Business 3 Ways Motherhood Can Boost CEO Success

3 Ways Motherhood Can Boost CEO Success


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Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

An article honoring an accomplished female and the fact that the author is a man may sound like a disjointed arrangement, but rest assured I had quite a bit of help writing it.

Because Jess Toolson, founder and CEO of Mixhers (one of the most successful women’s supplement companies in the US), is not only an incredibly creative, she’s also a great friend.

I wanted to talk to her, among other things to find out how starting entrepreneurs can successfully step into a CEO position. But early in the course of the conversation, she offered me something that surprised me and changed the nature of the conversation.

“I feel like motherhood, above all I’ve done in my life, has prepared me to be a CEO,” she said.

I found this fascinating, so we dug deeper into the concept, and the result was breathtaking: the most important things motherhood taught her about being a CEO.

1. Quick troubleshooting and a three-dimensional perspective

Being a CEO requires a knack for solving problems quickly. Usually you have to think through problems at a high level, look at them in three dimensions to arrive at a solution that you and your company can work towards and support.

It’s the decisive voice of that key manager that carries the most weight in determining the business trajectory, and Jess said she was surprised at how comfortable she felt being pushed into such situations, then explained how Mother is. prepared her to think about decisions calmly and from multiple perspectives.

“The power to solve problems is a life skill that is just as important in motherhood as it is in the life of a CEO,” she explained. “As a mother, I would try to look at challenges in three dimensions: how can I see all sides of the problem? What different approaches could I use? What are the possible outcomes? As CEO, I try to follow the same approach Problems come, sometimes quickly and urgently , and I need to provide solutions that are not only well thought out, but also timely, because sometimes non-decisions are more damaging than incorrect ones. Try to act with a combination of trust and flexibility.”

Related: Short-circuiting fear (and even using it to your advantage)

2. Prioritize quickly and efficiently

The sky doesn’t always fall. Not every fire needs to be extinguished immediately and there are (virtually) no mistakes that cannot be undone or rectified. However, there is one mode that must be used when dealing with the day-to-day demands of running a business. Jess quickly realized that prioritizing would be a huge part of her job description. Fortunately, as she explained, she felt well prepared from the start.

“As a parent, I have learned to prioritize. There are always a million things that need to be done, but there is inevitably something that needs to be done firstShe said. “At Mixhers, I’ve been able to look at what needs to be dealt with today, what can wait until tomorrow, and what’s a problem for next week. This allows my team to chew bits and pieces of a task, instead of taking it all in at once. Intelligent prioritization has improved productivity, boosted morale and simplified our processes. It has also enabled us to celebrate victories and push through losses.”

Related: Want to unlock the resilience of your business? Prioritize your people

3. Nurturing employees leads to better performance

In recent years, in particular, there has been a dramatic shift in the way employees are viewed. Rather than just warm bodies in chairs from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m., employees are now more often viewed as individuals, whose achievements are the sum of a number of different parts and circumstances — all of which an employer should understand and support.

Jess already felt a natural inclination to treat people this way, motivated in part by her experience as a mother.

“Good mothers have the ability to see their children for who they can become with the right upbringing,” she noted. “They also understand, on an indirect level, what driving is. They always want their kids to know that even when they are going through something difficult, and even if it involves discipline or time-outs, they are there to be the champion of to be a kid. That’s what I’ve been trying to implement at Mixhers. I want my team to feel that I believe in them. They need to know that I can see past growing pains and well-intentioned mistakes, because potential isn’t realized until we do those things solve together.

“I think I may need more time than the typical CEO to get to know employees – their personal lives, their challenges, triumphs and skills. Although this takes time, the result is enormous. The potential is more often achieved, productivity increases increase and the risks tend to turn into rewards.”

Related: 3 ways to nurture a happy productive team

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.


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