set an example or leave the building

Leadership by example has been a continuous theme here.

2008 — Wrong Medium, No Message — You have to understand what it’s like to be a node in a social network and that there is almost nothing like it in the industrial workplace or school system to prepare you for this. The basic premise is that you have to walk the talk before you can criticize.

2009 — Communities and Work — The role of online community manager is fast becoming a hot job opportunity for people who not only understand the technologies but how to exert influence in a network. It’s like pushing a rope. Leadership by example (or modelling instead of shaping) is a good starting point.

2013 — leadership by example — Perhaps the problem is the nature of leadership. Is it a skill that can be fairly quickly developed, or rather a craft that takes time to develop? When it comes to crafts, that require much time and practice, modelling may be a better method than shaping.

2014 — leadership for the network era — In our networked world, modelling behaviours may be a better strategy than shaping on any pre-defined curriculum. With modelling, the learner is progressively supported. In connected leadership, people can be both teachers and learners. Therefore neither training programs, nor coaching, are enough. Leadership by example becomes the key.

2015 — leadership is a continuous duty — [A story told me by a flight attendant] The manager’s private considerations gave way to any possibility of developing a professional relationship with his subordinate, who had lost respect for him. Respect is difficult to earn and easy to lose. Leadership by example is all the little things added up, day after day.

2018 — if you are the smartest person in the room — Leadership is an emergent property of a network in balance. Depending on one person to always be the leader only dumbs-down the entire network. We can help each other become better leaders by setting an example of constant learning and sharing.

2019 — connecting leadership — We don’t need better leaders. We need organizations and structures that let all people cooperate and collaborate to get work done. Positional leadership is a master-servant, parent-child, teacher-student, employer-employee relationship. It puts too much power in the hands of individuals and blocks human networks from realizing their potential.

2021 — leadership has a price — Leadership has a price. If those in authority are not prepared to ‘fall on one’s sword‘ they cannot call themselves leaders.

Today we are still in the midst of endemic pandemic and likely facing an emerging one. Bill Comeau has been trying to make sense of the SARS2 pandemic and freely shares what he learns on Twitter. Today he highlighted a significant performance gap from people in leadership positions at all levels of Canadian society.

I’m asking civic and business leaders in every municipality to set the standard by wearing N95 masks in public indoor settings and to remind everyone that doing so helps protect them, their community, and helps keep our hospitals running. Lead means going first …

So my simple advice is to be a leader, lead by example. There is no downside to wearing an N95 mask, but there is plenty of upside for our communities and employees.

We each have few times in our lifetime to truly lead by example. This is a unique opportunity for you to do something you will look back on and think “I did the right thing despite the pressures around me and maybe I helped a nurse from burning out or someone getting very sick.” —@Billius7

That’s it. Leadership by example is what we need, and what citizens should demand. We need to see our Prime Minister, Premiers, Ministers, bureaucrats, and healthcare professionals wearing proper fitted masks. When I enter a hospital and am handed a baggy surgical mask — designed to prevent me from spraying droplets — it is a constant reminder that so many professionals are failing our society.

respirator masks reduce chance of covid infection by 83 percent

Image: CDC-MMWR

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)