Mothers Make Natural Project Managers

I’m a momma’s boy. I call my Mom every week just to hear her voice, get her views on important decisions, and ask her for $20 for gas. We don’t talk long. We have mutual hang-up pact after five minutes. Click we’re done. Those five minutes are important to me.

My Dad was the undisputed head of the household, but Mom quietly ran the whole show behind the scenes. She taught me to tie my shoes, balance a checkbook, play baseball, fold shirts. Who forced me to sit at the table every night and do my homework? Mom. Who once pinned all six of my brothers, sister and me at one time in a wrestling death match? Mom.

Leader’s don’t complain
Mom has all the answers to the thorny problems in life. For example, I once called her for advice on raising my daughter. In truth, I wasn’t looking for advice. I just wanted to complain about how hard it is to raise a kid nowadays. She quickly set me straight, “Tell it to someone who doesn’t know better. Do you really think that you and your brothers were angels? Your Dad used to say that raising you kids was ‘like raising a litter of six Dobermans – all rabid.”

Why do we feel that complaining somehow makes a situation feel better? It feels like everybody is walking around with the need to vent. Take your situation at this moment, for example. Right now, you’ve got pressure from the job and from the home front. Something is causing you pain or anxiety. You complain about that issue to anyone who will listen. We’re all behaving like nobody’s seen the troubles we’ve seen.

Call my Mom and she’ll set you straight. The conversation will likely end with “Stop complaining and do something about it or toughen up you big baby.” She’s earned the right to dispense this tough love counsel because I never heard her say that her problems were unique. I never heard her grumble about how hard it was to raise six rowdy kids. When I was expelled from High School, she responded: “You’re going to work with your dad [a mechanic] on boat engines in the Florida heat from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm while you enjoy your time off school.” Dad got free labor. I learned the value of staying in school.

Leaders don’t complain. They just roll with the punches.