Things I learned from my mother

How many times a day do we say or do something that could be from our parents’ mouths?

I am sure many of us went through a phase in our lives where we didn’t want to be anything like our parents. Thankfully I outgrew that phase and am happy to share many traits with my mother.

Some things I learnt from her may not be relevant in a business sense (I don’t think her recipe for chicken and vegetable soup resonates in the boardroom), however there are learnings that definitely translate.

people come first with my mother

Things I learn from my mother #1: people first

My mother understands that people always come first. She is naturally interested in people and in building a connection with them.

As an introvert (who crafts a reasonable version of an extrovert to lead a team) I am not as comfortable starting conversations with new people as her but I share the people first vision.

That doesn’t mean I always succeed, but it is a touchstone I return to – others before self, a big picture that includes others rather than an echo chamber.

grit and resilience

Things I learnt from my mother #2: resilience

Resilience is a buzzword with a lot of traction at the moment. And I learnt the art of resilience from my mother.

The art of finding a way through the moment, to move past the current obstacle or snag or problem is one that has guided me throughout my career.

It doesn’t mean poopy things don’t happen and it doesn’t mean that when they do I enjoy them, but it does mean I don’t give them power – I practice grit to keep moving forward.

Resilience might be not allowing someone senior to you to control your work destiny, it might mean knowing that you still have a lesson to learn where you are and skipping out early isn’t going to help, it might mean that you know there will be an end even when you can’t see it.

The true art of resilience though, lies in not living in that state – it lies in being able to move from surviving to thriving.

keep going

Things I learnt from my mother #3: there is always something more

This is a multi-faceted lesson – there is more opportunity, there is more you can do, there is more to work towards, what feels like the end is often only the start.

My quest for improvement is driven by this more – both seeking more and doing more.

I won’t settle where I am – I want to learn more, build more, give more.

Just like my mother.