On Not Mothering, Hovering, or Micromanaging

In scrolling through my blog feed this week, I clicked on a post from Leadership Freak that really spoke to something that’s been bouncing around my head for a while. Specifically, the line below stood out, and I think it highlights a particularly important issue in leadership development today.

“When leaders act like mommy, team members act like children.”

Leadership Freak

We have moved away from a leadership model that includes fear and tyranny, and into a time of service leadership and leading by example. Our language has moved from how to make people follow your orders to discussion about how to inspire those around you to action for your cause or your project.

In this transition, there is a line that we must not cross, lest we want children to follow us instead of capable, empowered adults. That line is drawn at what is colloquially known as mothering, but is really just micromanagement, or hovering. Continue reading


On Celebrating Successes

As someone that often falls into perfectionist thinking, I struggle focusing on successes. Instead, I check it off and move on to the next thing. If I fail though, I spend days focusing on what I could have done better. This has led me to have a very skewed view of my own achievement, with the failures far outweighing the successes, despite the failures often being the things that show me how to succeed in the future.

I first recognized this skew in my self-assessment when I was about 20 years old. I was going through yet another sever bought of depression, in the midst of making one of the more difficult decisions I’ve made in my life. While I was in the process of deciding to give up on my declared major, Chemistry, I was deep in a mire of self-hate. I spent nearly all day, every day, thinking about why I was not doing well, why I wasn’t succeeding no matter how hard I tried. I thought about how disappointed my family would be.  Continue reading