In this 21 part series, based on John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I’m taking you on a journey towards better leadership. I share with you my own leadership lessons and insights. As a John Maxwell Team Member I’ll be happy to provide transformational leadership training for your team or organization. See the details below.
Part 13 of 21: The Law of the Picture
The Law of the Picture: People do what people see. ~ John C. Maxwell
Best leaders are both, highly visionary and highly practical. Leaders understand the importance of seeing beyond here and now, they ‘get’ the power of vision. Bible states that ‘Without vision people perish.’ Great leaders paint the picture for their followers to keep them focused and help them achieve more faster.
But leaders go beyond the vision. They not only set the vision, they also take responsibility for helping their followers achieve it. Yes, leaders communicate the vision to help their followers (team, clients, prospects, etc.) to see it, but the next step for a great leader is to model the vision. Modeling makes the picture come alive!
Leaders are always aware that they set the example by what they do and what they don’t do.
I remember how hard it was for me to understand the power of my example for others around me. Back when I was in my early 20s, I tried hard to separate my personal life from my leadership position.But the truth is, those around me kept watching me and called me up on inconsistencies. I was fortunate enough to learn pretty early in my life that what you do matter more than what you say.
Later with the boom of social media I’ve seen many struggle with the Law of the Picture. They tried hard to ‘preach’ something on social media, without backing it up with their lifestyles. In every single case, people stayed only until they discover the fluff behind the words.
The law of the picture is universal leadership law. The bigger your impact, the more magnified your flaws will be. Your character and your action matter. If you desire to be the best leader you can become, you can’t neglect the Law of the Picture. As you strive to improve as a leader, remember these things:
1. Followers are always watching what you do
As I mentioned above, people around you watch how you react to situations, what you do, even what you don’t do. Your actions speak louder than your words. If you want your followers to work harder, show them how. If you want your followers to be on time, lead by example. If you want your followers to honor their commitment, it’s about time for you to set the example. Because if you’re late for your appointments, fail to deliver on your promises or can’t be counted to deliver within the deadline, guess what will come back to you.
2. It’s easier to teach what’s right than to do what’s right
We’ve all been there at one point of our lives (or some more often). I’ll always remember how teachers and doctors around me kept talking about the danger of alcohol and smoking, but they were smoking themselves. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I’ve seen many peers to follow what they’d seen instead of what they’d heard.
3. We should work on changing ourselves before trying to improve others
Leaders are responsible for the performance of their people. However, the great danger lies in the temptation to try to change others without first making changes to yourself. To remain a credible leader, I must always work first, hardest and longest on changing myself. This is neither easy or natural, but it is essential.Always choose to improve yourself before trying to improve others. Click To Tweet
4. The most valuable gift a leader can give is being a good example
John Maxwell gets it right when he says that ‘Leadership is more caught than taught.’ The majority of leaders emerge because of the impact made on them by established leaders who modeled leadership and mentored them. It’s important to continue to learn from great models, but also to set a great example for others who follow you.
Today might be a good day to give yourself a character audit. Where is your behavior inconsistent with your values? Work on changing your actions, but also your attitudes.
If you are ready to improve as a leader, I’d be honored to help you on this journey.
If you’re an individual, you will want to join my Impact Academy, where I work with individuals from around the globe helping them to improve their leadership and results.
If you’re part of a team and want to step on this journey alongside of your team, contact me here to let me know about your team’s needs. I’ll be happy to offer a customized training based on your team’s needs.
This article is part of a 21-part leadership series.
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To your success,
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