You ever work for someone who was upset their team wasn’t getting the results they wanted, but they never looked in the mirror to see if they might be the problem?

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I once worked for someone who always said we needed to focus on raising up leaders in the organization. This was great in theory but he never took the time to develop those he oversaw.

Another time I worked for an organization that had policies in place in regards to workplace behavior. However, our boss didn’t take it seriously and follow the polices. In the end, no one that directly reported to them did it either.

One time I had a boss who was never in the workplace. They would pop in for a couple hours a day, but no one really knew what they did. This led to a decrease in productivity amongst the staff.

These bosses were all upset at the productivity and quality of work at some point or the other. They never stopped to consider this very important piece of the puzzle.

What you model in the workplace will be duplicated by your employees.

Growing up, the vision we were shown as to what a true leader is was someone pointing the finger over others. They would say things such as “do this, do that, get this done right away.” The reality is, that is not what leadership is about.

You might be a terrible boss if you act that way, but you aren’t acting like a leader.

As business owners, as supervisors, and as managers, you model the way. However you act and behave is how they will act and behave. What you model is what becomes acceptable.

I’m About to Bring Up Politics But Stick With Me….

The biggest thing that I am seeing these days is a lack of true leadership. This has been highlighted amongst our elected officials, especially where I am here in California. As we are all aware, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Our leaders have told us not to do certain things because we are trying to keep numbers down and keep people out of the hospital. Then it turns out, they are doing the exact thing they say they don’t want their people to be doing.

What is the outcome of this?

  1. We aren’t going to trust our leaders if they have a “do as I say, not as I do mentality.”
  2. People are going to follow the example they are showing. Even though they are telling us this is what you all need to do, by their behavior, they are saying “we aren’t going to give up what we really want to do, but you need to go ahead and do what I say. I’m going to elevate myself to this other position and am not going to live by the same rules you do.”

This is the same for organizations!

As a leader, you have to show that you are willing to sacrifice, just like you are asking our employees to sacrifice.

Leaders have to be willing to do the dirty work sometimes and jump alongside your employees and help them when they need it.

You have to show you are trustworthy.

You have to show that you are not in it only for yourself, but also for the employees and the larger organization.

If you are wondering why are my employees behaving the way they are, or are not accomplishing something you expect of them, then take a long look in the mirror and evaluate your own behaviors. Could they be a reflection of what you are modeling to them?


I empower business leaders, creatives, and entrepreneurs to develop their leadership skills, develop workflows that are beneficial for them, and to create work-life integration so they live a life they love. Set up a free 30 minute consult if you are ready to up your leadership game. Click Here.

If you are a leader or emerging leader who wants to lead with meaning and purpose, then let’s connect. Join me at the Emerging Leaders Network (a community on Facebook) community designed for leaders to collaborate on best practices and discuss issues to become great leaders.

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Stephanie German is a leadership coach and consultant, author, and adjunct professor. 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?

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