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Friday Reflection: We teach by Example

What kind of culture do you want for your organization?  Most people, leaders and team members, answer “a positive one.”

Like everything else in leadership, creating and maintaining a positive culture is a thoughtful process-it just doesn’t happen by itself.  And like other things in leadership, culture is a reflection and function of your leadership. Your team watches and observes how you lead and how you react and they consciously and unconsciously mimic you.


Teach by Example

Students taught me this lesson years ago.  Each Friday students would gather for student government. Side conversations prior to the opening of the meeting were loud.  I would stand in front of the room and at 9:00 AM call for silence with my arms folded across my chest (please don’t do what I did, I have since learned much more effective behavior management).  Every once in awhile pearls would drop from my mouth like, “I have all day,” or “I can wait as long as I need to.”

One Friday a student approached me and asked if he could kick off the meeting. I said, “Sure.”

The young man got up in front of the group and at 9:00 AM sharp proceeded to do a perfect imitation of me. Arms folded. My tone of voice. The words I used. He had been watching and I had been teaching. He had been learning without knowing. I had been teaching without knowing.

  • What do your actions teach your team?
  • Are you aware of your impact on people?
  • How can you influence people for the good?

Identify a behavior you would like to see your staff emulate and think how you can best model it for them.

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