Episode 324: Valerie Cockerell talks about being an expat, how to manage like a mother, and bridging the gender gap

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Valerie Cockerell is a Leadership Coach and celebrated author, best known for her new book, Manage Like A Mother. Valerie found her passion for working with people when she moved to London at 16. Exposed to diverse cultures, she developed a profound love for learning about people and their behaviors. Following this, she moved to Florida, where she worked at Walt Disney World before becoming a part of the opening team for Disneyland Paris. Today, Valerie leverages her distinctive experiences and insights as a leadership consultant, assisting leaders in their growth journey and fostering the development of their teams. In this episode, Valerie talks about being an expat, how to manage like a mother, and bridging the gender gap. 

Being an Expat

“You have to be an expat once in your life.”

After relocating to London at 16, Valerie realized the value of being an expat. Valerie emphasizes that on some level, we’re the same, but people need to learn to appreciate cultural differences, as it teaches us priceless lessons about learning to work with different people and different personalities. 

Valerie shares that when you become an expat, you develop a critical eye and begin to notice things that most people typically can’t see. By developing this critical eye, you can begin to see why people have the behaviors they do and why every person has a different approach to work and to leadership. 

How to Manage Like a Mother

“A mom gives feedback every day. She doesn’t wait until the performance evaluation at the end of the year.”

Valerie knows that being a leader is overwhelming, and she wrote her book Manage Like A Mother to help. After all, looking at leadership through the perspective of a mother answers a lot of tough questions. The skills that are required to be a mother are very similar to the skills required to be a leader. Having that long-term vision for your team and nurturing growth can take the work environment to the next level. 

Valerie says that similar to the investment you would have with a child, you should have a similar investment in your team. Taking an individual from a ‘young age’ and giving daily feedback and sharing your vision for them can make a distinctive difference in their growth as an employee, while also helping them spread their wings. Additionally, every child is different, and knowing that you can’t repeat the same behavior with everyone is key to being a good leader.

Bridging the Gender Gap

The emotional intelligence that women bring to the workforce really makes a difference.”

Most leaders in the world are men, and if you ask them who the most influential figure in their life is, most of them would say that it was their mother. Valerie says that it’s important to bring this into the workplace as well, because women are also incredibly strong and passionate leaders that can make a difference.

Additionally, Valerie shares that workplaces shouldn’t view maternity as time away from work, but rather a time where women can gain skills. Caring for a child can teach many important lessons, and these lessons translate very well into the workplace from a leadership perspective. 

To connect with Valerie, you can find her on LinkedIn. To learn more about Cockrell Consulting, click here. Valerie’s new book, Manage Like A Mother, is available at all bookstores and on Amazon

This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our faaaaaantastic team:

  • Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas
  • A/V editing by Abby Giganan
  • Summary written by Mason Nichols

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