to mediating years of sibling rivalry and getting different people to work on one goal. We’re naturals at managing office politics. How do you think bake sales and church fundraisers are put together on a shoestring budget? We don’t just get individuals to cooperate, we get them to volunteer—how’s that for knowing how to push the right buttons?
Mommy Skill 3: Diplomacy
Good managers know how to choose battles. There are times when we need to be firm and no-nonsense, and there are times when we need to be patient and diplomatic. Moms are particularly skilled at that, having walked the discipline tightrope for years. We know exactly how to read people and what words or expressions to use, whether it’s that famous ‘Mommy Look’ (do it now or you’re in trouble!) or a kind and gentle voice.
Mommy Skill # 4: Focus
Moms know how to set goals and to rally limited resources to get things done. Think of all the work that goes into every holidays: decorating the house, cooking Christmas dinner, organizing reunions, shopping for gifts. Armed with checklists and calendars, moms pull these logistical miracles together every year!
Mommy Skill # 5: Big Picture thinking
Even if moms can focus, we don’t fall into the trap of getting stuck in the details. We’re well aware of the big picture and bring that perspective into everything. We’re sensitive to the effect of an action on relationships and family dynamics; we’re conscious of the budget and can think about this month’s vacation and how it’ll impact the budget needed for next season’s house repairs.
Mommy Skill # 6: Outsourcing
Outsourcing means hiring other individuals or companies to take care of a job, because it isn’t profitable to pour money, resources or training into something that’s not part of the business’ ‘core value’ or ‘core competence.’
Moms have done that for years. We have a key sense of what matters, and know when to delegate. That’s why we get our kids to take over chores, or team up with other moms or neighborhood babysitters to free up our time. We also know how to choose who and when to delegate a task to (‘can that teen be trusted to watch the baby? Is it better to paint the bedroom myself, or hire somebody else?’).
Mommy Skill # 7: Leadership
Leadership is the ability to inspire and mentor a team, create a shared sense of mission, bring everyone through a crisis. And who can do that better than moms? We have always been the rock of the family, and even of society. We teach our kids important values, and create a supportive and loving environment where everyone is encouraged to do and become their best.
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