Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

My father was (and continues to be) a fantastic role model. I've always looked up to him and sought to live by the example he set. As a kid, every once in a while, I would catch him in some sort of contradiction. His glib response was "Do As I Say, Not As I Do!" Both of us realized the humor and irony in the statement. Both of us realized the real intent. The lessons I learned and the values I have were largely set by the example of my parents.

Today, we seem to see so many executives essentially saying "Do As I Say...." Their personal behaviors and actions within the organization go contrary to what they are saying. Is there any wonder, why their organizations are confused and maybe do the wrong things? Leaders must set the example for their people in their own behavior. If the leaders can't demonstrate the behaviors, attitudes, or values expected, then how can they expect the organization to do so?

In "Leading By Example", John Baldoni addresses these issues head on. The book is mandatory reading for any executive, but a good summary can be found in the
Leading Blog.

Our first responsibility as leaders is to demonstrate what we want through the personal examples we set for everyone around us.

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