Pamela Mattsson

Pamela Mattsson is the director of Executive Development at Amazon.  A seasoned executive coach and thought leader in the leadership development industry for over 15 years, she spent the past six years as the Managing Director of the global consulting firm Axialent leading complex culture change initiatives all over the world. Pamela is a dynamic facilitator and brings special expertise in innovation and inclusion using an experiential and humanistic approach.

She firmly believes that the distinction between work and life is a false polarity.  Her leadership philosophy is that life is happening all of the time and true leadership is about taking responsibility for what we are creating, reconnecting to our inner core, our humanness and authentically honoring our values.

Pamela returned to the US seven years ago after a 12-year stint abroad in Switzerland, France and Sweden.  She just celebrated her 27th year of marriage to her Swedish husband and is the proud mother of four children with a wild and woolly age range of 23, 21, 14 and 8.  She is a feisty southern belle, a passionate and professionally trained chef and avid world traveller.

Who are the members of your family?

Lars, my husband of 28 years, 57, Alexander 24 (son),  Adrian 22 (son), Annalis 15 (daughter), Amelia 9 (daughter)

From your experience of working with many women, how would you describe the mental models of mothers returning to work?

I think it is a combination of excitement and dread. Motherhood changes you – I literally gave birth to my greatest teachers. It grows you up. Little things no longer hijack my attention I know what truly matters for me. At the same time, societal views can be seductive especially ones that either expect you to be/do everything or judge someone who is trying to do just that.  It can be a catch 22.

How can organisations avoid penalising mothers in the paid workforce?

Normalise wanting a family, make it easy to take time and create the structures in place that the tasks don’t suffer (like job sharing, great cross-training), interrupt the belief that being “indispensable” is valuable and make it clear that being indispensable is not good for you or the organisation.  Encourage reasonable hours and availability, celebrate working from home opportunities, etc. There are lots of actions that organisations can take but I believe the biggest need is a shift in mindsets around motherhood and executive presence. We have to redefine what an effective leader looks like.

In what ways throughout your career have you navigated being a mother? Tell us about your lows, and your highs.

As a mother of four over generations, I have had to navigate internal and external challenges. Highs were having enough travel and meaning in my life to not sweat the small stuff at home and getting caught in the trap of conversations with my children and my partner only being about logistics, chores and coordination or the opposite, feeling stressed at work and bringing that home where the quality of my interactions and my perspective and positivity suffered.  I have found it hardest when our kids need us the most, hard to leave small infants for me, especially nursing and hard to leave teenagers in angst.  My high is when I feel fulfilled on all levels and low is when I am feeling inadequate in any area – motherhood, balance, partnering, AND this is often a series of thoughts attached to a particular perspective that unfortunately feeds itself.

When do you ask, “am I doing this right?” and what is it in relation to typically?

Parenting while balancing an executive position.  Rarely is it work-related, typically balance and the quality of my precious interactions with my children and partner have me question the most.

You’ve been on the receiving end of comments about your husband’s involvement in childcare, what do you think is going on when fathers are congratulated for their ‘fathering’ contributions? How does this land with you?

It is often a combination of social norming and unconscious bias, rarely do I hear it as intentional. However, I find it infuriating and often respond as such with things like “would you ever ask my husband this?” when asked for example, “how DO, you travel with four children?”; “oh your husband is a gem, I saw him at the bus stop yesterday!”

What’s the difference between the mother you were with your first and who you became as a result of your last born child?

I think I raised my first son focused on doing things “right” and changing the trajectory of how I was raised, moving from patriarchal authoritarianism to compassionate attachment parenting. However, the focus was more on what I was doing and who I was becoming as a mother. With my fourth child, I see my experience as a mother and my maturity as a human serve me in that my focus is much more on keeping her flame, wildness, uniqueness alive and the focus is on her aliveness not my “performance” as a mother.  I feel so much more free and relaxed as a mother now.  Just ask my oldest son!

What inner conversations do you have about choosing to create a life on your own terms rather than a templated one?

Many many, many, daily actually.  My conversations are primarily around listening to my resonance and dissonance and doing my best to live the truth of who I am while balancing being in relationship with others trying to do the same.

What are you responsible for?

My responses, my perspectives, my emotions, my needs, my wishes, my desires, my well-being, my self-expression, my fulfilment, my impact, my purpose, my life.

You’ve lived in several geographical places, in what ways are working mothers perceived differently depending on location?

Wildly different in Europe than in the US in my experience, especially Scandinavia.  While I believe there are more working mothers in Scandinavia per capita (you’d have to confirm this to be a fact right now), they are more supported with time off, leave, balance, job sharing.  I find Scandinavia, in general, to be about 30 years ahead of the US in terms of equality and open mindsets.

In Sweden it’s normalised for both parents to work, what does this bring culturally as well as at individual levels?

It brings gender parity and creates the conditions for true partnership – I find in the US one person’s career can be valued over another’s in a partnership and I don’t see that as much in Sweden.  It means that maternity and paternity leave are one in the same and that childcare only starts after both parents have been home.

What generational contracts have you intentionally broken and intentionally brought with you particularly in relation to mothering and work?

I have intentionally broken ones that see women as property of men, less than and unable to make decisions, especially financial ones. Where women are only in exist in service of their men and asked to look the other way when they feel disrespected or mistreated in exchange for the roof over their head and access to a pay-check. I have brought with me the strength and ownership of being the matriarch and avid defender and protector of my brood, I have brought unconditional love and compassion blended with passion and strength.

Serving (others) is etched into the mother contract, how do you negotiate within yourself and with others about this aspect of being a mother?

It’s a challenge, I enjoy serving literally and metaphorically.  I think the risk is when I fail to listen to my own internal cues and do not set boundaries.  When I am not responsible for my own energy management, boundaries and needs, I can still serve but not cleanly, not freely and that can lead to resentment.

What are the ways that women are viewed right now geo-politically?

I think the with American politics and politics worldwide including our government, military activity and war, women are more polarised and activated than ever.  I myself was so incredibly grief-stricken and angry over the election and found it to be a wake-up call to the underbelly in the US.  I have never felt more politically inclined and at the same time have never been more sure that love and compassion are the answer.

In what ways do we as mothers give away our power?

To our drive, to our children, to societal expectations.  It is up to us to have the courage to decide what is “enough” for us no matter how small or big that is, to role-model fulfilment to our children and to only hold ourselves to our expectations not what the world wants from us.

Where do you yourself put a lid on your power?

When I get seduced by obligation and a version of being responsible instead of fulfilled.

How do we get past the social norm of ‘ladylike’ and instead move into our bold empowered truth-telling selves?

Keep pushing and expanding it, first within ourselves (what are our rules, are they serving us?) then pushing and expanding expectations, compassionately, transparently.

If you could have a billboard anywhere saying anything, what would you put on it?

My Leadership Philosophy: The distinction between work and life is a false polarity.   Life is happening all of the time and true leadership is about taking responsibility for what you are creating, reconnecting to your inner core, your humanness and authentically honoring your values.

And finally, what is the one common denominator between mothers? (beyond children)

Maintaining your own identity outside of your role as mother.  If you need a shorter answer, it’s simply resilience.

Connect with Pamela by clicking the link below:



78 thoughts on “Pamela Mattsson

  1. I simply couldn’t leave your website before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard info an individual supply to your guests? Is going to be back ceaselessly to investigate cross-check new posts.

  2. I was more than happy to uncover this website. I wanted to thank you for your
    time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to check out new things in your site.

  3. Spot on with this write-up, I actually feel this amazing site needs far
    more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more,
    thanks for the info!

  4. My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of
    the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on several websites for about
    a year and am worried about switching to another platform.

    I have heard very good things about
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  5. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would definitely benefit from a lot
    of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this
    okay with you. Many thanks!

  6. Your method of explaining the whole thing in this
    article is genuinely good, all be capable of without difficulty
    be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

  7. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell
    to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to
    tell someone!

  8. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but
    your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future.

    All the best

  9. A person essentially assist to make significantly
    articles I’d state. That is the first time I frequented
    your website page and to this point? I surprised with the research you made to create this
    particular submit extraordinary. Excellent

  10. Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.
    I appreciate you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark
    this page.

  11. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of
    this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that
    “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance.
    I must say you have done a excellent job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads very quick for me on Safari.

    Superb Blog!

  12. You’ve made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your
    views on this web site.

  13. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long
    comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway,
    just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  14. My brother recommended I would possibly like this website.

    He was once entirely right. This publish actually made my day.
    You cann’t believe just how much time I had spent for this info!
    Thank you!

  15. I blog quite often and I genuinely appreciate your content.
    Your article has truly peaked my interest. I am going
    to book mark your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week.
    I subscribed to your Feed as well.

  16. I do not even know how I ended up right here, however
    I assumed this publish was good. I do not realize who you are however definitely you are going to a well-known blogger in case you are
    not already. Cheers!

  17. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are
    you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress
    because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options
    for another platform. I would be great if you could point
    me in the direction of a good platform.

  18. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as
    you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a weblog website?
    The account helped me a appropriate deal. I have been tiny bit familiar
    of this your broadcast offered shiny transparent concept

  19. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specifically the closing phase 🙂 I care for
    such information much. I was looking for this certain info for a long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  20. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you
    get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any help is
    very much appreciated.

  21. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout
    on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it
    yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it
    is rare to see a great blog like this one today.

  22. I do agree with all of the concepts you’ve introduced in your
    post. They’re really convincing and can definitely work.
    Still, the posts are too quick for newbies. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time?
    Thanks for the post.

  23. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really helpful & it helped me out
    much. I hope to give something again and help others like you helped me.

  24. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog
    and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing in your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  25. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while
    you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog web site?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast
    offered bright clear concept

  26. Thanks , I’ve recently been looking for information approximately this subject for ages and yours is the best I’ve came upon so far. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the source?

  27. You can certainly see your expertise within the article
    you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers
    like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.
    Always follow your heart.

  28. It is in point of fact a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you just shared this useful info with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Good day very nice site!! Man .. Excellent
    .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also?
    I am glad to search out a lot of useful information right here in the post, we need work out more strategies
    in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . .
    . .

  30. I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new things you post…

  31. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  32. What¦s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & help other users like its helped me. Great job.

  33. You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart. “In order to preserve your self-respect, it is sometimes necessary to lie and cheat.” by Robert Byrne.

  34. Hello very nice website!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also?KI am happy to seek out so many helpful information here in the publish, we need develop more strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  35. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  36. It’s in reality a nice and useful piece of information. I’m happy that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

  38. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that it is best to write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo topic but usually people are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  39. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i?¦m happy to express that I’ve a very excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much certainly will make sure to don?¦t omit this website and give it a look regularly.

  40. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Today bloggers publish just about gossips and web and this is really annoying. A good web site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  41. The core of your writing whilst appearing reasonable initially, did not really settle perfectly with me after some time. Somewhere within the paragraphs you were able to make me a believer but only for a while. I still have got a problem with your jumps in assumptions and you might do nicely to fill in all those gaps. When you can accomplish that, I could surely be impressed.

  42. Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and on no account seem to get something done.

  43. naturally like your web site however you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the reality then again I?¦ll certainly come back again.

  44. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Excellent work!

  45. F*ckin’ awesome things here. I’m very glad to see your post. Thanks a lot and i am looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.