I want to share with you two extraordinary roles that over time have become looked on as ordinary. They look ordinary because those that skillfully do them make it look so easy and natural. But the truth is there is nothing easy, natural, or ordinary about them.
I am speaking about “The Art of Management and Motherhood”.
So why do I pair these seemingly different roles together? I do so because I have occupied both of these roles for over 30 years and I know that they are more similar than different.
Those of us that are skillful at management and motherhood carries a wide range of influence on this generation and the generations that will follow after we move on to a new season.
Art is not perfect and neither are we. But art is skillful and so are we and embrace management and motherhood. We are skillful like art because the result of our labor is the beauty we create that is seen up close and at a distance.
I had mothers work with me over the years and as they spoke about and to their children over time, the beauty of their motherhood was heard and seen.
I saw single mothers that kept the art of motherhood at the forefront as they made hard choices for their children. I saw mothers that had blended families and they did not let what was handed to them, good or bad, change how they viewed their role as being a skillful mother to all the children daily.
I was humbly amazed as I saw grandmothers embracing late-life motherhood with an unselfish grace and unconditional love as they encouraged the beauty of healing and wholeness in the lives of the children that were in their care.
The art of motherhood is a lot like the art of growing old, it is not for wimps!
Now many of us want to fashion our mothering by how we were raised and that can be a great blessing. Reflecting on any role model and applying their methods can be difficult or disappointing unless we make adjustments to those methods as it becometh you and the times you are living in.
The same is true when I was developing my management style. I was blessed to have worked with some great people that demonstrated a skillful management style. And as I was developing my own management style, I adapted some of the skills I saw in them and made them mine.
I have had managers that invested in my personal and professional growth because they saw something in me that no one else could see. I had managers that did not ask me to do what they would not do when extra work was needed they pitched in to get it done. I also had managers that promoted people not based on qualifications but on external qualities like looks, sex, race, or affiliation. And I also had managers that did the bare minimum every day while expecting everyone else to do over and above day after day. I learned from them all, from some I learned that fairness breeds loyalty, and from others, I learned that fairness should be a standard with management.
Mentors and Godly examples are blessed to know and they are a gift to every new mother or management trainee, but 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Prove all things, hold fast that with is good”.
Their methods were skillful and worked for them resulting in beauty, but they may not work for you due to how you are or how the role of management or motherhood changes. Just as the methods of creating art evolve and change, so does the art of management and motherhood.
The art of anything is when we apply all the skills and knowledge we have into an ongoing platform of integrity without judgment or criticism. Just as with painting or music are forms of expression, so are management and motherhood.
It is said that the art of something is when we move into it fully, creating beautiful work by using our imagination and proven truths. We need to understand that this same beauty is found in management and motherhood when it is done with unselfish grace, inner strength, and the clarity of purpose that keeps us looking up and moving forward.
Let’s look at how management and motherhood are similar. Here is a list of essential abilities for skillful management. As you read them you will see how they also apply to skillful motherhood.
- Planning & Flexibility
- Direct & consistent communication
- Delegation & Clear decision making
- Problem-solving & Proper use of resources
- Motivation & Objectivity
- Organization & Establishing Order
There is no doubt that these are essential abilities that reveal how the art of management or motherhood is similar while different in the beauty they create.
Let’s continue by looking at the three primary styles of management. They too describe the common styles of motherhood.
- Autocratic – Micromanagement
- Democratic – Collaborative management
- Laissez-Faire – Everyone does what they think best
It is amazing how we see these three styles in management and motherhood, and that we will embrace one of these as our primary style within the different seasons of our life or career.
Now think about this, in 1916, over 100 years ago, the father of modern management gave us 14 principles for management. These principles still hold for skillful managing, but they also correspond easily with being skillful at motherhood.
- Divide up the work based on availability and capability.
- Balance responsibility with the authority to make wise decisions.
- Establish rules and fair judgment or disciplinary action, if broken.
- Make it clear who is in charge.
- Be united in the daily objective.
- No one is more important than others.
- Reward and recognition are to be given equally.
- Identify who can make decisions when you are not available.
- Identify who you answer for your behavior.
- Setup order, a place for everything, and the right person for the task.
- Kindness and justice are the expressions of being fair at all times.
- People need to know they are valued to be able to be successful.
- The initiative is welcomed to brings growth to all.
- Harmony is vital, for divisiveness will cause a breakdown to all
As I review these 14 principles of management, I see how needful they are in motherhood for the heart of every family is how they treat each other. Not every family has a mother, but the art of motherhood is demonstrated by the one that is responsible for the growth of the members of the family, and these principles will aid in the revealing of individual and collective beauty.
As we will close with these 8 qualities of motherhood, it is clear that they also should be seen in those that are walking in the art of management.
- Inner Strength
It may seem obvious that management does not require to be loving, but love is needed to walk in the art of management. Mark 12:31 instructs us to love your neighbor as yourself, and in that beauty is seen.
To do anything skillfully means we have developed our skill, talent, knowledge, and experience into being a ready resource. Whether it is in the art of management or motherhood we do exactly that. We use everything we know and have to be our best and give our best to those that look to us for help, affirmation, and direction. And that is beautiful!
As I reflected on my life and legacy, the roles of being a manager and a mother have been an art that has greatly influenced my building a well-crafted legacy, and it has been beautiful to see the fruit that has remained.
If you are in management, or if you are a mother, embrace the art of these valuable roles and create the beauty you are called to bring to all that are looking to you, and as you do that, they will see these roles are not ordinary and neither are you.