- Why I think I’m a better parent because I’m a working mom
- It takes a village AND a well built network to help care for your children (mother’s network)
It seems to be a question as to when or if at all to accept responsibility these days.
For children this is one of the most important early lessons of their lives yet as they get older it seems like this lesson fades a bit. As adults, why does it seem like there is a question as to whether we will or we won’t accept responsibility?
I liken this question to years ago when I worked with a certain Project Manager who did not know his job. He was actually the husband of the installation manager and she wanted to put her man to work so she said he could manage a project that very clearly was completely over his skill set.
At the very first meeting I attended as part of his team, it came time for him to speak with the clients and vendors, he said “We have to take care of the telco” and then abruptly sat down.
For any telecommunications/VoIP professional we know this isn’t a really correct statement or question really. He was right that the issue of Telco needed attention and we needed to make sure all was in order, but calling it “telco” did cut it, there were very specific technical details surrounding “telco” that clearly he had no idea of.
Since I was a member of his team (actually quite embarrassed about it) I didn’t speak up during the meeting however after the meeting and with our internal team only I asked him to explain what he meant by that statement during the meeting. It was then that I figured out that someone had told him he needed to manage Telco, and he clearly had no idea what this meant.
Very unapologetic, this project manager would not admit he had NO idea what telco was. He would not accept responsibility as far as I was concerned. Big surprise he didn’t last long on any team as a PM.
Why didn’t he just say to his team “hey I’m not familiar with telco, can one of you help me out”?
Why do we as professionals worry that someone might find out that we don’t know 100% of all we do? Why is it, we don’t take responsibility in our job, take responsibility in our relationships, and finally why can’t we take responsibility when we fail with life lessons?
There are so many ways we can fail. We fail by not telling the truth. We fail by taking the wrong approach to deal with a situation. We fail by inaction or fail by taking the wrong action? Either way I’ve learned this lesson, sometimes in a repeated fashion but at in the end I learned.
I learned the lesson of NOT taking responsibility which then means I accept the consequence.
I try to teach my daughters the VERY best thing they can do when they fail or make a mistake is to take full and complete responsibility because it is from there that we can move forward.
If I’m about nothing, I’m about always “moving forward”!
I will be talked about my book: “Never Drink Coffee During a Business Meeting” with the Good Things Utah hosts in advance of my book signing event at Barnes and Noble in Murray, UT on July 29th and did more in depth discussion on traveling with kids tips for the vacation time.
My book Never Drink Coffee during a Business Meeting is a business book which gives advice to people both entering corporate America and it provides tips to people in order to advance in their current career. As an employer for over 20 years, my mentoring of my employees has translated into my deliberate parenting of my children.
In discussed my book with Emily Clark and I had some timely #MomTips for this summer’s traveling, based on my life experiences.
Today I was googling pictures of a working mom, I wanted to see if there was something I liked to put on an invitation for a “mom get together” next school year.
It got me thinking of the hilarious pictures I have of me actually being a mom and working more than full time while raising my daughters.
There are pictures we see that show that after the day job of a working mom, we enter into our “real job” from 5pm until whenever.
This was me for many years and as all working mom’s we learned to schedule our at home work time around our children’s homework and sleep schedule.
For years my work was segmented in threes, first work segment early about 5:ish am before kiddies had to wake up, second work segment while they were in school for whatever time that could give me, preschool not so much and then the third work segment was typically my most productive because I wasn’t interrupted by client calls or meetings. This segment was after my girls went to sleep on the appropriate time schedule according to their physical needsl I found I could work as late as I could depending on the level of my fitness where I could operate on more or less sleep. For many years I could work until midnight before calling it a work day.
My pictures of a working mom in my mind are my memories of working anywhere and everywhere, in my car, on my car, in the doctors office, on a plane, on a train (Portland to Seattle). Searching for any hotspot and then scurrying to find power outlets anywhere possible. For a time this was much before we could carry around our own power and before nearly all business’s has guest wireless access.
As I reflect on these “pictures” in my past, it brings such happiness to me because not only am I still living these days for the most part, I am also enjoying them even more now as I have become quite adept at this position. For this position garners the most important title I hold.
Single Working Mom, a picture that represents happiness for me!
I read an article from JK Rowlings, another “single professional mom” where she said she didn’t want her daughter to be looked at as being raised in a less than favorable light.
I agree completely and more so I think my daughters actually have benefit in being my daughters for reasons that maybe don’t seem obvious.
First, we all know that values can not be taught in households that don’t promote them, this is whether there is two parents or one parent in the home.
Second my daughters through no fault of their own have had to learn that sometimes life brings hardships and stresses. I hope for the most part they see this as it affects me and not them. It isn’t what I would want them to see in me, but I’ve come to peace, understanding that children themselves understand much more than we might want them to, and more than anything children learn from who we are NOT from what we say we are.
The lesson that life has twists and turns and we have to do our best to react and rebuild is a key lesson of success that now at a very early age, both my daughters have learned.
Last, one of the most important lessons my girls have benefited from is the lesson that no matter what, through all the changes in their life, with all the ups and downs, through moving from one end of the country to the next, my daughters have learned that my love has never waivered, my care for them has never lessened. They have learned that our family, less one person, is still solid and strong as ever.
They have learned this lesson of love as I have liken it to a very small fraction of how much God loves us all. Of this lesson I’m certain they have benefited!
This morning I heard a talk about empowering our children and all that involves. This got me thinking about the responsibility of empowering the level below us through our organizations and then the level above us, reaching down to do the same.
It is the responsibility as an executive to reach to the management level of our organization and empower that level in order to make decisions that reach beyond their level for the good of the company mission.
This seems like a basic idea, this idea of mentoring, or paying it forward, but it involves more than that. To empower, really means to grant the power to initiate initiative? Can you ask yourself if you are “mentoring” this in your management style? Or as a manager are you really allowing your direct reports to initiate new processes or develop new strategy that may affect your team?
I think this is a stretch for some of us, and partly due to the way most companies are structured, our organizational charts are mostly linear. I think by virtue of the fact that we have “levels” within our companies, there is an implied idea that certain levels work within their level in all things. And no one executes “above” their respective level at least not without approval or collaboration. And although there are teams created with team members belonging to multiple levels, where team communicate and execute it is still within a single funnel that reports up.
So the challenge here is simple, look at each member of your team as someone who might have that just right idea that they present because they feel completely accepted and empowered to do so. Their idea might change the course of your business.
Embrace empowerment from the ground up if you are able!