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Soft-Skills of the future: A clear vision and the ability to juggle several balls at the same time

Interview with Prof. Dr. Anabel Ternès von Hattburg, Entrepreneur, Founder and Author

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European Business: To what extent does a mompreneur differ from a classic executive?

Anabel Ternès von Hattburg: A mother friend of mine with several children once said to me: As a housewifeand mother, without any other job, I’m also an entrepreneur and manager, namely an event manager, a marketing manager, an HR manager, a business development manager and a general manager. A mompreneur also has her business undertakings. If you want to be successful in all the different activities, you need to be well structured, systematic, motivated and responsible, but you can’t lose sight of the big picture, either. Good intuition is part of it, as well as mindfulness towards yourself and others. The things that make a good executive are attributes a mompreneur has anyway. Because that’s the only way she can get through the day.

Anabel Ternès von Hattburg
"The things that make a good executive are attributes a mompreneur has anyway." Anabel Ternès von Hattburg

European Business: In your opinion, are mompreneurs better entrepreneurs? If so, why?

Anabel Ternès von Hattburg: They definitely have special strengths that cover the core key competences of executives particularly in this day and age – and even more so in the future. They are soft skills like thinking and acting for the long term, dealing with agile work and flat hierarchies with confidence, a pragmatic approach, accepting responsibility, clear visions and the ability to juggle several balls at the same time.

European Business: Self-employment always has a unique origin story at its base. How does your story as a mompreneur begin?

Anabel Ternès von Hattburg: I worked in international industrial companies in the lifestyle sector for several years and promoted business development. The scope of duties was big and exciting. I had a lot of room to maneuver and bore a lot of responsibility for staff and turnover. But I wanted to implement my own business ideas and also have a social, supraregional impact. When that became clear to me, I tried my hand at completely new, fresh business ideas with great confidence. Parallel to that, I became a mother – and the two worlds boosted each other.

European Business: There are plenty of stereotypes that working mothers have to face. What stereotypes have you had to deal with?

Anabel Ternès von Hattburg: I get positive feedback from a lot of directions – from men as well as women, the way I manage it all. I think it’s also great that both successful women and men with children are being increasingly and positively perceived by the public in this double role – such as Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, who, together with her husband, combined being a parent with professional activities completely naturally.

Anabel Ternès von Hattburg
"Due to the shortage of skilled staff and managers, more women with children will also gain access to the boardrooms of larger companies." Anabel Ternès von Hattburg

European Business: There are dusty gender roles especially regarding women in professional life that you find in a lot of companies. Where would you shift gears first to change something about that?

Anabel Ternès von Hattburg: In light of the shortage of skilled workers and managers, stereotypes are sure to decline: Economic constraints will bring about societal change. When demand changes, the context shifts. Room for new things is created – and chances arise. You can view that critically because it’s a result of necessity and not insight. But something is moving. I’m looking forward to it. Due to the shortage of skilled staff and managers, more women with children will also gain access to the boardrooms of larger companies. And particularly the competences that are traditionally labeled as feminine, such as thinking long term, acting responsibly, doing several things at once, are urgently needed in corporate management. Teams of women and men are optimal anyway. In my view, long-term change works only in cooperation and with understanding for each other. The respective strengths can complement each other best that way.

Interview: Vera Gaidies | Photos: Get Your Wings gGmbH, Bettina Volke, lbday.brainlight.de

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