Why Every Mom Needs to be a Leader
I really think that every mom needs to be a leader. Sometimes it's easy to stand by and let the husband do the parenting when it comes to disciplining the children. But sometimes it feels like all you do as parents is discipline and yell, trying to get the kids to do this or that.
What do you do when you feel like your kids never listen or they never help out? We start to blame the kids for the state of the house and we think everything is their fault. Actually this is me, you guys are way better at this than I am, I'm sure. But it feels like everything is their fault.
If they would clean up we would feel better. If they would do this or do that, everything would be so much easier. But the kids are never the problem. Remember, everything is neutral. If it's not the kids, it must be me.
I talk a lot about how you are the one who creates your life. If you are the creator, you need to be a good leader. You need to own your life. Take responsibility. Leadership is often confused with management, so we first need to separate the two.
leadership vs management
There is a quote by Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis that explains this perfectly.
"Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things."
So, just like you have to understand that you create your life before you can get to where you want to be, you have to make sure you start doing the right things before you start doing things. Leadership must come before management.
This applies to all areas of your life. Think about parenting, or planning a vacation. Being a good leader is knowing what you want to accomplish, where you want to end up. It consists of your values. It's being effective.
Management, on the other hand, is how you accomplish those things. It's the goals you set to bring you where you want to be. It's being efficient.
So, leadership comes first. It's part of Stephen Covey's Habit Two: Begin with the end in mind.
how to be a leader
If we want to begin with the end in mind, we need to make sure the things we are doing are the right things. We need to make sure we are being a good leader.
Stephen Covey says there are three parts to being our own leader:
- self awareness
Being a leader is being responsible. It's knowing what action to take for your best life. Self awareness is understanding you are responsible for your life, that circumstances are neutral. Conscience is the universal laws or principles like fairness, honesty, service, excellence, and encouragement. These principles and your values are what make up the conscious part of leadership.
Principles are inarguable, that is why they are laws. You can't live an effective life by doing their opposites. That's how you know they are a principle. A few more are personal growth, human dignity, quality, integrity, patience, nurturance.
So, to be a good leader you need to have self awareness, imagination, and conscience.
why moms need to be leaders
So what does this mean to you as a mom? Take a moment and think about your parenting. Really. Do you feel like you are parenting your children now with things that will benefit you and them in their later years? Or do you feel like you are doing whatever it takes to get through the day?
This is the difference in leading your family and managing your kids. If you feel like you're always putting out fires, maybe you're stuck in a management paradigm.
Managing your family might look like controlling things, lots of rules, and wanting to be efficient. Management is doing the urgent things.
Leading a family looks more like having a purpose, a direction, a family feeling. Leadership consists of the important things.
Think about the future and what you want it to be like. Why do you have a family? How do you want to be together as a family? Get your kids involved and have conversations about this.
Ask them what they think the best brother or sister would be like. Ask them how they want to show up as a brother or sister. What do they think a daughter or a son should be like? What kind of a mother or a father do they want? Do they know how much work it takes to be a parent, to have a house, to cook dinner, to care for kids and to still have time for fun? What can they do to help out at home?
These questions aren't meant to be manuals. We don't want our children to think that we will do whatever they ask or that they do whatever we ask. We already know that isn't how life works. The point of the questions is to open that awareness with a sort of curiosity.
We get to know our children and understand bits about them and they can see the importance of having a loving family and how we need to all work together. It is not do this or do that. It is a feeling and a direction.
Feelings are so difficult to describe sometimes. Maybe that's why leadership can so easily be overridden with management.
I'm not saying you don't need to manage your family. I just want you to start with leadership first.
Be your own best leader
If being a good leader is something you want to try to do more often or get better at, I created a short workbook to help you align yourself with the right perspective on your life so you can lead.
The workbook is available in the Resource Library.
Remember, you have to lead your life before you can manage it, and you are 100% in control.