5 reasons why moms make exceptional leaders in the workplace

There are five key factors. 

5 reasons why moms make exceptional leaders in the workplace
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook and Nancy Gibbs, Deputy Managing Editor, TIME

Just think about all the special skills and talents that moms bring to the table. While some people might have considered motherhood an “inconvenience” for business, the truth is that moms can be a major asset to an organization. And if given the support and resources needed to thrive, such as flexibility, they can become effective leaders who bring unique strengths to an executive team.

Here are five ways moms make exceptional leaders:

1. Empathy

Successful leaders have traditionally been defined by their power and prestige, but studies show that empathy is strongly correlated with better individual performance. And not only that, companies that value empathy over cutthroat command are reporting better results overall.

But what makes a person empathetic? And how can you cultivate leaders who can see a problem or situation through the eyes of another? Having a mom on your team can go a long way. It takes deep humility and emotional empathy to understand and address the wants and needs of a small person who can’t yet communicate them. This kind of empathy is an invaluable skill that can not only help cultivate talent, but also shape the morale of an entire organization.

2. Prioritization

It goes without saying that the most effective leaders are experts at prioritization. They can scan the horizon and react to what is most important at any given time. Moms are constantly making heat-of-the-moment decisions based on an innate ability to prioritize what needs to be addressed right now versus what can wait — a skill that becomes even more sophisticated when there are multiple children to feed, bathe, clothe and keep out of harm’s way.

This ability to prioritize also gives moms a unique perspective about what truly matters and what doesn’t, preventing little problems from unnecessarily becoming bigger ones.

3. Adaptability

Today’s workforce is more diverse than ever — and that means more unique voices, personalities and styles of learning. Great leaders are able to adapt to an environment that’s constantly changing, tailoring their management style so it not only works for each employee, but also for the company as a whole.

The needs of a business today won’t always be the needs of a business tomorrow, and just as employees have different needs as they grow and evolve in their career, so do children in their development — and often unpredictably. There’s no right or wrong way to parent—it all depends on your child’s age, unique disposition and developmental stage.

4. Resilience

Every leader will experience a major setback at some point — it’s inevitable. But what ultimately makes them successful or not is how quickly they can recover and devise a plan to move forward strategically. In fact, studies show that grit is a better predictive measure of success than conscientiousness and even IQ. And that’s great news for moms who rely on grit every single day, whether they’re navigating an unforeseen medical issue, handling a behavioral problem, or even dealing their own parenting fails. Moms are uniquely prepared to overcome a wide variety of emotional roadblocks with grace, grit and professionalism.

5. Problem-solving

To be a great leader, one must also be a great problem solver who can think outside the box. Who better to have at the helm than a mother? Every day moms get stuck in calamitous situations where they are forced to make something out of nothing on a tight turnaround — running out of diapers during a long drive is no joke (true story).

These situations also have a humbling effect that’s beneficial to business. Moms quickly recognize that some problems are out of their control, giving them a unique ability to react to new info and determine whether it’s worth pursuing. Most problems have solutions, but some do not — and the ability to distinguish between the two is key.

Originally posted on Werk.

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My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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