Political Cliches, Men and Leadership Models

15 Oct

There are two old cliches in politics that are sadly missing in modern governance:

“Your enemy today may be your friend tomorrow.”


“Politics makes strange bedfellows.”

In other words, and perhaps the words used by many a mother in your young life,

“Don’t burn your bridges!”

Strong mothers instinctively cast aside most ideological differences as we weave community safety nets around our children. When was the last time you heard about school volunteers failing to accomplish their goal because one clique could not put aside their desire to “win”  and then fell into personally attacking eachother, took their toys and went home? This is what our elected leaders and political parties have so often done of late.

Yes, we are calling political parties,  Congress and government leaders out as a bunch of “cliquish schoolgirls,” no offense intended to school children who are generally much better behaved, or to girls. We doubt anyone would beg to differ.

Strong Mothers Do Not Have to Replace Men

We are NOT arguing that what America needs is for women to fully take the helm. Let us be very clear about that.

We simply posit that the historical “Father Figure” model of unilateral leadership is inadequate in 21st Century America. As that existing model is also employed by countless female leaders, we suggest that a model instead based on the Strong Mother, perhaps the creation of a better defined archetype of such, is one which provides more usefulness for leaders of both genders in a much more heterogeneous society.

The Strong Mother is a Role Model 

Leadership models and archetypes are ideals. Almost never does one person exemplify the full model. Saying we believe the Strong Mother Model offers a better role model for public leaders in no way implies we believe only women can adopt or exemplify this model.

We all know plenty of men who are skilled coalition builders, compassionate collaborators, and strong voices for change. Those men can just as easily serve as models of the new Strong Mother Leadership Model.

Join the Conversation

This blog is meant to be part conversation and part research.

Help us find great examples of leaders or organizations using the model. Help us further define what the Strong Mother Leader Model includes. Tell us how you have adapted leadership lessons learned from how mothers work together to accomplish goals.

Our only rules for the conversation and any submissions are that that keep a focus on education and model creation. The model is bipartisan. We show ways to encourage collaboration and coalition building to accomplish goals. We do not engage in personal or stereotypical attacks. We will use multiple methods of sharing ideas – from personal stories to practical and academic research to current events new curation. In the midst of yet another polarizing political election, our goal is to tone down the rhetoric and focus on the tasks and shared goals at hand instead.

Tell us what you think in blog comments, on our Facebook page, or in whatever way you are most comfortable with.

If you would like to submit an essay, research, report or even just an idea – email Gayla and Dawn at momsleadershipvoice@gmail.com.


Perspective and mediation are essential skills for leadership and coalition building!

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