Leadership Lessons That I Learned From My Mother

We make many transitions in life, from home to school and relationships and then into the business world.  Each layer brings concentric challenges and the choices that we make ultimately define who we are. When we are young we may not see the role that our mothers play, but in the test of time, in those moments of doubt, we hear her voice sing with reason.

What I am, you helped me to be

What I am, you helped me to be

My mother, as many, was one that both nurtured and taught; allowing life’s existence to be portrayed beyond words but in the actions of her very being. The skills that she gave us were validated in her life and we learned some were a momentous legacy, while others filed away for future use. As I have grown and moved through a career of success, the folders that are her lessons have been opened and shared and it is then that I realize the depth of her gifts and the truth of her life.

When we enter into a company, we are expected to adopt their values and behaviors. Success appears in many flavors and each one is a temptation to step beyond what we know is right. When faced with a questionable decision, I dig deep into my heart, to listen and remember and acknowledge all that I learned; allowing the leadership that was her life to be maintained in mine.

Resilience is to bend with the winds of life. My mother taught us that change is inevitable and will always bring a renewal of purpose. In business this allows progress and as a leader it keeps the doors open for new ideas and concepts.

An ultimate level of humanity must include compassion. My mother impressed that human existence is not ‘checked’ at the door of a business, but instead is an integral part of it. Compassion for and with co-workers, clients and situations brings a level of understanding that offers resolutions.

Being accountable and living with the responsibility of choice and actions is a lesson of being an adult.  This is not always the easy path in leadership, but it does set the precedence to keep from repeating mistakes and allows needed progress to move past on onward. Once exemplified, responsibility does not allow blaming, but instead allows change.

No matter how difficult her road, my mother always expressed an attitude of gratitude. Gratefulness is a gift you give yourself and those around you, to acknowledge the benefits and keep in the positive. Following this guidance in a company creates an environment that releases anxieties to allow efficient focus on the daily functions and encourages thoughtfulness.

Dignity and respect of others and of self is a mainstay in all areas of life. My mother taught me that these alone can carry us through the storms of indecision and doubt, and elevate to a realm of distinction that complements all other lessons. A leader must include these two factors to bring humanity and clarity as part of the direction.

One of my mother’s mantras was ‘honor is a lifestyle’, and I have carried this in my heart wherever I have gone. Its meaning may be personal to each of us, but it is also a feeling, an innate vision, and a knowing.  Honor is the bowing of my head to thank my mother for the incredible lessons and the ability to allow me to carry them on and see the fruit of her teachings in my success of life.

Contributed by Rakesh Malhotra, Founder of Five Global Values (www.fiveglobalvalues.com) and Author of “Adventures of Tornado Kid, Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values”.  Passionately determined to uncover the mystery of human behavior. His fascination with the influence of core values on human behavior stems from a career which has seen rise from an entry-level sales job to that of a seasoned CEO. Having worked, lived, or traveled to more than 40 countries, he has been able to study performance and human behavior across all cultures. Follow me @FiveValues



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