In case the commercials, web ads and direct mail pieces haven't cued you in, Mother's Day is here. In addition to designating a day to say 'Thanks' for all Mom does, the holiday offers all of us a reminder of the many things our mothers have done to shape our lives and, in a way, our companies.
Moms have a special way to always make you feel at home and to bring a family together. At least, that's what my mom did in our home. She was our glue. She showed, by example, how to be compassionate yet firm and loving without spoiling.
In the archetypal family, a mother provides the nurturing and caring compliment to a fathers' firm guidance. This same harmony can and should be attained in a business. We have a lot of amazing women leading teams within OtterBox including our 'Otter Mom,' my wife, Nancy Richardson. But having a motherly essence at your company has nothing to do with gender.
Establishing the nurturing traits of motherhood within a company brings a softer side to business. CEOs are often looked upon in a traditional fatherly way, regardless of gender, to be the provider, guider and chief disciplinarian. Not having complimentary systems in place to infuse compassion and caring into your culture leads to imbalance.
That's not to say a CEO shouldn't be all of those things, but it's not enough to have a couple leaders fill that role. The motherly spirit of a company should be evident throughout. Every manager should be able to offer a refuge for employees to bring up workplace issues. Every employee ought to be able to serve as a sounding board for colleagues. The company as a whole should feel like a safe haven-a home away from home. If people are comfortable, happy and well cared for at work, they will give their best work.
Just as a mother develops her children socially and emotionally in order to face the world as adults, companies with motherly traits can help their employees develop into the best they can be in their field.