The Habit of Realizing that You Are an Example


There is never a time when a leader is not on display, being watched, and maybe, being judged.  People gain confidence from watching leaders lead, or they get discouraged, even fearful, when the leader thinks they are “off duty”. So, what do people see when they see you?

There is a simple habit that is necessary for a leader to practice that will help others as they follow.  That is this habit #3 of realizing, at all times, that the leader is an example.

Athletes are told that they are role models.Parents are told that their children will copy them and be like them. Teachers are told that by their work they can inspire students to become teachers.

A leader is never not a leader.  Even when he plays, he is the leader.  When he is off duty, he is the leader. People see him as the leader.  He may be a friend.  He may even be a relative, but he is always the leader.

A leader will be watched in his family, with his friends, in his business dealings, in his faith.  Some people will want to develop their lives to be like him. They will do things the way he does them, dress the way he dresses, even respond the way he responds.  I know it may not be fair, but it is reality.

So, if this is new to you or hard for you, or even a strange thought to you, give me your next 21 days and do the following steps each day.  Let’s see how you feel about yourself at the end of that time.  It takes 21 days to change or develop a habit.  The fact that you are an example, that people are watching and copying you requires you to develop this habit.  To do that, there are some things you have to understand and practice.

1.  Understand that you will be an example today. That is a given.  The only choice you have is as to what kind of example you want to be. So, what kind of example do you want to be?  Don’t say “I don’t want to do this”. There’s nothing you can do about it except decide what kind of example you will be.

2.  If you are willing to understand that there are people out there who want to be like you, are you OK with that? Can you offer them the best you? What can you do better today?

3.  Now that you understand that people watch you, if you want people to be on time, you need to be on time.  If you want people to be friendly, you need to be friendly. If you want people to work hard and finish the project, you need to work hard and finish the project. You need to set the example of what you want and expect. Today, do that all day!

4.  Understand that most of the things we do are value based.  Steve Pavling has identified 418 values that are ‘pay back’ to us. There is some value we receive from doing it the way we do it. If there is a problem, if someone is not doing it as you want them to do it, figure out why that is important to you. Once you have discovered the value involved, it will be easier for you to explain it to others. So, why do you do what you do, or, not do what you know you are supposed to be doing?

5.  Being an example demands consistency…doing it the same way each time. Nothing is more confusing than a leader who changes his reactions and the way he does things. The followers tend to wait and play it safe until they see something familiar. So, practice doing the things that are important to you every day for the next 21 days.

Today, be the example you want people to follow because you know it is best for them, be the best that you can be!

Next important habit – #4 BE THANKFUL


Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

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