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Leadership Development, NSLS Blog

What Mothers Teach Us About Leadership

Leadership isn't just about rocking the boardroom or ruling the battlefield. Countless leadership traits can be observed in everyday life–especially in parenting. Moms, in particular, exhibit qualities that any CEO, team manager, or community leader aspire to emulate.

The influence of mothers in our lives extends far beyond the boundaries of home. The lessons we learn from them shape our personal values and our lifelong skills. Moms deserve all the praise as the ultimate leaders who have a profound impact on our lives.

The Innate Leadership of Mothers

Moms are natural-born leaders, even if they never set foot in a fancy office. Think about it—every day, they manage multiple family dynamics, juggling a million things at once, from keeping the peace to ensuring everyone feels loved and heard. These responsibilities mirror those of a leader coaching a team, resolving conflicts, and helping others thrive.

The lessons we learn from our mothers, through their actions and guidance, equip us with leadership skills that are invaluable in every area of life.



From an early age, moms teach us golden rules such as patience, listening, and why sharing is caring. These are not just abstract concepts, but practical skills that we ultimately apply in our daily lives.

This education continues as we grow and practice resilience, adaptability, and planning. Many of the lessons moms teach us empower us to become successful leaders.


Moms are pros at listening and sharing, translating into boss-level communication skills for leaders. They're all about those heart-to-heart talks that build trust and understanding in the family — skills every leader needs in their toolkit.


Moms teach us to express our feelings and show empathy for others. Leaders who can relate to their team on a personal level inspire loyalty and create a great team vibe. By incorporating these qualities in your leadership style, you can foster a more positive and productive environment, leading to increased team morale.


Moms pretty much invented patience. Whether they're helping us spell "cat" for the umpteenth time or teaching us to drive as soon as we get that learning permit, they've got the patience of saints. Leaders who can stay calm under pressure and keep their eyes on the prize have mom-level patience.


Juggling multiple tasks effectively is something mothers do instinctively. They’re masters of the calendar when balancing work deadlines with carpooling to after school activities—and all the pep talks along the way. When leading others, the ability to prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently is critical.


Moms are constantly rolling with the punches, whether it's a last-minute change of plans or a surprise visit from a long-lost relative. Like the best leaders, moms stay ready to pivot immediately—an essential trait, especially in today's fast-paced world.


Moms are superheroes when it comes to bouncing back from setbacks. They handle challenges like champs, powering through tough times and keeping the family morale high. Leaders need this same resilience to navigate the ups and downs of the corporate world, ensuring teams remain motivated and focused.


Moms are masters of keeping their cool when chaos hits. Whether it's a scraped knee or de-escalating their kid's full-blown meltdown, they always have a game plan for handling it like a boss. They have to be able to make quick, intelligent decisions when the pressure's on. This is a critical skill in any leader’s repertoire, especially in times of high stress or when quick, clear decision-making is required.


Moms are all about setting goals and ensuring the family stays on track. Whether it's saving for college or planning a killer vacation, they've always got an eye on the future. Leaders? They've got to think big picture, too, setting goals and steering the ship toward success.


Whether brokering peace between squabbling sibling or haggling over curfew times, mothers are negotiating wizards. These skills are invaluable in leadership for navigating contracts, managing team expectations, and more.


Many NSLS members are moms who have shown extraordinary resilience and leadership. Julie Brown, a mom of three and brain tumor survivor, graduated with honors and built a successful beauty business through her determination and fortitude. Mission-driven mother Katarina Garcia used her empathy and perseverance to create a nonprofit focused on improving maternal mental health in Texas. 


Mothers are truly the unsung heroes of leadership. They teach us that being a leader isn't just about calling the shots—it's about being patient, compassionate, and adaptable. Moms are proof that that leadership is not confined to professional settings, it’s a vital part of life.

Through their everyday actions, mothers impart wisdom that guides us through our lives, making the world a better place—one leadership lesson at a time.