WS Week Ahead
Where does the ability to lead come from? There are so many theories about what motivates leadership success, whether it’s a fearless desire to right social injustices or an ability to identify opportunities that garner increased power.
In WS’s month-long series about the various ways mothers shape the world, this week we consider their powerful influence on leadership. There are a million amazing stories about mothers shaping their sons and daughters, and each of us has our own personal story to share.
Looking back in history, leaders like George Washington, America’s first President and Military Commander-in-Chief, credit their moms for influencing their leadership skills on the battlefield and in life:
“All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all of my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”
Billionaire and technology executive Sheryl Sandberg echoes Washington’s sentiments, saying:
“When my mother took her turn to sit in a gown at her graduation, she thought she only had two career options; nursing and teaching. She raised me and my sister to believe that we could do anything, and we believed her.”
WS Feature: Hoelun
Washington fathered a new nation and Sandberg told women to claim their rightful seat in the C suite, so we thought we’d choose a slightly more unorthodox and unknown mother named Hoelun. Her son was Genghis Khan, a 12th- and 13th-century Mongolian commander who created the largest contiguous empire in history.
Not much is known about Hoelun but she was the most trusted advisor to her son, the first great Khan. Genghis was one of the most successful and feared military generals. Hoelun counseled him on the need for strong alliances to ensure the stability of Mongolia and to expand trade, technologies and ideas across Eurasia.
Enjoy this fascinating journey in time and be inspired to take on leadership roles of your own, whether it’s mentoring someone in your family life or a colleague at work. See you for another artful storytelling week on WomanScape!
Rose & the WomanScape Team