I’m sure that each of us, in our lives, has heard the admonishment of “do as I say, not as I do”. Well, never have emptier words been spoken than those.
I recently completed a study that dealt with this very issue. It taught about the way our actions speak louder than our words ever could. I believe consistency is the key to allowing people who observe us, to trust us and to model after us. To allow them to see that the things we claim as truth are the very things we live out day by day.
The old adage of “seeing is believing” is a little off, it should be “believing is seeing” in the instance of leading others in the best way to go. They will believe the things we teach them IF they see us acting out those teachings.
It always astounds me when adults who smoke are disappointed that their own children smoke. “I told them it’s bad for them, I don’t know why they do this!” Hmm. Let’s think about that one. And it’s not just smoking, that’s an easy target. Things such as being a gossip, cursing, angry outbursts, lying, dishonesty – all of those things are lessons learned by children observing the adults who have the most influence on a young life. Those behaviors also contribute to the atmosphere in a work environment. The buck stops at the desk of the leader.
The next time you are hoping to lead – whether it be a group of adults at work or one, small child…make sure that you are living out your teachings. The best way to lead is to be a person worthy of following.