That's the kind of advice Verity Credit Union's Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer Shari Storm offers in her new book, in which she shows how being a parent can help you be a more effective boss and vice versa.
While the concept isn't a new one, in Motherhood Is the New MBA: Using Your Parenting Skills to Be a Better Boss, Storm executes it well. As a result, she has produced a lively and easy-to-read book that will appeal to a wide audience.
Storm, whose Seattle-based credit union has assets of $380 million, comes across as assertive, reasonable and occasionally funny. The kind of boss and mother who usually gets what she wants by making people feel empowered and eager to be part of a team.
"Once I discovered that I can run the office like I run my home-with empathy, compassion, humor and fun, and even strictness-I felt empowered, emboldened! I found myself embracing my own self-confidence, owning my power," she writes.
Storm, who has an MBA and is the mother of three girls, conveys her ideas in 26 short chapters, all of which end with three take-aways that boil down her points into a few sentences. Therefore, busy readers can read the book in small chunks.
For example, if you are managing a particularly difficult transformation at your credit union or home, chapter one contains valuable advice about preparing people for change and being sympathetic, without coddling them.
Although the book isn't about credit unions, Storm cites experiences at Verity and also interviews other female credit union executives.
Storm also spends a chapter on keeping momentum going at home and at the office. "Momentum dies a silent death if not carefully tended to,'' she writes.
To illustrate her point, she cites a story from Sound Credit Union's Vice President of Marketing Robyn LaChance about how on a work and school morning several of her children wanted to sleep late and then fought with her about what clothes to wear. Once they arrived at Starbucks, more problems ensued, including spilled drinks and several mood swings.
"Keeping kids moving requires patience, creativity, firmness, empathy, and stamina and a sense of humor," LaChance concludes.
One of the few disappointing aspects of the book is that Storm doesn't always draw a direct connection from her anecdotes about work to incidents at home and vice versa.
Those shortcomings, however, don't detract from the book's overall value. Motherhood Is the New MBA is a helpful and witty guide for using the same people skills at work and at home.