Three Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Mom – by Joseph Gray

My mom has always been a very motivated and disciplined woman. When I was in elementary school, my mom worked from home as a medical transcriptionist. When I reached middle school, she became the librarian at my school and eventually became my English teacher. She is still the English teacher at that middle school and she strives to show her dedication to her team and her students every day. As both a mom and a teacher, she puts everything she has into what she does. She has taught me many valuable leadership lessons that I strive to apply in my daily life.

1) Dedication: In her role as a medical transcriptionist, we would go twice a week to pick up new tapes from the care centers or hospitals. When we got home from those errands she would get to work, devoting her energy and attention to her tasks, only stopping briefly to eat, or to handle me if I got out of control. After she finished her day of typing, phone calls, and dealing with me, she would clean the dining room and kitchen and begin preparing dinner for when my dad got home. She would cook and help clean afterwards, repeating this every week. Growing up, I didn’t realize how much she did every day for our family. Now that I have my own family, I don’t know that I could do half of all she did for us every day. She did it all with a smile on her face and without complaining. This really shows me how dedicated she was to both her work and her family.

2) Put More Into Others: When my mom became a teacher, she was thrilled to be working with a great team and teaching students. I remember a few occasions where my mom would come home from work and ask me what the kids would like, or what she could do to show her students that she appreciates them. From time to time, she would bring candy, make cookies, or even plan parties. She would meet with students that wanted to meet with her one on one, and she would listen to what they were going through. She always tried to keep her students motivated to get through the drama and to work hard at their academics. Still to this day, my mom is always looking out for others and constantly putting more into other people so they can feel uplifted.

3) Keep Moving: My mom always told me that “this too shall pass.” In high school, I had some pretty intense anxiety issues and would panic regularly about assignments. My mom would always help me and tell me that the work is temporary, and eventually the assignments will be over, and I’ll be out of high school. She would tell me that if I just kept doing the assignments one step at a time, I would eventually get through it. I would take her through the list of everything I had to turn in and when, and she would start me off, step by step until eventually I would have all my work done because I stopped overthinking it and just started doing it. This lesson has really stuck with me, and it has helped me tremendously in dealing with stressful situations by realizing that it isn’t the end of the world and that “this too shall pass.”

I’ll probably never be as good as my mom, but I will always have an excellent example of leadership in her. I try to show my wife and daughter the same dedication that my mom showed my family, by doing my best to be there for them in everything I do. I strive to always be respectful and to put kindness into others because everyone deserves kindness. Lastly, I always try and remember that I just have to keep moving. If I take things one step at time, I can get anything done.

Thank you to all moms for sharing their valuable lessons and insights on what it means to be a leader.

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