Why developing my relationship with my mother has had the biggest impact on my leadership
Ahead of the launch of the full Leaders in Conversation episode with the amazing Hind Farag, and in time for Mothering Sunday UK, Hind reveals why living with her Mom for the past five years has been a liberating learning and development experience.
Hind, an Executive Coach and Strategy Consultant, talks to Anni about family trauma, the power of open communication and how nurturing the special mother, daughter relationship later in life has enabled her to show up as a leader.
Listen to this 5 minute Leaders in Conversation Short or read the transcript below. And remember to watch out for the full episode coming out on 17 March in which Hind and Anni talk about culture, family, values, leadership and the power of diversity and inclusion.
Hind Farag on the importance of her mother, daughter relationship in leadership
"My mum has been living with me for 5+ plus because of deaths in the family and being alone, moving from Cairo to the US with me. I am now in my 40s so you would think a relationship at this point would be refined but we both had so much to learn about each other and about ourselves through our relationship with each other.
A few years ago, I went through some major personal drama, or catastrophe: loosing a family member; going through divorce; changing jobs and moving from one continent to the other. It was everything that could ever change in somebody’s life - all changed in my life in just a couple of months. That was when my mom joined, around the same time.
I read about how your relationship with your mom in your very early years forms who you are. Forms the extent to which you love yourself and treat yourself. But I didn’t read about how you can actually work on that in your 40s and how it can help you reform who you are being in the world.
And it did. Talking about how I showed up as a leader, a lot of what I was holding back was due to what I thought based on my relationship with my Mom - that I was not supposed to show up. Because, opposed to my father for example, who really empowered me - he pretty much explicitly and implicitly through what he did, would always make me feel like there was no limit. There was no limit because I was a female. Because I come from a third-world country. Because of anything, there was no limit. He would not expect me limiting myself in any way. He would throw me in the middle of things and watch me from the distance. And my Mom was nothing below excellence can be expected. But she tends to be less firm about the fact there is no limit.
In my head, I was thinking that my mom was limiting me or thinking that because I was a girl, I had much less to offer. And I had to be here with her for these past five years, for her to understand that is what she made me feel, and for me to understand that is not what she thought. And also for me to understand that it was never about what my Mom said, that much of it was about my perception of it and how I followed up on that. What I decided to hold back on and what I decided to bring out.
I learned that was not only in how I related to my Mom, it was also in terms of how I related to the world. How I showed up as a leader. Because I felt that I was basically holding back on things, because showing up felt like it would destroy the relationship. I learned that being who I was (and fully who I was) by being very explicit with my Mom about what I like and what I don’t. And in a way, honestly teaching her to be explicit about who she was and what she wanted.
That definitely elevated me like no leadership development exercise would ever elevate my impact."
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