Today there is more opportunities for quality leadership training to include books, videos, classes, seminars and so much more. Why is it that we seem to have fewer leaders? Almost every week someone is caught up revealing their lack of integrity on a microphone that they thought was shut off or a video that reveals their real intentions or what they really knew. What are leaders of tomorrow to make of all of this? Those of us who are in the prime leadership season of life need to rise up. We need to begin looking at the example we are setting. Our legacy is at stake.
Leadership examples take longer than 30 second sound bites
Yet, too many are looking as our example as sound bites. Nearly every week I talk to folks about helping their neighbors and getting to know strangers and make them friends. Those speeches and conversation could be great sound bites and I am hopeful that it will inspire neighborhoods to rise us and eradicate poverty one household at a time. But the example must go beyond that moment in time. I must actually stop and help the person whose car breaks down alongside the road. I must get to know others in the community and let it cost me time and money to help those that need it. All of life must reflect the sound bites. It is this example that has the power to change a community.
Leadership examples are shared that show a successful bottom line
But too many are looking at only one bottom line to define success. CEOs are honored when they bring in a profit to their company. They are applauded in magazines and get interviews on all of the networks. Leaders are watching and seeing fame for that success. Suddenly they start to forsake families and health to find success. As they lead their companies they hurt the environment and hurt their workers. They are looking for the spotlight rather than long term success. When you look at the examples of great leadership, look at all of that leader. How is their life beyond the boardroom? Are they able to maintain a marriage? How are their children? How is their health? Follow the whole example not just a portion!
Leadership examples tend to only show the glamour of leadership
Yet, too many are looking at image over character. Real, sustainable and legacy building examples are few and far between. Is our example real truth? Do your children make fun of the newspaper articles because they know the truth of who you are behind closed doors? Your success must become more deeply entrenched and stretch beyond the surface. This will require time. You must seek to study, understand and develop compassion for all areas of life. We must develop daily and grow healthier physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. All of your being must grow. Rejecting any portion will make your success shallow. Storms will come into your life. Will your life survive a great depression era? Will your marriage survive a season of conflict? If you have not sunk your roots deep, it won’t.
The truth is, example is real leadership. Choose carefully what examples you follow but look and be the example that can change the world. Our world desperately needs leaders today who are great examples. Will you be that example?