Do as I say- Not as I do!

I think we’ve all heard this expression.  Generally used to back peddle from a sticky situation with your children.  My question is:  Does it really work?

 CR- bromiliads

You can’t avoid learning from what you see.  Extreme example- The most amazing accomplishments that occur in life happens in the first two years .  In this very short period of time you learn the structure of life, “the lay of the land”, purely through observation.  You learn to laugh, cry, sleep, walk, touch, talk, right, wrong, hot, cold, more, less, fun, good, bad, etc.  This is primarily learned through minimal use of language.  Much of the learning is subtle and accomplished without realizing that you are learning.

As I have watched my children grow I can see some of my characteristics in them.  These include work ethic, education, and excellence.  These are things learned through observation.  They watched me work on the house in the yard and at work.  I made them participate in my work.  They learned what it meant to work hard.  They watched me go to night school to complete my degree.  They watched the way I would reject poor quality work.  These were taught not by lecture or instruction- they observed how it was important to me and it became important to them.

How do we teach the next generation of leaders?  Model the behavior that you seek.  Walk the walk and forget the talk.

Yes- this is a tall order.  We all slip sometimes.  We have things we struggle with.   Things that you really don’t want them to learn.  Just remember- they are watching you.  You don’t get a break on this one.  Go ahead and do the lectures and the instruction, but don’t forget the most powerful teaching tool.

Simply model the person that you want them to be.

What are some practical ways to model to lead?  What happens when you mess up?  Press comments and tell me what you think!

 

Copyright © 2013. Leading by Serving- Leadership is for Everyone!. All rights reserved.

Wake Up Sleeper!

Last week a friend of mine had a headache and vision problems, so he went to the emergency room. A little more than a day latter, he passed away. A stroke they say. He was in good health. No signs of any problems. He left an amazing family and a beautiful wife behind and alone. You just can’t make sense of this stuff.

"The best way to make dreams come true is...

This is the third friend that I have lost recently. All around my age and all very sudden. I think we all get the fact that we don’t get to choose when we will die. And many of us will die suddenly. The thing we can control is how we will live.

Wake up sleeper…the days are evil!

On Sunday, our pastor shared a message about this choice. We must learn to live our lives with a sense of urgency. Our plan for greatness usually goes something like this: I plan on starting my dream once I get finished with… Leaders are great planners. We think through the details and methodically move each piece in place. We are convinced that this is the best way, but really, its just the safe way. To reach greatness takes risk. To accelerate the process you probably will need to jump early. Waiting until everything is perfect just chews up time- you may never find just the right time.

Fear is a great motivator.
Fear is a clarifier.
Fear is an accelerator.

Safe and Sound

We are programmed to prepare for the impending disaster. We are convinced that no one will be there for you. American individualism. We must store up and save. Seek safety and all it brings. But are we really ever safe? There are countless events that could occur that will make all of your wealth and comfort useless. Safety is really an illusion. You can store your entire life and loose it all in an instant.  Struggle your whole life for nothing instead of enjoying the ride! Are you seeking security or seeking life to the full?

Check the Box

In the midst of trying to get to where we want to go we spend our time trying to check off the items we have completed. Trying to get done. Happy that something is over. I just need to get through this. What is that? We live as though the goal is to be done. Just survival. Is this all there is? Don’t you want to live, not just survive?

The Megaphone

The thing we try hardest to avoid is actually the thing that can wake us up. CS Lewis said that pain is a megaphone.  It wakes us up and brings us back to reality. When everything is going smoothly, we live in a kind of slumber of ease and security and we loose touch…

With what is really important.
With how fragile our lives really are.
With our dreams and what we were uniquely created to do.

Pain is the wake up call. It’s a way to bring you back. I hate it, yet it is like a slap on the face. You remember why you are here. What is really important. What you are doing now and what you want to get done.

Loosing these friends has awakened me. The world seems different. My priorities have changed.

Wake up sleeper-there is much to do!

Can you relate to this?  Why do we dwell on safety and security?  Do you find yourself living just to “get done”?  Click on comments and let me know what you think!