We have all heard the saying, “do as I say, not as I do.” What is this truly putting out to the universe? Definitely not authenticity. In fact, I would argue people focus on what leaders do more than on what they say. What is the outside world’s view of your role? What do want your followers to see how you lead?
“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your personal example” ~ John Wooden
Think about you as a parent which is one of the most fundamental and important leadership examples on earth. How are you showing up for yourself, your partner (mate, spouse etc) and most importantly what examples are you demonstrating for your children, your most important followers?
There is so much data out there to prove it is not what you say but how you say it. Are you being kind with your words and are you being calm in your delivery really showing your followers they are important through your delivery of information? All this is tied to you serving them while BEing the best example of a leader.
So, what example do you wish to be? What leadership are you modeling in your role as a leader? Regardless, please stop telling people what to do and start showing them how you lead. These examples will become so critical in their development. What about giving direction to my followers you ask? Yes, of course we want to communicate through words etc. So as a leader how are you communicating?
Speaking of which, are you ‘swimming’ around just being busy? Telling everyone through words is bad enough. However, some leaders actually try and demonstrate how busy they are by not responding and not engaging. Not a great example and certainly not someone you wish to follow. But yet these leaders are often the same men and women telling you to be more responsive and engaging. Are you really busy or are you not committed to be a great leader? To my knowledge creating a state of “being busy” is not setting the right example of leadership. It is often the smoke screen we create so that we do not have to be accountable for all of our actions. The easy excuse….” I am too busy; I am so busy”. Really?
Leadership 101 is to set the example of what the role should look like. Perception of those we lead should provide defined steps of how to be every day from our interactions with our co-workers, friends and family members. Making the choice to live authentically is not always easy or for the faint of heart. It is a process of showing strength through being humble, listening, conducting courageous conversations and being present in our interactions with all of our conversations and actions.
Let’s think of someone who you look up to. Why is this person attractive to you? Is it their accomplishments? Their financial success? Have they provided the path for you to follow so that you can achieve your goals and vision? Do they provide a personal example of a true leader?
Here’s a question for you. Do you believe this person of true leadership sees the same qualities in you? Meanwhile, look in the mirror and ask, “Am I demonstrating leadership or am just talking about it?”