What An Irish Mammy Can Teach Us About Leadership

May 18, 2020

I’m just back from a jog with my son. It's 8.15am. It's just one of the new benefits I've found working from home during this strange pandemic.  And I'm so grateful to have these special moments with him. 

But just so we're clear. I'm not bragging here. My son has to stand over my bed and call me every single morning: Mam, are you awake yet ? Mam, it's time for our run ! Mam, get up !!


We Need To Be Held Accountable

I'd love to say this wasn't the case every morning but I have to admit the truth. I would not be up running before breakfast if he wasn't holding me accountable and making me get up. Honestly, I've zero will power when it comes to exercise. And here's the thing. I know I'm going to feel so much better when I do and I certainly find my morning is way better when I've exercised in the open air. 


I need to be held accountable. I think we all do. Whether that's exercise or a work project I’ve come to realise over the years that I need to make it easy for myself. I need an accountability partner who will help me achieve what I want to achieve, in this case, a fitter, healthier and dare I say it 'younger' body. 


Struggling With Mindset

Now I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. And certainly working as a career & leadership coach & mentor I see it cropping up a lot. We often have the best of intention for ourselves but it's damn hard when we're distracted by so many other challenges in life. And never mind the crazy new world of Covid-19 where we're all facing unprecedented problems.

This is all the more difficult when we find ourselves working remotely and trying to manage our teams. How do we manage ourselves and our peoples mindsets to stay engaged & motivated ?

This crisis has also made it very transparent to employees what makes a great leader.

And it reminds me of the role of an Irish mammy (or any nationality for that matter). Why ?Because we are always asking our kids how are they ? We ring them for no reason other than to have a chat. We show them with little gestures just how much we care about them. We think of them more than we think of ourselves. We love them more than we love ourselves. We encourage and support them when they're feeling low. We praise them as often as we can to lift them up.  We give out when we need to but always from a place of heart. We turn a blind eye sometimes but we'll always want the best for them. We speak the truth even when it's bad news. 

So during these strange times think about the role of your mammy and maybe take a leaf out of her book. You may be faced with tough business decisions which will impact on your teams careers & lives, and challenge you and your personal values, but do your best to support them in whatever way you can.

Your team will be grateful to you for it.  


Did you like this article?

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to receive advice, tips and insights to help you advance your career.