"You can blame my mom."
This was the quick 2-sentence conversation between my boss and I late last year.
She was commenting (I'd add, complimenting too) about how good I am at committing to heart then getting and circulating the appropriate cards for people.
The art and science of picking out cards with the right words - to show that I thought about the individual specifically - is definitely a virtue I got from my Mum*.
The conversation got me thinking because it was obvious that I learned from her example (that's not to say that I don't have a stash of cards - like she did) and combined that virtue with the advice I got from one of my mentors.
He said: "Take care of your people, and they will take care of the work."
He obviously did not mean it in a derogatory manner. The point was as I have learned and seen over and over again is, when people know that you care for them, they will care for the things that matter to you too.
This is a classic example of where Mothering and Mentoring meet. The takeaway for me, from this, is that as women, we should take care not to shut off our sensitive side.
Indeed, there are deliverables and deadlines to be met but like John Maxwell said:
Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.
Rick Warren took it further:
Great leaders genuinely care for and love the people they lead more than they love leading itself. Leadership without love degenerates into self-serving manipulation.
There are many ways to demonstrate your care for those you lead...hand-written notes and cards to say "Thank you!" or celebrating live events are some of the things that I'm sure will help us become more effective leaders.
You can become a more effective leader...and yes, feel free to blame me. :)
* My Mum passed on 25 years ago, this past December and it would have been her birthday this week.