It's Time to Bring our Mothering Nature as Women to Leadership
When my eldest daughter turned 14 recently, she brought down her baby photo albums for us to giggle our way through them.
Savouring these photo memories that we had lived, with new perspectives, 14 years on.
And, there was something else happening for me. As we giggled, I stopped on one particular photo. As I gazed at my younger self, cradling our first born in our just built new home, on a newly built housing estate, in a new and unfamiliar town.
I began to remember. I remember my husband taking the photo as I probably shushed him to not wake the baby!
I remember my aching arms, rocking her lovingly to sleep. I remember new mum tiredness from 14 years past. I remember my new identity as a mum was still sinking in.
I remember the cocktail of emotions that motherhood brought as this gorgeous little bundle engulfed our lives with as much magic as mayhem. That remembrance brought new emotions for me 14 years on to that moment recently.
As a new mum, this was me in my most natural, tender and vulnerable state. This was me working around the clock to nourish and protect this little one. This was me, quietly, intuitively, lovingly rocking her softly to sleep when deep sleep was what I was most wanting.
This was me AND this is me.
Steeped in my mothering nature.
What a gift this remembering gave me.
I wondered what would I say to my younger self now, 14 years on? I wondered what would I need to know?
I realise now that the qualities I mention above are energetically feminine. They too are leadership skills, skills that I have both ignored and taken for granted for their power in business settings. Within structures that didn't always recognise such nourishing ways.
In order to step into my full and natural power as a female leader, I bring ALL of myself into the conversation. This includes the often unseen and taken-for-granted-by-me 'mum stuff'.
We hold immense power and wisdom within us, as women.
What would it be like to bring ALL of you to work? Every last ounce? What would it be like to bring your Mothering Nature, which is native to you, to your Leadership?
What if we nourished new ideas and work projects as if they are newborns. Gently nurturing them through all the stages of growth, without tight, linear deadlines; without the need for traffic light warning systems, because, like newborns, they grow and develop in different and unique ways, within an overall framework of expectation. Knowing that mistakes, trips, tears and slips will happen throughout the process.
What if we treated all of our colleagues like newborns, with care, love and attention? What difference would that make to our working lives and those 'difficult people' that we 'have to' work with?
Because "we're all ex-babies", as Irish poet John O'Donohue said.
Imagine the difference this could make to our business structures and hierarchies. Imagine the difference this could make to our leadership. Imagine the difference this could make for our overall health and well-being.
I'd love to hear what these questions bring up for you as I journey deeper into this exploration.
Do email me here if you would like to connect with your leadership authority.
Women must step into the authority of The Mother." Pat McCabe