“What you do and say is always being observed by someone impacted by your actions.”
As parents, adults, and leaders the best lesson we can provide anyone, especially our children, is to lead by the example of how we live our lives. Telling someone what you expect, believe, or demand is only credible from a leadership perspective if that is the standard by which you both lead and live in your life.
Rule-ality #1: You are not exempt, above, or excluded from your own rules.
Rule-ality #2: You are required, obligated, and expected to follow the rules you have set for others.
- If you tell your children to respect their elders, you cannot call your boss an idiot!
- If you tell your children they are to obey the driving laws, you cannot blast through a red yellow light because you are running late!
- If you tell your children that drugs are evil, be careful how you manage your own alcohol consumption!
- If you tell your children they cannot lie, then you have to stop saying “don’t tell mom (dad)”!
You get the idea! Our children don’t listen to us. They do not need to. They only need to watch us. How we abide by the rules we set for them and those that are set for us, provides them all the information they need for creating their own standards.
You desire for others to be more responsible in their lives, yet you continue to be less responsible for how you manage yours. There is always a reason why you are exempt from the rules you don’t like; yet, others are not as easily exempted from honoring the rules you believe must to be honored.
The standard is the rules — like them or not. Don’t like them, then change them. Don’t like them, you must honor them anyway. Don’t like them, respect them until they are eliminated or improved. Set the standard. Be the standard — you have other option.
Your kids, your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers and your employees are all watching. If you don’t want this level of responsibility, too bad — you are the one that started demanding and expecting something from someone else. You created a standard. Now you have become a standard bearer of integrity and leadership to your own rules. Congratulations and enjoy!!