When talking about mothers and life lessons, an adage comes to mind – mother is a child’s first teacher. And these super-famous working mothers show us that a mother’s advice holds good in the corporate world, and beyond. Here is our list of some of the world’s most successful working mothers and the life lessons we can learn from them:
- Give back to your workplace what it gives to you
Michelle Obama made being a First Lady a matter of pride. The world has not been so enamoured of a FLOTUS, since Jacqueline Kennedy. While in the White House, Michelle championed many causes, but she was a working mother even before she became the First Lady.
In 2005, Michelle was appointed as the Vice President for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals; an experience she claims ‘one of the greatest’ of her life. Simply because the University decided to honour and respect her personal choices as a nursing mother of a 4-month old, and gave her the flexibility she needed. In turn, Michelle gave her best, and more, to the job.
As mothers, women need employers who understand their lives and are willing to work around their issues. Family comes first, but when you find an employer who is willing to go the extra mile for you, then it is only fair that you give the job your extra as well.
- Learning when to keep pushing, and when to let go
A good team leader knows when to push their mates and get the best work out of them, and when to take a step back and let their team blossom into an organic whole. It is a lot like parenting as Christa Quarles, CEO of OpenTable (a restaurant-reservation service), will tell you.
As the mother of two pre-teens, Christa has learnt a lot from her boys. It is the job of the parents to push their children to do better and be better, without making them feel coerced in any way. It is also a parent’s job to watch their child make their own mistakes and learn from them, without jumping to their aid every single time. There is a fine line between urging your child to be independent, and pushing them a wee bit too much for their liking.
The same principles also apply to work, and in other areas of our lives. A perfect partnership can only be developed when the people involved understand each other’s need to grow and be independent, while also pushing each other to do their best for the collective good.
- Never STOP learning
Michelle Coredeiro Grant, the founder and CEO of LIVELY, says that motherhood has taught her the value of learning on the go. No one tells you what to expect when you become a mother – the experience is unique to every woman. And yet, somehow, we women find the inner strength and the hidden skills required to handle the mammoth task of bringing up a child in this crazy world.
It is the same in the outside world. You stop growing when you stop exploring. And if you allow yourself to learn the ropes on the job and trust your instincts, then you can very well surprise yourself.
What these amazing women prove is that life does not stop when you become a mother. There are plenty of working mothers who are breaking the mould, and with Sikkim Manipal University’s distance education courses you, too, can join the race. To know more about our distance learning courses, reach us at the SMU Directorate of Distance Education.