Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Great Leaders, Example and Lip Service

   All effective leaders should strive to lead by example through not only their words but their behavior. The unintended consequences of a leader's behavior does subjectively rain down upon those who listen. When leaders say one thing and do another, it is not only dishonest but disheartening.
   Yes, leaders make mistakes. No one is perfect. Things do not always work out all the time, every day, all day long, but, the general intent of a leader should be clear and honorable.
   There are many types and levels of leaders within our communities and families. A father, an older sister, a Captain of Industry, a Minister of faith, the Lifeguard at the Community Pool, a mother, the privileged, the owner of a small local business such as the dressmaker or dry cleaner, an office manager. What is your level of leadership? What type of example do you set as a leader? How do you inspire others to strive to be better? How do you motivate yourself to be better?
   Especially in today's maximum paced, multi-media, multi-technology, multi-cultural society, the multi-effects of any number of actions or speech from a leader has many multi-effects on the listeners and participants. In other words, ask 20 people in a room what they heard and saw, and you will get 20 different answers. Again, the general intent of the leader should be clear.
   Eleanor Roosevelt famously said: "We teach other people how to treat us." And we really do.
   Being a leader is hard. Leaders set an unspoken tone through their actions. Leaders have to be able to communicate and state your case, then listen to all those who oppose your case. There will also be those persons who did not understand your case, or were not fully listening and only heard parts of your case, or only heard what they wanted to hear, or took offense to your case. Leaders should try to patiently explain their case. They also should strive to unite and include through their words and actions. If your words do not match up with your actions, your words are eventually heard as empty, lip service.
   Leaders should strive to inspire people. Leaders should be positive, kind, charitable, and forgiving. We should all treat others as we wish to be treated. There is always room to say; "I'm sorry." There is always a chance to say: "I have failed." It is through failure that leaders learn, adjust and succeed.

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