When my daughter was five, she overheard me complaining about visiting my mother-in-law. I’m sure she didn’t hear the whole conversation. It would have been helpful if I’d have taken the time to fill in some of the gaps. What she got was the negativity.
It was a long drive. I had a lot of work on my plate. And I wasn’t sure if I had the time to visit Grandma, but we made the three-hour trip to visit Mary.
When we got to Mary’s door, I expressed how much we were looking forward to the visit.
My daughter looked me square in the eyes (with Grandma standing right beside us) and exclaimed, “Dad, I thought you didn’t like Grandma.”
It took a long time to dig my way out of that hole.
You never know what kids hear or the meaning they make from their experiences. But parents and care-givers know they are always watching us. Taking cues. Learning behavior. Observing and being educated.
Children don’t do as we say – they do as we do. This is true whether it’s how much time we spend on our devices, the language we use, or the attitude we have about our work and our life.
The same is true for any leadership.
We are always modeling the behavior we can expect. People are always watching us.
When you are promoted into a leadership role, you don’t get more power – you get more accountability.
You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be conscious.