Being a parent, we should probably understand this concept, but surprisingly enough, not many people do understand. They live by the philosophy ‘Do as I say and not as I do’. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed though…this doesn’t work. You can’t moan at a child to stop smoking when you are a smoker because they are copying the example that is being set for them.
The same goes for the workplace. If you are in a senior position and you want your staff to conduct themselves a certain way, then you would need to conduct yourself that way too, otherwise they will not be following you. For example, you cannot reprimand them if they are late and yet you arrive late to work daily, this would them show double standards and people do not like double standards at all. It’s the first thing they’ll complain about to higher management.
I am a strong believer in leading by example. I am also a strong believer in ‘Actions speak louder than words’. My family has said that they are quite positive that I say these two things about 600 times a week (they just over exaggerating, I’m sure), but that is just proof that I believe in these concepts.
Let me give you a personal example…I was a smoker. I didn’t smoke a lot (one box lasted me two days), but I did smoke daily. I had tried to stop smoking for a long time but never succeeded in this endeavor. Almost two years ago my daughter started smoking and I told her I was very disappointed because she knew how much I wanted to stop and couldn’t and now she’s put herself into the same boat. Anyway, after a few things happening and me informing that I could no longer afford to smoke or have her borrowing money from me to smoke, I informed her that she will be stopping. She was naturally very upset and I informed her that she can do it, she’s a strong girl like her mother. It was at this point I realized that this was not going to work if I continued to smoke myself because then I would not be leading by example. I then boldly informed her that I would be stopping too and this was what I said to her: “I am a strong women that has been through a lot in my life and have made it through with God’s help. Why on earth, should I allow cigarettes to make me their b@%&ch any longer? It’s a piece of paper with dried plants in it and I will no longer be ruled by that nonsense!” I prayed about it and asked the Lord to help me stop. I said to her that I would be stopping from the Monday (just because I’m slightly OCD and wanted it to be at the beginning of a week so that it would neat, haha, yes I’m crazy, I know). When that Monday came, I did not even think about smoking. The Lord was faithful and He helped me because it has been 9 months and I don’t even miss smoking a little bit. In fact, when I smell smoke now, I gag.
Storm did have a bit of a lapse, but I caught her out and she is now sitting on 4 months today and seems to be going strong. Now…I would not have been able to impose this upon her if I was still smoking because this would have been a complete double standard and I don’t believe in those. I know how much I despise suffering from a double standard, so I would not want to impose it onto someone else.
I think that one of the best ways to try and remember to lead by example is if you expecting something from your child or staff and you notice that they are not complying, ask yourself, “Am I guilty of doing the same thing as what I’m expecting them not to do?” This will always help you see if you are in the wrong. At this point you also need to be honest with yourself. It also doesn’t help saying that they just have to listen to you because you paying them…people don’t operate like that, trust me, it’s a human thing. Although, you’re welcome to get robots to do the job for you and they will gladly follow their programming (and only their programming).
It would also be a good thing to remember to treat people the way you would want to be treated, another important concept.
Anyway…enough with the heavy for the day. I hope everyone is having a lovely Autumn day out there with all the beautiful colours. Autumn makes me think of that song from Pocahontas – Colors of the wind. Please show me some love in the comments and let’s chat.
Enjoy the moments,