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4 Things Family Teaches Us About Being Leaders

Sep 23, 2015 | Leadership, Stories | 0 comments

Great leaders have surrounded me in both my life and my career, but the most important one has been my mother.

There is one trip to the grocery store with my mother that left a great impression on me. As we were approaching the short checkout line, an African-American woman was standing in front of us. When this occurred, the civil rights movement was just starting and there was still the expectation that a white person should go in front. It was no surprise when the cashier told the woman she needed to step aside and let my mother in. What was surprising was when my mother placed her hand on the lady’s shoulder and said, “No, no, no—you were ahead of me.” The checkout girl didn’t like it one bit, but my mother didn’t relent. She put aside accepted social norms and did what was right.

I was too little to really logically understand what happened, but I knew it made me really proud of my mom and want to be like that—whatever that was—when I grew up. I now realize my mother was showing me what it meant to be a true leader, and I’ve spent most of my career trying to emulate the examples she set for me.

There are great tools, seminars and books that provide you with tips on leadership, but the most valuable resource any of us has is at home. Being part of a family has provided all of us with more leadership skills than we realize, and the things we’ve learned at home can transfer seamlessly into our business lives.

Read on for the four things family teaches us about being leaders at work and in life: http://mariashriver.com/blog/2015/09/4-things-having-a-family-teaches-us-about-being-leaders-in-life-at-work-john-addison/.

This post was originally published at MariaShriver.com.

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