Maternalistic leadership can be compared to Paternalistic leadership but instead of the male father figure leader, maternalistic leadership is when a woman is the boss guiding the direction of the organization with an emphasis on benevolence expressed through nurturance with a moral emphasis on care and well being of the organization’s followers. Paternalistic Leadership can be more of a dominant authoritarian leader that plays the role of a patriarch and treat organization members as partners or members of a big family. They require loyalty, trust, and obedience which can be a little different than earning it like in a maternalistic style.
Women are generally naturally maternalistic which can be applied to this leadership style. If you were to ask “What makes a successful leader and what makes a successful parent you will find there are a lot of similarities.”
Motherhood And Leadership
Qualities of a good mother are patience, good listener, understanding, consistency, able to express love, empathy, able to bond, flexible, creative, and a visionary. If you had those qualities and applied them to your leadership style it is almost guaranteed to be a successful leader.
First off displaying those qualities makes you a good role model.
Being patient and understanding is a key to leadership that helps you lead others that may have different qualities and values than you. Being a good listener, able to express love does help create a bond with your organization’s followers. These qualities that I mention enable you to build a huge organization since it gives the idea that you are caring about the people within the organization. When you are able to show that you care creates a bond which in turn creates loyalty. I think if you were able to ask any leader what would they like to gain from their people that they lead and I would bet most leaders would say they want loyalty more than anything else.
Being flexible and creative go hand in hand when the unexpected occurs. A good leader will be creative enough to adapt to the unexpected. Lastly on top of that being a visionary and been able to foresee obstacles is a must needed quality. Not only being able to see obstacles but also able to see opportunities. Being able to see up and coming opportunities that you can take advantage of can lead to momentum. Anyone that has experienced momentum knows that this can be one of the most rewarding for any organization.
Influence and Leadership of Princess Diana
Princess Diana was known as a commoner who was a kindergarten teacher who later married Prince Charles of England and becomes royalty overnight. Many people were intrigued by her humble beginnings and then to marry a prince. It was a storybook life that many dreamed of having. At first Princess Diana seen shy and seem difficult to adjust to her new role. Until she found her niche by traveling around the world meeting world leaders as she represented the Royal Family. She made it a priority to serve others by organizing charity events and fundraisers. During this time she met various Politicians, Entertainers, and many World leaders which helped increase her influence around the world.
She showed the ability to get things done as she rallied around causes for AIDS research and caring for people with leprosy. Her abilities
After her divorce with Prince Charles, she lost her title of Princess but that did not stop her influence in leadership. It can be said that she gained more influence while divorced.
Princess Diana displayed all the qualities of a maternalistic leader and it showed how she cared for others and others cared for her from the day she married Prince Charles there was an estimate of 1 million viewers compared to her funeral that had an estimate of 2.5 million people watching across the world. She had gained influence with the platform she acquired by marrying Prince Charles but after her divorce, her influence only increased.
Discipline Because You Care
For some leaders taking corrective action or discipline can be a part of the job that is not the most exciting thing to do. Depending on the attitude of the person that needs corrective action taken can be a heated discussion. The best thing about maternalistic leaders is that they are able to come across as they care and whatever hard talks they have is coming from someone who cares. They show they are only discipling the person to correct them in the hope to get them better. They are able to show that corrective action is not coming out of anger or hate, which some can perceive to be, but merely it is constructive criticism to help improve a certain person.
Generally speaking this leads to the person adjusting themselves without any complaints. They generally will not want to disappoint the leader guiding them. To draw a parallel it can be asked: “Who wants to ever disappoint their mother?” Mothers don’t have to be authoritarian to demand this respect from others.
Maternalistic Leadership: Final Thoughts
I tried to express why I think maternalistic leadership is an effective leadership style but I find it interesting that it is rarely discussed. In my personal experience women that held leadership roles were usually the top leaders. Not only did they have qualities of a leader but for them to reach a leadership position they had to endure setbacks and obstacles that only a female would experience. That perseverance is just another quality that a great leader must possess. Once they get into a position of leadership they can display a more appreciation for their role which keeps them humble. That is a quality that I appreciate.
Please tell me what do you think of Maternalistic Leadership? Leave your answer in the comment section.