Perhaps because a few months ago I had my leadership book, titled, SHOW ME: Leadership By Example; What It Means To Be A Leader, published, but recently I have been disturbed by how often in our every day lives, so many seem to overlook the example they are setting for others by their every day actions.
A primary qualification for true leadership is resolving to accept personal responsibility, and never (ever) resorting to blame. However, how often do we notice political leaders run totally negative campaigns, never stating the positive actions or programs they would propose or favor, but rather condemning their opponent and playing that very blame game. In a recent newspaper article, the writer stated that, for example, in the upcoming presidential campaign, both candidates have been thus far running almost entirely negative advertising. Whether it is because they both want to run away from their records, or they feel it is a better campaign tactic, what lesson is that teaching observers, especially younger people? Also, what does it say about each of them as true leaders?
True leaders set an example for others to follow. When we observe an official vehicle speeding or disobeying other traffic laws, in non-emergency situations, what type of example are they setting? When parents disobey traffic laws, or speak on their cell phones while driving, or fail to wear their seat belts, etc., what message are they sending to their children? When a municipality doesn't clear the snow from the sidewalks in front of their properties, how do they have the right to expect others to clear their sidewalks? When adults litter, or don't put recycled items in recycle bins, what do children learn from that? When official vehicles idle their engines for more than the five minutes the law allows, or parents keep their engines running waiting for someone, what do children learn from that? When people double park on Main Street or elsewhere, rather than pulling over to the curb, what do people learn from that?
These are just a very few of the everyday, seemingly inconsequential actions, that many of us don't even think about, that end up having far more far-reaching ramifications. Shouldn't each of us take care to realize that we are constantly leading by example, and these behaviors can either be favorable or unfavorable? Let's all commit to focusing on our own actions more, taking more personal responsibility, blaming less and leading more, and teaching others good lessons!