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I have two sons, both of whom showed interest in riding street bikes as teenagers.  If you or your kids ride them, I have no quarrel with you, but my admonition to them always went something like this:

“You’re welcome to bring street bikes home, but fair warning, I will drive over them with my truck.”

You might find that policy great or you might find it repugnant, but I can assure you that you don’t find it as onerous as my guys did.  This is perhaps because I myself own two street bikes, one of which does the quarter mile in 10 seconds.  And I love them both.  They’re fantastic. My dubious rationale is that if I get smoked, it’s really not a huge deal as I’ve lived a long life already, but for them (from a statistical point of view) taking that kind of risk at their age doesn’t make sense.  Detractors may label this double-speaking casuistry, but I think of it as plain old hypocritical good sense 😊.

This is a good illustration of ‘the credibility gap’ and now that I’ve exposed my own hypocrisy, I’m going to give you a challenge and maybe expose some of yours:

Unless you’re modeling the behaviours you want to see in others, you’re not a leader.

So, try this:  Think right now of the three behaviours you want your team members to display.  They might look something like this:

  1. Take ownership of the job
  2. Work hard
  3. Life everyone’s spirits

Now, score yourself out of 10 on each of these values.  How do you score?

No one exceeds the example set by their leader

If you score a seven, everyone around you will score between a four and a six.  If you score a 10, you’ll be surrounded by eights and nines.

Setting a good example doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be an effective leader.  But not setting a good example does guarantee that you absolutely will not win in a leadership role.

So, don’t be like me.  Practice what you preach, and watch others follow your lead.

Getting ahead is about getting started!

Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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