The mother was pushing her young child in the grocery cart as she perused the items on the shelf. The four or five year old boy was pointing at different items, declaring that he had to have each one of them. Generally, his mother ignored him as she went about shopping. Eventually, one item really caught his eye and he became very emphatic with his demands.
I was just a few feet away when I heard the words spill from his mouth, “I want that *&%$#%&!”
As the father of two small boys myself, I was shocked to hear that language come from this child’s mouth. I was shocked no longer when that mother placed her face two inches from his and angrily snarled, “I told you never to %$@# curse!”
He was hearing what she was saying, but he was learning what she was doing. Those you lead will hear what you say, but they will duplicate what you do.
If you demand punctuality, but are always late for meetings, your team will follow your lead. You are leading by example.
I heard a story recently about a boy and his father. The boy came home from school and said, “Dad, the school is having an exclusive gathering and you are invited.”
His father was impressed until he realized the small gathering only included his son, the principle, and himself. The next day they went into the principal’s office where the father learned his son was to be suspended.
“Why?” asked the father.
The principle replied, “He is stealing and no matter what we say he has not stopped.”
“He is not that kind of boy!” the father declared. “I’ve taught him better than that! What is he stealing?”
“He is stealing pens, reams of paper, pencils, and things of that sort.” responded the principle.
The father was beside himself, “Why would he ever steal stuff like that. He knows I could just bring them home to him from the office!”
Without realizing it the father was leading by example.
You are leading by example. In these next three posts we will look at three examples you live out while leading your team.
The first example you live out daily is your confession.
Those you lead will hear what you say, but they will duplicate what you do.
You unmute your leadership when your words align with your actions and expectations.
My pastors often say, “Words create worlds.” Your confession is so powerful that it changes your destiny. Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Your confession directs your destiny.
Your confession becomes your team’s reality.
Complaining about your up-line releases them to complain about you. Confessing hard times will create a poverty reality in the team. Your team will hold back needed resources on a project or expect disappointment. This will occur because you have taught them the resource is beyond their reach. You’ve led them to believe success is unavailable to them.
Confessing positivity opens the door to creativity and exploration by the team. No, they will not win every battle or succeed in every area. Your positive confession, however will spur them to give it their best effort!
Confession is not limited to what you say. Your attitudes can confess more than your words. Saying the right words with the wrong attitude damages the team. Understand that they see the reality. Your team will eventually adopt your attitude as they lead those in their area of influence.
If you exemplify a negative attitude they will turn that attitude back onto you. You will begin fighting a war on two fronts. The battle causing your attitudinal issue will not be over, and your battle for the attitude of your team will have just begun.
Yes, there are times when things are tough and hard calls must be made. As a leader you will bear burdens your team will not; but your confession should not transfer that burden onto their shoulders.
When your team sees your dedication to Next Level Leadership through your confession, they will unmute your leadership in their lives. You will lead more effectively and with less effort.
What example are you giving through your confession? Are you leading them by a positive or negative confession?
This week take a moment to step back from the day to day business and watch your team. What kind of words do you hear? What attitudes do you see? If you like what you hear and see, congratulations! You are leading well.
If you don’t like what you hear and see, change it. Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
I’m less famous, but equally correct when I say, “If you don’t change, they won’t change.” As the leader you are the agent of change in your team’s world.
Exemplify the right confession for your team… attitude included… and your team will experience great success.
I’d love to hear what you think! How do you think one can develop a healthy example of confession? Share your ideas below in the comments section.