In my book, Leadership Lessons From Mom, I describe that my mother was the best leadership coach that chose to be a housewife. Obviously back in the days when I was young, she had that choice as a luxury that many do not have today. I am amazed at today’s women and all that they accomplish. Women have the balanced skills that make them great leaders.
What amazes me over and over again, is how relevant my mother’s teachings are today, not only for everyday life, but especially in business and as leaders. In my book, I give forty lessons from being a child, through my teens, young adult, and through her death, that all correlate to character development and leadership. I am certain all mothers teach the same and have tremendous value in their lessons.
My business partner and I are building a new business we believe will make an impact not only to its industry, but the world as a whole. Like any business owners, our business is personal to us, and in some ways, it is “our baby”. So, we strive to execute our strategy, and most importantly, build everything upon our foundation of values and principles. Mom taught me within her leadership lessons that values are what you live by and principles are what you stand on.
The lesson, The Moment You Allow Yourself to Walk on Eggshells There Will Be Eggs at Every Turn, plays over and over again. This is the lesson in my book where my mother knew it was time I stood up to my father in a respectful way, but as a man, as my father had that way of intimidation that he took advantage of. I earned my father’s respect that day and our relationship was never the same, but it was better. By living that lesson today, and by living our values, we as business owners must confront issues and not avoid them. We must speak to clients when it would easier to avoid them. We must speak up when we are not satisfied with those vendors serving us as well. An honest, transparent conversation with integrity is something that is earned and appreciated.
Dream Big is why we started our business. My mom knew that as children it was easy to dream big. As a child, we are less aware of the restraints and roadblocks that become part of life. As we grow, we release our ability to dream big due to the perceptions that we allow to take over our mind. My mother wanted that little boy in me to always remain that would allow me to dream big and believe that accomplishing big dreams would be possible. If we do not dream big we will end life with a lot of regrets. She believed that God allows us to sleep so we can dream and awake so that we can live them.
Stop, Look, and Listen is still one of my favorite lessons. I quote and teach it to others that I coach and mentor, but also remind myself of the lesson many times. If for any reason I get out ahead of myself, or our execution, or if things are not being completed, I need to stop, look and listen. Sometimes that momentary pause to stop and understand my surroundings and what is driving the result helps to open the eyes of my mind as to where I strayed or am in need of correction. I need to look at where I am headed and understand if that is the direction I had intended, as well as to see what I can learn from others. How did I create where I am at the moment? Finally, I need to listen to those I trust and the mentors that I have. Small corrections help us to avoid large problems.
Yes, to me, my mother was the best leadership coach who chose to be a housewife. But I also believe this about most mothers. I treasure the lessons and the memory of my mother’s lessons and especially her unconditional love. I treasure my Leadership Lessons From Mom.
Mark Villareal is the International Best-Selling Author of Shortcuts Get You Lost! and Leadership Lessons From Mom. Both are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.