More on ‘Walking the Talk’

26 Jun

South Carolina governor Mark Sanford disappeared for almost a week, and when he was found, he was having an affair with a woman from Agentina. Yesterday, I spoke of the importance of being at your post when you’re the leader. After all the hard work you put in charting the course for the crew, you don’t want the helm to have to steer itself. That’s what the governor did, and that is the mark of a very poor leader.

Today, we’re going to discuss the affair that Sanford was having. I believe that it is actually an important part of this because this is a man who is a known spokesman for family values. He was one of the first to denounce former President Bill Clinton during the affair with Monica Lewinski. If you, as leader, are going to preach something, your own life had better well reflect what you are preaching.

Mr. Sanford’s life certainly did not reflect what he was preaching.

As a front-line leader, your crew will look up to you and strive to be just like you. I’m not saying that your personal life has to be perfect, but it helps if you can lead yourself and your family first. Your family is a reflection of you, and if you can’t lead them, then you don’t belong in leadership.

Everyone has problems in their personal life, don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t have perfect situation right now. But what steps are you taking to get out from under the imperfections? Tolerating imperfection is one of the earmarks of a bad leader. Taking steps to correct them is the mark of a good leader.

The only reason that Governor Sanford admitted the affair is because he got caught. If you aren’t following what you expect your crew to do, admit it first, and correct it. Don’t wait for someone to uncover the dishonesty. Or, more appropriately, don’t wait for someone to publically decry the dishonesty. Crew watches management closely; if you’re being dishonest, they probably already know. It will be better coming from you, and they might even forgive the indiscretion.

Find imperfection wherever it lurks. Work to correct it. When you aren’t practicing what you preach, admit and correct it before someone else uncovers it for you. In other words, walk the talk. Can you do it?

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One Response to “More on ‘Walking the Talk’”

  1. luc August 21, 2009 at 4:58 am #

    would u like some coffee

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