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5/20/12: Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters – Lead by Example

You know how there are some things that I hear that make me completely nuts?  Like when you make a comment that implies that you are just ditzy or in any way not smart?  You know how that makes my head spin?  Here’s another one:  “Do as I say, and not as I do.”

Please don’t ever let me hear you say that…to friends, to little kids, or someday to your kids.  Here’s the thing.  People learn from you by how you act, not by what you say.  That doesn’t mean your words aren’t important…because they are.  It just means that when you say one thing, and do another, it is ONLY what you did that people will remember.

This is most important to remember when you are leading, when you are teaching, when you are interacting with someone who looks up to you.  In those cases, you must walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.  That may sound cliche but it is so very true.

In my last job, I was fortunate enough to lead some pretty awesome people.  And when I left, there were some who went out of their way to tell me that their admiration for me was because of the way that I conducted myself.  They told me that I set an example, that they learned something by observing how I behaved.  And they might have learned something from what I said as well, but I know that if my words and actions had been out of synch….they would have thought I was just another hypocrite.  There is nothing that could honor me more than for someone to think I behaved in a way that they admired. Words are just words.  Actions matter.

If a parent hits, their child will learn to hit.

If a parent is disrespectful, their children will learn disrespect.

If a parent is kind, their children will learn kindness.

It is pretty simple really.  Don’t wait until you have a child.  Set the example with everyone you meet.  When you screw up, lead by example and apologize.

Shine your light into this world, and when you illuminate the way, people will want to follow where you lead.

Practice what you preach.

Walk the Talk.

Lead by Example.

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