Have you ever been to the doctor and she tells you to stop smoking, yet you see a packet of cigarettes in her pocket? Or maybe your doctor tells you that you have to loose the weight, but he is overweight himself? A case of pot calling the kettle black. It is demotivating and hypocritical, and it can have a negative effect on you. Why should you listen to a doctor who won’t even take his or her own advice?
As a manager or even just as a human, how much of an example do you set for others around you?
Have you ever asked someone to do something that you would not do?
Setting an example is more than staying out of trouble. It is an important element in leadership. By setting an example, you are showing the way. It is an active process that raises standards and goals, and it is a great deal more than just avoiding the wrong things. Setting an example means doing the right things and knowing why.
Take a moment and think about the people you admire or a position that you would like to be in. How do your role models behave and what examples do they set? Think about the actions they take, both positive and negative, an how your opinion of them may have changed because of their actions. What would you do in their position? Oftentimes, our actions have unintended consequences, and it is important to consider the effect we have not only on those close to us, but also those that look up to us.
By considering the example you set, you can gain insight into you leadership style. Often, what a strong leader does is just as important as the advice or directions he or she gives. Do your employees seek to emulate you because you are leading by example? Is this an area where you already shine or do you need to do some work on it?
Albert Einstein said, “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”