Don’t look now, but your influence is showing

There is a saying about parenting: “More is caught than taught by children.” In other words, children learn more from what they see their parents do than from what their parents say.

The same saying applies to leaders. Some leaders command an audience by their eloquence and forceful presence. But these are quickly lost when the leader’s talk does not match the walk. Leaders must tell people what is important and then live it out in their own words.

What are your followers learning about physical self-care?

Are they learning that physical self-care is as important as spiritual care? Do you model physical well-being by:

  • What you eat.
  • How you rest.
  • How much you exercise.

Do you stay home and take care of yourself when you are sick?

Do you get an annual physical exam and heed your doctor’s advice or warning?

A challenge to better physical self-care from a leader who does not model it will be a hollow challenge, and will minimize the influence of the leader. Too many leaders have diminished or cut short their careers by failing to care for themselves physically.

What are they learning about how to treat others?

If you are challenging your followers to show respect for each other, have an open mind when sharing ideas, be flexible and listen well, you must model these characteristics. You can’t talk about respect while putting down, yelling at, or embarrassing those you lead. You can’t talk about flexibility and good listening when you are sending the message that your idea is the only acceptable one.

Effective leaders are successful because they know how to build up those around them. In so doing they are able to bring out the best in others.

If you want the best out of those you lead, you must model how to treat others properly.

What are they learning about family?

As a leader you may talk about the importance of your family; you may even have family pictures all over your office. But if you are rarely at home, and regularly miss important family events and meal times, what are you saying by your actions? You must model the importance of family by walking the talk. Plan ahead to protect time with family and let those you lead know you are unavailable at these times.

As a leader, situations sometimes arise where the time set aside for family will be encroached upon; this is understandable but should be the exception. Your followers will take their cue from you when it comes to family.

As you reflect on your leadership role, would you say your followers are being shown a positive influence in the areas mentioned?

Here is a challenge, ask those closest to you if what you are saying is consistent with how you are living?

May be you are already aware of areas where you are inconsistent and need to a bit of clarity on how to reconcile those areas. Give me a call at 208-880-0307 or email me at to schedule a complimentary coaching session.