In order to lead by example, we must live as examples. It’s also not a bad idea to have gratitude toward those who have served as examples (leaders) for you (in your life) and embrace a little (healthy) dose of pride when others look to you (and your life) as an example.
It’s common for people to pass around the phrase, “lead by example”, but this implies the need to have others follow. Though there are many people I “follow” in life (and no, not just on Instagram and Twitter), they are not people who have forced me to do so. Aren’t the best leaders the ones that don’t ask us to do what they do or say as they say, but the ones we crave the example of? The ones we turn to at our every decision? For some, this is exemplified by, “What would Jesus do?” bumper-stickers or “Livestrong” wristbands that serve as reminders. For most of us, it’s a person of whom we can recall memories that serve as examples to us, or simply one we can call (or text) at a moment’s notice without judgement.
Now that I, hopefully, have you reflecting on those great leaders of yours, can I ask you to reflect upon what you see in them that might live inside you? I personally think some of that reflection begins with gratitude (as I’ve shared I have for the many who’ve served to lead me and I write about on this site) so let me continue to express some here…
Last week, my stepsis (she’s my sis for all intents and purposes, but I only write out the “step” here for fear of calling myself out in a future post as an only child and you questioning my honesty – there’s only room for honest questions on this site). So, last week, my SIS (well “Sista” as she is saved in my iPhone). So, last week, my SISta was on spring break (she’s a professor of English & literature – shouldn’t we all be so lucky as to have a career with a guaranteed annual spring break?!). Ok, ok, ok so… last week… my SIS…-ta… was on spring break… and she had some time to catch up on reading my writings posted here (as she later told me through a kind Facebook post that shared my site). Later that day I get a flutter of texts expressing her love of what she was reading and learning. Later in the week I received similar ones from old friends.
My inner self is my truest leader so in living I am my own example, and when I’m one for others… gratitude & pride. We may need to glance at the wrist band or daydream about our bumper-stickers once in a while, but at the end of the day, it lives inside of each of us. On that note, I’d been running out of ideas for fresh recipes recently so maybe I’ll recreate this SISta recipe for tomorrow night’s dinner. Told you we inspire each other, sis (insert wink here).
What would happen if we live like we are a constant example — independent of whether or not others follow us? So I pose to you… How do you “live by example”?