What being a CEO and a Mom have in Common

Spring is always an interesting season. There’s more sunshine, people are out, the birds chirp louder and there’s tints of green replacing the seemingly endless stream of NY grey that occupied so much of the past 6 months. I think spring is analogous to rebirth. Things, people and places come alive again. I’m always amazed at how trees blossom, in what looks like an instant. How they come alive, after being dormant. How they take such different forms with so little apparent intervention. The same for insects, buzzing around. Where do they come from, how did they just become alive again ? 


The thoughts are kind of analogous to how I remember watching my Mom , as a child and young adult. The big picture takeaways , in this reflection, were the outputs: the constant love, guidance, presence and endless energy that fuelled her to care for me and my siblings. Not just care - that’s an underestimation of the exercise I think. It was care for us, but in the right way. With attention to detail. With a determination to see us progress, by any means necessary. 


I think what I am drawn to is the symmetry between how the spring season reveals creatures, plants, life , that comes forth from nothing. I am in awe today, at how my Mom was the strong pillar of my family and made it so many times, with nothing. No handbook on how to be a parent, no template on how to set us up for success, no scenario projections on what will happen when things go wrong. In both the natural world, and motherhood, there is a burning desire for the preservation and regeneration of life that I find myself noticing more and more. 


I was on a run the other day , in Central Park NY. I saw this bird, no bigger than the size of my clenched fist, piecing together straw grass. I looped back to the same spot on my 5th mile. The bird had assembled a bowl shape , out of countless pieces of the same type of grass.  I could tell it was a nest now. The bird, I thought, instinctively knew where to look for the ingredients to build this structure that would enable life and prosperity for it’s offspring. There’s another relation here to motherhood, that today I appreciate in my mom and in so many mom’s that I meet with constant awe: the instinct to survive, for self and family.  The ability to figure out what to do , without being told, and with so damn much on the line. 


I am proud of my family for how we grew up. How we tell the immigrant, American story of opportunity siezed, failing fast, and prosperity earned. I am humbled at the fact that our story is the product of my Mother’s burning desire and instinct to live, to pursue progress for herself and her children ; for her family, and the eloquence with which she took all that life presented and turned it into a semblance of a cohesive unit.  My mom, like the natural world, is a source of amazement for me everyday at their ability make something from nothing, sacrifice all for their offspring, and invent and simplify with what’s available, to make a life worth living. 


I think motherhood is the holy grail for what it means to be an effective leader. I know that as I grow in my role as CEO of multiple international businesses, I am finding more and more that relying on ‘what would mom have done” is a very good starting point to help me solve problems, build a collaborative team, and drive a culture of excellence every day. Like my mom, the constant pursuit of progress inspires me to keep going. I think there’s a theme worth noting here ; that is Mom’s and CEO’s have one thing above everything in common: the requirement to be an effective leader, or fail. I can’t wait to dive deeper into this topic with my Evolve Nation family. 


With Love, 


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