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The First Manager of this World

First Manager of the world
The article has been adopted from the following book, co –authored by Chhaya Sehgal


Can Moms Take a

Chill Pill?


Parenting Strategies to Survive your Children!       

Published by Vakils, Feffer and Simons Pvt. Ltd.                            

ISBN No.: 978-81-8462-022-1

History bears testimony to the fact that great leaders were not just born but were also nurtured by their mothers, to grow into greatness. Women like Jija Mata, the mother of Shivaji, had strong leadership qualities. They had vision, hope, initiative, the courage to take risks, and that extraordinary ability to convert their vision into reality – qualities that form the foundation of the fine art of leadership and the science of management.


It’s not difficult to discover that the lessons of parenting can transform a struggling and exasperated first-time mother into a smart and confident leader and proactive manager in due course.     


Raising a child is a perfect exercise in the application of Peter Drucker’s seven principles of management: planning, organisation, communication, implementation, monitoring, coordination and control.


There are multiple performance areas for a mother. Each is challenging and complex, one more important than the other.


A mother has to look into matters such as health, education, the communication of the right values and attitudes, the inculcation of good habits, cultured speech and behavior and respect for tradition; she must encourage her child to participate in extracurricular activities, while ensuring that academic excellence is pursued. She must look into matters such as peer pressure and keep her children away from the temptations posed by gadgets. Her list of duties is endless. Motherhood then is an extraordinary opportunity to learn and practice management without relying on a guru or a coach.


The soft skills and the managerial abilities that are demanded of a mother to fulfill her responsibility wouldn’t be unlike that of a qualified manager. Multitasking, multi-skilling, persuading, negotiating, time management, conflict management, strategizing, financial planning and control, budgeting, team dynamics, systems development and management, performance planning and management, delegating, supervising, leading – these are just some of the skills that mothers are expected to have; the list is endless and is growing everyday!


A committed mother must specialize in and display expertise in all the functions of management. She is a CEO, COO, CFO, CHRO etc. all rolled into one. She ends up working round the clock throughout her life for the collective benefit of her children and family. And all this is done without earned leave or without demands for a raise in financial benefits.


Often, in the process, a mother has to sacrifice her personal aspirations and desires. Is there a finer example of mentoring, coaching, team leadership and sheer professionalism? And not to forget – love, care, courage and sacrifice?


The child of course, helps a mother blossom. The child generates in the mother positive feelings such as affection, warmth and emotional fulfillment. He or she ensures that negative emotions like anger, jealousy and insecurity are surrendered. Even as the mother struggles to overcome the everyday problems of child-rearing, she learns to favour dignity and courage over exasperation, frustration and disappointments – attributes of a true achiever!


This process results in deep spiritual development and inner growth. These are qualities that cannot be measured in terms of money and time. There are no yardsticks to assign value to them or quantify the gains accrued.


In a capitalistic economy, where ability is perceived and measured only through financial compensation and the status it bestows, a mother’s job stands out as an oddity. No wonder, many housewives and mothers find their self esteem sinking because they are doing an honorary job without a defined retirement age or monetary benefits.


A home and a family is the nucleus of all social and economic activity. If the economy in India has withstood the great recession of 2008, then it is because the social fabric is robust. Nothing grows on an unstable ground.


India, as a country, has been exceptional, because it has strong family values. It recognizes the fact that mothers have dedicated themselves to nurturing the family as a unit; it applauds the fact that half the human capital of this country, in the form of devoted mothers, has invested and sacrificed its life for the progress of the other half. Today we are enjoying the fruits of the sacrifices of the mothers of the last century, who even lost their children for the cause of the country.


In today’s day and age, though, with the onslaught of mindless westernization, our culture is on the cusp of a major change. Instead of accepting the best of the west – dignity of labour, , respect for the law, discipline, punctuality and self sufficiency – we have embraced all that is flawed – a bankrupt value system and an isolating social structure. This has made the job of parenting today more arduous and exigent than ever before.


I firmly believe that if mothers continue being inspiring leaders and capable managers at home, the sky is the limit for this country.


Let us hope that the dedicated mothers in our society continue with the honourable and glorious tradition of motherhood and parenting. For, motherhood is an invincible strength – one that places this country in a position of prominence in a global space.


Matrudevo Namonamah.”


Chhaya Sehgal