I observed another great lesson of recognizing the power of the example you set as a leader this weekend at my niece’s wedding.
Once we arrived at the wedding reception, my 2-year-old granddaughter, Sylvia was noticing the older children out on the dance floor and some of their activities. She quickly proceeded to go out and follow them around doing whatever they were doing, which was some of the wildest, fastest pace dancing you have ever seen, among other things.
Later as the dancing officially started her Mother, Abby, took Sylvia out on the dance floor with her. Sylvia intently watched her Mother, and then emulated the same dance moves she made. She modeled exactly what her leader was doing! No words were said, she just watched, and did the same thing.
This happens everyday between parents and children, and leaders and followers. Servant leaders recognize that they are on stage everyday, and they capitalize on this by insuring that they align their words with their actions, knowing that people will be following their lead.
Jesus practiced what he preached. He walked his talk every day. When he washed his disciples’ feet, he demonstrated what true servant leadership is all about. That is how you build character. You model the way!
If you want your leaders to be out among their teams and be present and approachable, then you need to model that as well. If you want them to be encouraging to others, then you need to be the chief encourager. If you want them conducting 1×1 meetings with their people, taking a coach approach to their leadership, then you need to model what that looks like for them.
Albert Schweitzer once said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing”.
So what are you doing to insure you are walking your talk, and modeling the way that you want others to follow?
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. John 13:12