The old saying goes ‘you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time’, yet every day I see examples of leadership where the leaders believe that they are giving people an example, but they are not following this example themselves.
The reality is that people don’t hear what you say, they do as you do. Yes, your actions speak so loud that people cannot even hear you.
Leadership is so predictable and people will do exactly as you do. Think of the most corrupt politician you have ever heard of; I bet you that if I asked if you thought he was a good leader you would probably say ‘No he is terrible’. Did I ask you if you thought he was a terrible person or did I ask you if he was a good leader? It will shock you to know that that corrupt politician is a fantastic leader, and all you need to do is see how many people are doing exactly as he is doing, and they will even try to steal more than he is. That is leadership, but you cannot tell people to be honest when you are trying to steal as much as you can.
In our lives we tell our children to be polite, patient and respect people, then we don’t seem to understand when they are rude to someone.
Leadership is not something that is reserved for a few, it is part of life and we are always setting an example for someone.
In the investment business I am involved in, what I do is more important than what I say. As an example, if I have a personal investment of $200 and I am suggesting to people that they should invest $1000, how much do you think the average person will invest? Yes you guessed it, they will invest $200 or less. People do as you do, never as you say.
Your word may be gold, but your actions are priceless. Leadership is definitely not a fool’s game.