A Mother’s Day Salute
What is it about moms? They have an incredible way of creating accountability standards by which we measure success. It’s like the old southern saying: “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” Great men and women understand the truth of that statement.
There is a connection and influence of a mom on the aspiring entrepreneur that is hard to communicate. With nearly one out of every 10 people in the United States venturing into entrepreneurial activities, moms have proven to be an important part of the success equation. Entrepreneurs create jobs, and millions have benefited from their mom’s influence on their decisions and development.
One such example was documented in the 2004 film produced by Mary Mazzio called “Lemonade Stories.” The documentary featured entrepreneurs like Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines), Arthur Blank (Home Depot) and Russell Simmons (Def Jam) who credited their success to the influence of their moms.
Even locally, you discover entrepreneurs whose success is credited to their mother’s impact. Bernie Simpkins of S&S Enterprises said, “My mother was a great influence in my life. She passed away when I was 19 years old while I was attending college. A surgeon did a bad operation while removing her gall bladder and she did not make it through. She would write me every week while I was away in college and she always said in the last sentence, ‘Hold your head up high and be somebody.’ My mom was an encourager and affirmed my older sister and us three boys at every possible occasion. I still remember her every day.”
Here is a little acronym that highlights what a mother provides in guidance and wisdom:
Maturity – The measure of maturity is defined by the consistent control of one’s emotions. We expect children to throw tantrums when they don’t get what they desire, but not leaders.
Optimism – Success is achieved through an optimistic approach to life. Yet optimism needs to be balanced with reality and mom provides a healthy dose of both. Blind faith is usually dangerous.
Trust – A key principle in order to lead is to establish and maintain the trust of others.
Honesty – This may sound like the simplest virtue, but it is the hardest. The truth is not always easy to communicate. But mom levels with you when nobody else will.
Encouragement – The virtue of encouragement is more powerful than the power that launches a rocket into space. Take away the “en” and the “ment” and you find “courage,” which is what it takes to provide encouragement to others. It is easy to comment on what is wrong or to criticize someone. Courage is the sum total of all the virtues of life and moms are courageous.
Respect – Probably the No. 1 issue with disgruntled employees, spouses or wayward children is feeling a lack of respect. A leader’s ability to provide guidance and discipline while sustaining a healthy respect for others often comes from our mother’s influence.
The reason mothers can provide maturity, optimism, truth, honesty, encouragement and respect in a balanced manner is that the love of a mom is special and inexplicable, except of course, to those who are moms.
I believe the poem below communicates the significant love of a mother.
Her love is like an island
In life’s ocean, vast and wide
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the wind, the rain, the tide.
‘Tis bound on the north by hope,
By patience on the west,
By tender counsel on the south
And on the east by rest.
Above it like a beacon light
Shine faith, and truth, and prayer;
And thro’ the changing scenes of life
I find a haven there.
— Author Unknown
Most true leaders acknowledge his or her mom’s influence in their life. A healthy relationship with a mom is one of admiration, respect and recognition of her authority in your life, creating a balance that results in achievement. When you examine political, organizational and community leaders, reflect on their relationship with their mothers. You may be surprised just how much is revealed about the person’s character.
Jeff Piersall is co-founder and CEO of SCB Marketing, which publishes i4 Business and SpaceCoast Business magazines. Contact him at (321) 537-4941 or firstname.lastname@example.org