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Leaders Model The Way

#growth #leadership Mar 15, 2024

I’ve got two amazing kids!

I am extremely blessed as they are good human beings and are way more advanced than I was at 11 or 16. Maybe even at 30!

Sometimes they do stuff, like leave their dirty dishes around, the lights on, argue, say a word out loud they shouldn’t, give attitude, bad mouth others, whatever…anything that gets my wife or I on a different emotion.

I've realized that all of the nagging to get them to do something different is pointless.

Because people don’t do what people say. People do what people see. 

That is the Law of the Picture from John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. 

I wish I had read a book or had a mentor like John Maxwell in my life in my twenties when I was a young teacher and baseball coach. I had a giant ego, a character that lacked integrity and humility, and a mouth to match. 

I recall making my JV Baseball team run and run and run when I heard them cursing or throwing equipment. Not 20 minutes later I’d be yelling at the umpire, kicking over the bats, just acting a fool. 

When a player called me out on it I said, “and don’t I look stupid doing it…don’t be like me!”

But that’s the thing. I didn’t realize I was their model. I was their mentor. I was who they looked up to and watched daily.

I failed them. 

So whether it is my kids, members of our team, our staff, when they do something that does not align to my vision our our agreed upon values, I can’t just tell them they are wrong. 

I have to ask two questions. 

The first is to them. 

Hey, “When have you seen me doing this?

We might be inadvertently setting a precedent through our own behaviors. Leaving dishes in the sink, yelling at other drivers, judging or complaining down about other employees. 

The second question is to me, How well am I modeling the behavior, the values and the principles I speak? Are there areas of my life that are not in alignment.

If there are, begin working on those immediately. 

Keep making a difference,

Dr. Tom

Oh, and a special thank you to those who have pre-ordered my soon to be best selling book on High Performing Schools. Get your copy now…only a few left in the first order. >>click here<<

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