She defines "Good Mother" as the boss who tries to be everyone's friend.
While I agree that getting too cozy with your staff is a dangerous move, Welch has the definition of Good Mother wrong.
I remember in high school the friend whose mom wanted to know all the details of her personal life. I remember them giggling together on the night she lost her virginity. Her mom reveled in being told everything.
I remember the mom who bought us beer when we asked.
I remember the mom who helped us paint graffiti on a bridge one night.
None of those were my mother. I could not dream of having a mom like that.
No, my mom made it clear that she was not my friend.
"You have plenty of friends," she once told me. "You don't need any more friends. You need a mom."
And she was right.
My mom didn't supply me with beer, but she made it clear it was safe to call her if I ever needed a ride home.
My mom didn't think vandalism was funny and she let us know, in no uncertain terms, that we best not break the law.
That is how a good mother acts.
Good bosses are the same. Good bosses can have fun with and care about their staff. They can talk casually with them and get to know them on a personal level, but at the end of the day, they must make the distinction between boss and friend.
A good boss is there to help their employees succeed and grow and flourish. Sometimes that means difficult conversations, or unpopular choices, or un-friend-like decisions.
Often it means acting like a boss and not acting like a friend -- in other words, acting like a good mother.
|Shari Storm is the author of "Motherhood is the New MBA: Using Your Parenting Skills to be a Better Boss" (Thomas Dunne / St. Martins Press). Storm earned her Masters of Business Administration from Seattle University. In addition to being an executive at a $400 million financial institution, Storm is a mentor for Seattle University's graduate program and writes for Working Mother Magazine blog. Storm has three young daughters.|