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Leading By Example

It is never OK to live by the old axiom …Do As I Say, Not As I Do!


Whatever leadership role you have … parent, supervisor, manager, executive, CEO or King/Queen … people will look at your actions and be influenced.

Today’s Kit Grant newsletter was on this topic and he starts with a quote from Einstein … “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”

Kit goes on to say … People do more of what they see than what they are told. You cannot underestimate the influence that management staff have on employee behavior.  Front-line staff do NOT invent behavior, they copy their boss. If the boss is enthusiastic, it significantly increases the likelihood staff will show a similar response. If the boss doesn’t really care, staff will copy that behavior too.

NOTE!! They do not assess which behavior is “better”, they just copy what they see! Pretty scary, isn’t it? What model are you exhibiting on a daily basis? Hope it’s good!!

As a parent do you ever find yourself exasperated and telling your child to “Do it … BECAUSE I said so!”   How effective do you think that is?

As a manager when we don’t support the company culture, or we goof off early, or we take some office supplies home for our kid we are telling our staff that its OK to act that way.

When you roll your eyes because you don’t really agree with “that particular’ company policy you are undermining ALL of the company policies, telling people they can use their own judgement about what THEY think is reasonable.

You get on your computer and check the hockey (soccer/football) pool, set up your weekend plans and maybe have a quick game of solitaire … but no-one knows right?  Wrong!  Everyone knows, and they get the message loud and clear; if its OK for you then it must be OK for them too.

Everyone knows that the private calendar entry is so you can go to the dentist during work hours, or meet up with a buddy for golf on a Friday afternoon! 

The ONLY way to manage is with a set of principles that you apply equally to yourself as well as the people that work for you.  You do not want to be in a position where you are forced to “punish” people for things you do yourself … because you set the bad example! 

Leaders must LEAD by example… do you?