Be a role model, Walk the talk, Set a good example - These familiar phrases have a common message: What we do is just as important, perhaps even more so, as what we say.
Consider the business leaders, teachers, peers, and coaches that have been influential in our life. How have their shadows influenced you? More than likely, the strongest shadows were cast by those whose actions reinforced their words.
The most effective leaders shape the culture of their organization. They cast their shadows through their behaviors and actions, and in doing so, influence everyone around them at the workplace.
For every leader, their teams would be continually watching them, looking for the difference between what they say and what they do.
You must have come across these people.
The CFO, who ensures there is no unnecessary spending but then travels first class.
A manager who tells everyone to stretch their working hours, but leaves the office at sharp 6 pm;
A floor leader who watches and ensures that his/her team is not spending their time browsing the net, but is mostly found on social sites during work hours.
If leaders say one thing and yet do another, there is a slim chance that their team might not follow them with much enthusiasm. Everything they tell to their team after that might be met with suspicion and doubt.
When you are a leader, you know you have a responsibility to your team. They look up to you for they look to you, for guidance and strength - that's part of what being a leader is.
Leadership comes with the responsibility to lead others with actions such that it inspires the people around them to push themselves to greatness, and the best way to inspire them is by showing them how it's done.
Great leaders push their people forward with excitement, inspiration, trust, and vision.
They act as role models. They understand the shadow they cast.
How has your leadership team cast a shadow in improving the culture of your organization? Let us know in the comments!