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This Sunday is Mother’s Day, the holiday when flowers, homemade gifts, jewelry and posterboard cards abound. But we at Karlin Sloan & Company think rather than just giving presents this year, we can honor those strong women we love by learning something from the outstanding leadership skills we learned from Mom.

In a non-scientific survey (a small sample, but a good one!), after taking the time to sit down and really think about what some of our own mothers have taught us about leadership, we’ve come up with a handful of the most important leadership lessons we’ve learned over the years – read on to see them all!

Efficiency – Whether mom stayed at home with the kids or was a working parent, she definitely had the ability to make her day as efficient as possible. Her most effective ability on the road to efficiency was her power to determine what was most important in her day. Her ability to prioritize not only made her day much more efficient, it made ours as well. Sure, she seemed like a broken record at times, but as any great leader will tell you, if you are able to expertly decide which tasks take priority – your ability to manage and assign makes or breaks a leader.

Selflessness – The one thing we remember as children is that our mothers cared about the happiness and health of her children much more than her own. Was money tight but the new school year was approaching? Mom would never forego buying her children crayons, notebooks, new books for that new guitar she’s had her eye on. Successful leaders do the same; look after those they manage to benefit the whole before themselves. How can an office run smoothly when employees have questions and needs that aren’t being answered – they can’t. A true leader will stop looking inward and see what is happening around them before problems overrun an office.

Adaptability – Looking back, we never knew any of this was going on, but mothers were the most adaptable leaders we knew. As any parent will tell you, trying to predict any move your child makes is impossible, so staying on your toes is key. Mothers have the expert ability to constantly process new information and respond accordingly. Living in a multiple child home, one kid could be sick, one needed help with math homework and the other complained of a fever – Solution: Scrap the dinner plans, and order take out. Sure not an everyday solution, but when the foreseen plans fail; adapt, adapt, adapt. Successful leaders do the same – along the way, they may realize that priorities day-to-day may change and will need to adapt making sure the whole is satisfied and running smoothly.

We’re not saying ditch the gifts this year (we’re sure your mom would still love to get them!) but nothing shows how much you care than being the best leader you can be and thanking her for it. Because remember, many mothers never get a break from the leadership role – it’s a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week kind of gig. She’s pretty much a superhero.

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