The other day I was in Hobby Lobby with my entire family. 3 kids and a husband. If you aren’t familiar with Hobby Lobby, it is a very large craft store, some pre-made items and then craft supplies galore. As I was helping my oldest daughter look for beads (she is my entrepreneur with her jewelry business), I was watching my youngest.
She had brought her Disney Princess phone in the store. She was walking up and down the aisles “working on a deal” while looking at beads.
It was really quite the sight. At first, I laughed. She is seriously the cutest and it was hilarious to watch. She had no idea that anyone was watching her.
As I thought about that concept more later in the day, I realized that this is exactly how it is as a supervisor or leader.
They Go the Way of the Leader
She learned those behaviors from her Dad and I. We both work from home and she’s home some during the day with us, so she sees our behaviors.
Then she replicates what we do.
Leadership in the workplace and parenting have a lot of crossover in regards to examples. You should be a leader in your home as a parent, but just like the workplace, you can be a boss and not be a leader.
What we do in the workplace sets the tone for our teams.
Are you looking at your phone or screen when someone is talking to you? If you don’t want your team to do that then you can’t do that.
Do you communicate openly? If you want your team to communicate with you, you have to communicate with them.
Is a collaborative environment important to you? Then you have to create an environment of collaboration.
Do you set the tone on what it means to be productive? If not, then you need to manage your expectations of your team.
Does your team know that you are reliable and dependable? If not, you have a bigger problem than you anticipated.
Is your team reflecting the behaviors and values you want in the company? If not, then you aren’t showing them what truly matters. You aren’t leading by example.
Leading By Example
In my book, So Your Boss Can’t Lead?, I talk about the concept of Leading by Example and modeling the way. It reads:
“Every action, or inaction, you take communicates to your followers. Even when you don’t think anyone is watching you, they are. They are watching to see if you believe in the vision and mission of the organization and see if you empower your staff like you say you will. They are watching to see if you can be trusted, to see what your core values and guiding principles will be, waiting to see if who you say you are and what you stand for is in fact true, to see the authentic you.”
As we enter the last month of 2021 (boy did this year fly by!), I want to encourage you to reflect and ask yourself one simple question as you continue to lead:
Are you setting the right example in your organization/team?
As the leader goes, so goes the team.
Here’s to your success!
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Stephanie German is a business strategist, adjunct professor, and speaker. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and loves giving back to her community in a variety of ways. When she’s not coaching clients or writing about leadership, Stephanie is usually headed to the mountains or the beach with her family, drinking savory wine, or working on the latest project with her husband. Stephanie’s greatest desires are to raise up the next generation of leaders while raising her own children to be strong, independent, and brave. She lives in Fresno, California with her husband Blake and her three spunky daughters, Cara, Kinsey, and Peyton. She is the best-selling author of So Your Boss Can’t Lead?