Have you ever asked: What did your Mom teach you about leadership?

When I was working on my last post What my Mom taught me about leadership, I asked some friends what their Moms taught them about leadership. I heard the best stories about militant Moms, Moms who volunteer, entrepreneurial Moms, and I’m sure that there are many more great stories of courage and grace. This little question uncovered different family priorities – from politics to music- and different approaches from tenderness to toughness. It just goes to show the power of asking a great question to learn more about people and deepen your connections.

Here’s what some of my friends had to say when asked “What did your Mom teach you about leadership?”

  • “I have to get to the bottom of this.  She still says that and I cringe.  Now I hear myself saying it and I cringe again.” M. O’Neil
  • “My Mom taught me to give love generously, let go of anger, celebrate the joys and successes of others, live each day with courage, faith and hope to overcome the struggles in life and take time to live in the moment to make memories to cherish forever.” K. Calligan
  • “My Mom taught me so much about love. Every night when we were little she would tweak our noses and say “Mommy loves you.” That memory will be with me forever. Knowing you are loved is a powerful drug. I would say that is transferable to leading with love.” G. Higdon @TrueBlissCoach
  • “Sacrifice and selflessness” R. Sundur
  • “Kindness is important above all else.” C. Lauzon
  • “My mom continues to teach me to be strong… Regardless of the odds, never give up.” M. Milardovic
  • “My mom taught me to aim for revolution and then you’ll probably get at least some evolution.” K. Crozier
  • “Be thankful for what you have. Treat EVERYONE equally. Kill ’em with kindness. Assume people are giving their best to you.” M. Berard
  • “Volunteering with an organisation or an individual makes a world of difference for the donor and the recipient. To this day she’s showing us that lifelong learning is important.” M. Saucier-Thériault
  • “Mom taught us to be kind and to try and help others.” C. Beaulieu
  • “Pick your battles. See the good in everything. Life’s too short to waste it on anger and other bad emotions. Music brings harmony and happiness.” S. Siska
  • “Bra burning, going back to work with infant at 6 weeks and making your mark.  That would sum up my mom.  So, she thought me to be tough, stand up for myself.. Yet, also taught me that “leadership” comes with a cost.” L. Cottreau
  • “From my mother’s example, I learned that true leadership is egoless with strength, intelligence & from a position of support.C. O’Brien @tacexcel
  • “Be your own person.” A. McIlwraith @gamcilwraith
  • “Believe in yourself, believe only the good in others, there are no boundaries in life when you Keep an optimistic outlook never hold a grudge and learn from others mistakes.” S. Ardiel

What did your Mom teach you about leadership? Have you ever thanked her for it? What about your parents, what is their Mom’s leadership legacy? I’m going to ask my Mother-in-law about it at dinner tonight. I know her Mom volunteered in the aftermath of Hurricane Hazel so I’m looking forward to hearing other stories. How about you, what tale do you have to tell?

Published by Dominique O'Rourke

Public Affairs professional, City Councillor, MA Leadership graduate, problem solver and lifelong learner.

4 thoughts on “Have you ever asked: What did your Mom teach you about leadership?

  1. Another excellent post Dominique and, as you say, an example of the power of asking a great question. For me, reading the responses and your beautiful description of your remarkable Mom’s influence raised a number of thoughts and other questions. For example, for those whose mother was lost or perhaps otherwise absent at an early age, to whom or what did they turn to learn compassion, kindness and empathy, to obtain wisdom and guidance and encouragement? How can and do others in a person’s life fulfill this role – with full acknowledgement there is no substitute? And what does this mean for those who are or wish to become inspiring, worthy, mentors and leaders?

    1. Thanks for the comment, Shawn. I know not everyone had a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ childhood so it’s even more important for potential mentors and leaders to seek out those kids. It seems trite to say but it does take a village. The flip side is that we also learn from hard experiences so kids who may not have had the most solid role models may chose another path. We just need to ensure that society is prepared to inspire and encourage them.

      Come again soon, my friend!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s