During pregnancy many changes occur.
Not only the very obvious ones that revolve around you growing a baby but more subtle shifts in your thinking and behavior that can shape your skills as a manager and leader.
The journey from single self to mother can open the way to a more instinctive and creative you. A you who is able to see both the day to day details and the longer term, bigger picture which takes on a far deeper personal meaning.
In working with many women in male dominated environments that thrive on operating in a linear and more rigid structure to connect with their feminine pregnant energy and embrace the “softer” values of nourishment, connection and flow, I see a subtle shift away from traits that are more focused on performance and competition and see a blossoming of behaviour which feels easier and more authentic but is equally if not more effective at producing results.
From a personal perspective these women feel more emotionally “ready” for their baby and are better placed to receive the subtle cues that help fast track the connection with their newborn when he or she arrives. Their births appear to be smoother, they are less tied to their due-dates, they feel less stressed, more self-assured, more intuitive and more at ease with the first few days, weeks and months as a new mother. They learn with confidence and develop a strong sense of inner knowing which they whole-heartedly trust.
They develop a softer power that they come to realize is equally effective at organizing their home-life as running a business. They are tuned in to inspiration. These women are often ready to return to the workplace sooner – albeit in a more flexible way – and in continuing to learn daily the benefits of integrating feminine and masculine thinking, feeling, being and doing they bring a veritable power house of talent and skill back with them, capable of staying calm under immense pressure, not sweating the small stuff and the ability to multi-task like a ninja.
Leadership today is complex. The pregnancy journey and experiences gained as a mother offer exponential growth to complement professional experience that we need to value and support, not penalize against or disregard.
With new legislation around shared parental leave, women have even greater opportunity to be as ambitious as their hearts desire. When women claim more powerful roles, embrace the feminine and take charge of more wealth creation and distribution our world may become more balanced and harmonious than we find it now.
The pregnancy journey and transition to motherhood could also be the beginning rather than end of your career.
Aspects from this article have also appeared in the Guardian.