Call it maturity, perspective or simply age, but with each Mother’s Day that passes I appreciate my mom even more.
With a unique vantage point as the eldest of ten children, I can assure you that managing our household was not for the faint of heart. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate my mom’s keen management skills as the chief operating officer of our busy home and find myself embracing many of those same skills not only in my own parenting but in business every day.
I could pass along a bucketful of my mom’s maxims. She was always wise beyond her years. But for now I will just share three:
If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true! My mom is no pushover and she raised us to be the same way. To appraise situations (and people) carefully, to ask the tough questions and to embrace the Latin phrase the nuns taught us in school so many years ago, caveat emptor —“Let the buyer beware.” As a hard-working Irish immigrant, my mom has always said that the road to success is paved by hard work, self-discipline, education, and faith. Anyone or anything that promises otherwise is too good to be true. Now, with several decades in the rearview mirror, I can say without hesitation she is absolutely right!
God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. The best leaders are generally the best listeners. They seek to hear—and to understand—before they seek to be heard. And my mom is no different. During those years when the house was full and frenetic, Mom was always cool under fire and eager to know more before responding to any given situation. And with ten children, there was almost always “a situation.” She was perhaps best at reading or listening between the lines. As author and management consultant Peter Drucker says, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”
Take the high road. There’s less traffic up there! This one is my favorite. It is what my mom says when she calls upon us to summon character, patience, empathy, resilience, and grace. She taught us to pause before making a decision or taking an action so that we would draw from who we are, not just what we feel at a certain moment. In this way, my mom trained us to rationally assess the cost-benefit ratio of any situation. And the high road always won. I’d like to think it’s the same way here at The Northridge Group as we use our own corporate values to guide the work we do for our clients and with each other.
In honor of all of our moms this Mother’s Day, I invite you to reply to this post and share a little wisdom your own mother shared with you.
And to those of you who are moms yourselves…Happy Mother’s Day!