Albert Schweitzer said, “Example isn’t the main thing”. What he was really saying was that all the words we speak as a leader mean nothing if your life doesn’t back it up.
Being credible is a critical quality a leader should possess. Hypocrisy is the biggest killer of credibility.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said “You can issue all the memos and give all the motivational speeches you want, but if the people in your organization don’t see you putting fourth your very best every single day, they won’t either.”
The old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words,” applies in leadership. Most people are visual learners. Most people need to see an example or model before they really understand.
It’s true the words we use are important in communication. Good communication helps with clarity. But good modeling brings to life what we are communicating.
Probably the most valuable gift we can give others is a good example. Leadership is more caught then taught.
A survey was taken by a professional staffing corporation. They asked employees what single trait they wanted most from their supervisor, and the resounding response was for their leader to lead by example.
In the end, transforming communication combines clear speech and consistent modeling.