“Example is not the main thing in influencing others…it is the only thing.” -Albert Schweitzer
“I’m sorry that good-looking people like us made you throw up and feel bad about yourself.” – Derek Zoolander
How do leaders create a climate or environment people want to work in?
By modeling healthy leadership.
People will emulate what they see modeled.
Great post in Harvard Business Review today
Bad leadership models come in many shapes and sizes. The worst ones do appalling things like berate people in public or take credit for others’ work….ever worked for one of those?
But be beware of these less obvious infractions because your folks will model the same:
Failing to inspire. Bad bosses are often described as passive or apathetic. To motivate your people, you need to bring energy and enthusiasm to work…enthusiasm is contagious.
Not taking action on poor performance. When you accept mediocre work, it discourages productivity. Set stretch goals so you don’t inadvertently let people coast. What you accept…others accept.
Refusing to set direction and vision. Weak leaders have a murky view of the future, don’t know precisely what direction to take, and are unwilling to plan. Give your subordinates a clear path forward…and they will go there.
Negative model….Negative response
Positive model…Positive response
What leaders model, the potential leaders around them do. What leaders value, their people value. Leaders set the tone…
Also…we need to always be improving, learning, growing…the people that follow us–they can only go as far as we go. If our growth stops–our ability to lead stops…personality, methodology, etc, can not substitute for personal growth.
Bottom line: We cannot model what do not possess…you just can’t fake it. Hence…be a leader in permanent beta…always learning, growing, and trying to get better.
Would you agree?
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:2, 3 NIV)