In the movie industry, there is a rule that encourages producers to show rather than tell. The same rule applies to producing great leaders in your business. For maximum impact, you should train your leaders by showing rather than just telling. The “do as I say do and not as I do” mentality has infected every aspect of leadership whether it be corporate, religious, or political. As a result, we have seen a crisis of leadership that permeates every part of our social core.
One of the first leadership challenges is how to manage unexpected disasters. If you don’t manage them well in your personal life, you shouldn’t expect to do any better in your business affairs. Such challenges usually involve you needing an emergency infusion of cash. Get it in the wrong way or from the wrong source, and your problems are compounded rather than eliminated.
Never grab the first loan you see. There are always options. Study the lending landscape and learn about the various loans that are available even to people with less-than-perfect credit. Learn more about the options you have for overcoming a crisis before you make a costly mistake.
You need to look both ways before crossing a street even in dire emergencies. And you need to do the same when that emergency is financial in nature. Teach your employees how to manage a crisis by the way you make calm deliberations during times of stress. Here are some other lessons for you to share by modeling:
Invest in What Really Matters
When you invest in putting your workers through a leadership training program, you are showing them what you think really matters. Your future leaders will know how much the employees matter because they see you investing in them.
The same goes for health and safety. It is easy to talk about health and safety, write policies about health and safety, and hold health and safety seminars. But it is quite a different thing to invest in safety measures that are also effective.
Many companies have safety policies that pass inspection. While at the same time, they have many accidents that lead to personal injury and time off from work. In such cases, there is a disconnect between talking about what is important and actually investing in what is important. The key has nothing to do with staying one step ahead of the auditors. It has to do with keeping your workforce healthy and safe.
Cultivate an Atmosphere of Accessibility and Inclusiveness
How accessible is your worksite? Making it more accessible will demonstrate the importance of having an accessible workspace for people with disabilities. You can start by installing wheelchair ramps and handrails in public restrooms before you actually need it. You can have one or two large monitors ready to go for people with low vision who need everything magnified. This is just the beginning of what it looks like to make a workplace more accessible.
There is also inclusiveness which is similar to accessibility. It is about making every kind of person feel welcome at your place of business. This might include zero tolerance for any type of inappropriateness regarding race, gender, and religion or lack thereof. This is the kind of thing you cannot just legislate. You have to model it in the way you and other leaders in the company carry themselves. Inappropriate slurs of any kind should seem completely out of place at your place of business.
If you spend every waking moment at work, sleep in the office, and never take a break, that is going to set an expectation for everyone working for you. It is not healthy for you. And it is not healthy for the people who work for you. The leaders under you will drive employees into the ground in a misguided attempt to make everyone like you.
If you want the people in your company to be mentally healthy, happy, and well-rounded contributors to society, you have to be all those things as well. You cannot allow your obsession with making more money be that which defines the work life of the people around you.
Many things about your company can be taught with words alone. But the most important things like investing in what matters, inclusiveness, and balance must be modeled if they are to make a lasting impression.