“You don’t lead people by what you say to them; you lead them by what they see you do. True leaders are self-leaders.” – Israelmore Ayivor
For some reason as I wrote this post my mind kept flashing to the movie Invictus. This is Francois Pienaar the captain of the South African National Rugby team who is portrayed in the film.
Leadership comes in countless forms; so is there a “best way” to lead? You may find this odd, but in my opinion yes, there is a best way or method to lead. And that is to simply lead by example. Yes, words can be motivating and provide guidance, but not true effective leadership. It is by showing, not telling people the best way to conduct themselves in working towards their goals or simply how to live their everyday lives. Thus, being a good leader can be summed up by the same standards as being a good role model. Leading by example has a powerful two-fold effect. Not only does it clearly and explicitly display the intended behavior, but it also shows that a person in a leadership or desired position (both literally and figuratively) actually implements these behavioral traits themselves. This may not be the best way to word this but it exudes a kind of “if you want to be like me, act like me” attitude. I don’t mean to express this in such a condescending way, its just the best explanation thats coming to my mid-afternoon dragging mind.
It’s imperative at this point that I mention the duality of the concept of leading by example. This idea is quite the double-edged sword and can prove disastrous if the wrong person (or the right person doing the wrong thing) is the leader. The actions of the leader of often scrutinized, and in the spirit of leading by example, emulated by their followers. As such it is vital that a person who is given the responsibility of leadership act accordingly and be cognizant of the fact that they need to display the quality actions and characteristics they wish to see in their followers. If this does not happen and the leader is a poor one and displays improper or downright negative behaviors, you have a recipe for disaster.
Another trait of quality leadership is not only having the ability to lead, but also the willingness to follow. This means several things to me. First of all it shows that a leader has the wisdom to understand that he may not always know what is best. Even though a leader may hold ultimate responsibility, it is still is his/her interest and that of the group to seek out subject matter experts that aren’t in a leadership role. Yielding authority and seeking other viewpoints and opinions ensures the best ideas are brought to light and increases all members’ feelings of self-worth. Second, the willingness to follow has to be something instilled in a leader before they step into that leadership role. This happens at the very beginning when a person is commencing a journey (not matter what it is) where they are looking towards a leader for advice and guidance. They need to be willing to embrace their role of follower to learn the necessary skills not only of the tasks they need to complete, but those leadership skills which will serve them when they are the leader.
Considering everything that I’ve talked about here I’m going to finish by making one more statement about effective leaders. One more thing of relevance, and in my opinion, a hallmark of true leadership is the fact that many effective leaders are not intending to be leaders at all. They may not even know how much of an influence they have over people that look up to and follow them. Simply by doing what they think is right and creating results and achieving goals they exemplify a good work ethic. This means that whether you know it or not, there could very well be people looking up to you. They are emulating you and their behavior will more than likely reflect yours. This is why we always need to be putting our best foot forward. To do everything in our lives with passion guided by honor and a strong work ethic. If you do that, you cannot go wrong, and neither will others looking up to you.
DAILY FEATURE: Vitamin C & E Supplementation
Thanks to 3Fu3l for posting this article from the The Journal of Physiology pertaining to negative effects of vitamin C & E supplemtation on performance in endurance athletics.
CROSSFIT ENDURANCE WOD
Warm-up: Stretching with PVC, 25 jumping jacks x 3, 5 dips x 3, 5 KB swings @ 35lbs x 3, 10 A/S x 3
Conditioning WOD: 15:00 AMRAP of 7 pull-ups 7 left arm DB snatch @ 70lbs/55lbs, 7 right arm DB snatch @ 70lbs/55lbs. * Scaled the DB snatches to 40lbs
- Completed: 184 reps (8 full rounds + 7 pull-ups, 7 left arm DB snatches, 2 right arm DB snatches)
Warm-up: 25 jumping jacks x 3, 10 leg swings front/back, 10 bent over hamstring stretch, 10 ankle rotations.
Rowing: 2k, 1.5k, 1k, 800m, recover 1:1
- 2k: 8:84, 1.5k: 6:46, 1k: 4:23, 800m: 3:33
First ride on the new trainer! I picked up a Kinetic Road Machine 2.0. Thus far I’m very satisfied, its extremely smooth, quiet, and provides a realistic feel. Highly recommended if you’re in the market!