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Leading By Example

By Michael Zipursky

It’s midweek and the sun is beaming in through your windows. The room where you work from is getting hotter every minute. Your friend calls and suggests you go out for a drink and enjoy the sunshine.

What do you do?

Just last week you added a note in your schedule book to pick up the phone and call 10 prospective clients to setup meetings. You know it’s what you need to do, but as the time to make the calls nears, you decide to work on your website and update your social media profiles.

Our integrity as consultants, leaders and business owners (even has human beings) is determined by how we treat others and ourselves.

You’re thinking this will help just as much. Will it really?

You signed up for a program to help you improve your skills so you can become more successful. You expected overnight success and it hasn’t come. You’ve decided to call it quits and tell your instructor that the ‘program isn’t a fit’.

Is that honestly the case, or is there another reason giving up?

You promise to send payment to your contractor. Except they haven’t been performing the way you’d like them to. It could be them, or it could be your failure to train and teach them. But now you’re finding a way to hold back sending the payment you promised them.

Do they deserve that? Does it even matter?

Our integrity as consultants, leaders and business owners (even has human beings) is determined by how we treat others and ourselves.

In each of the above examples there are two paths available.

One, you can choose to find reasons why things don’t work and blame anyone and everything you can – except for yourself.

Two, even if only 10% of things work out for you, that’s where 90% of your focus and effort are placed. You choose to see the positive. To follow through with your commitments and do whatever is necessary to succeed.

If you’re ever in a situation like this, ask yourself, if my client did that, what would I think?

Turning the tables and jumping into the other persons’ shoes is a powerful way to see things from a different perspective.

How would you feel if your client decided to focus on less valuable work when you’ve both agreed they need to focus on the higher value actions to reach their goals?

How would you feel if your client wanted to end your project early, because suddenly they thought it wasn’t ‘a fit’ for them, even though you’ve done your best to serve and support them?

How would you feel if your client didn’t pay you, even though they agreed that they would?

Act the way you want to be treated. Because if you don’t, how can you expect anyone else to?

Commitment. Action. Integrity.

10 thoughts on “Leading By Example

  1. Kelly Nealis says:

    Integrity counts. Big time. One of the main reasons America was a phenomenal business success was due to it’s legal infrastructure. As the Bible states: Be honest in weights and measures, and business will come to you.

    On a more personal level, I truly believe that you cannot be consistently successful unless you are consistently honest. Never try to cheat your employer (you’re really cheating yourself), be dedicated and do your very best.

    As for those in positions of authority; do your best, always, to reward your employees fairly, show no favoritism, let no worker wait for what is due him. Serve the people you are responsible for with integrity and fairness.

    These are traits that employers look for, and traits of good companies to work for.

  2. Trudy Phillips says:

    Must admit that I have been guilty of the first one.

  3. Jeff Griffiths, CMC says:

    Good article Mike. Your first example reminds me of the first 2 rules in “Big Bucks” (Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles), which I’ll try to paraphrase here: #1. You can’t make big bucks until you’re having fun… which leads to #2: You can’t make big bucks until making big bucks is more important than having fun.

    I think we’ve all been guilty of it. Your second example is also really pertinent – “busy” doesn’t mean “effective”.

    And as you’ve pointed out, it’s all about integrity, which is the absolute cornerstone of professionalism. Decide what’s important. Figure out what needs to be done. Then do what you say you’re going to do.

  4. Francisco says:

    Principle centered leadership. Even further, integrity in all aspects

  5. Kumuda Gururao says:

    Well said Michael. There is no doubt about the saying that we must act in the way we would like to be treated.

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