HICKORY — On Tuesday, March 28, my family grew by two feet….10 fingers and 10 toes. Corey, big brother Jeb and I welcomed a healthy baby boy, McCoy Lee Keisler, into our lives. The last four weeks transitioning from two-on-one defense to man-to-man coverage in the Keisler household has been a complete whirlwind, but also an important time of reflection for me as a mother.
As a salute to my fellow moms, and all leaders everywhere, these are four lessons in leadership that have been reinforced to me over the past four weeks of maternity leave.
1. Prepare yourself and your team for change but know that you can never be fully prepared.
You can read every page of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” follow mom blogs religiously, buy the latest and greatest BSE (what our family refers to as baby support equipment), but moments of “that wasn’t in the plan, what in the world do I do?” are inevitable. Throw the personality of other affected individuals, a.k.a., my 2-year-old who suddenly found a new human usurping his position of Center of the World, into the mix, and you can count on a measure of chaos and unpredictability.
The art of change management is not one-size fits all. You can work diligently to prepare yourself and your team, but ultimately, leaders understand that the plan might have to be altered. Dealing with change means flexibility on the part of the leader. A proficient leader’s positive attitude when things don’t go as planned will set the tone for their organization.
Others in your organization may not cope as you expect. You and your teams will proceed through the “change cycle” at each individual’s own pace, which starts with feelings of loss, then doubt, then discomfort, followed by discovery, understanding, and finally integration.
2. Good enough is sometimes enough. Failure is inevitable. There’s always tomorrow.
As a mom, I’ve experienced “Mom of the Year” moments, followed by #momfail moments when I’ve wondered why I was allowed to procreate. But guess what? Like in leadership, failure can serve as both a learning experience and an opportunity in disguise. Tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to start fresh, learn from adversity and grow.
3. See what they see – you will be all the better for it.
I have found that my most rewarding experiences as a mother have come through intentionally slowing down and seeing the world through my little one’s eyes. As mom of a 2-year-old son, I experience the world through his eyes: crawling and flying creatures become fascinations rather than annoyances, unwanted weeds become pretty gifts of the heart, and every backhoe or excavator within eyeshot must be excitedly investigated. More importantly, through him, I see everyone as good, a world that lacks malice or danger, an obstacle that…