I saw a performance of the Blue Man Group this weekend. If you haven’t seen the Blue Man Group, it is a show that features three men who are painted blue, and provide a 2-hour show without ever saying a word. It was an entertaining show; unlike any other I had ever seen.

In reflecting on the show I thought about the fact that these three individuals were able to entertain an audience, and gain active participation from the audience through nothing more than their actions and facial expressions.

It made me think about the power and importance of being fully aware of the message that we are sending as leaders in the way we conduct ourselves. We might be saying all the right things, but if our actions don’t back up what we are saying the communications is for naught. People may doubt what their leaders say, but they usually believe what they do.

I always try to emphasize to leaders that they are “on stage” every day, that their people are watching their each and every move. It is through the leader’s actions that the values of the organization (the culture) come alive.

Albert Schweitzer once said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing”. This was certainly true with my father, who was one of my main mentors in my life. My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. I’ve learned a lot from watching him my whole life.

We all have a platform, an area of society that we interact with people, and have the opportunity to set a powerful example of servant leadership by our actions. It is important to take that responsibility very seriously, and be intentional about the example we are setting. The impact that you can make by serving others in your leadership capacity can have a positive impact for many generations!

Mark Deterding