“Sh*t Rolls Downhill” – A lesson in setting the example

“Sh*t Rolls Downhill” – A lesson in setting the example

I once worked under a manager who used this statement about setting the example as a leader. Once you understand it, you start to see it around you in every encounter with businesses. If you take the time to be introspective you can ask yourself what example you set for your team.

A Tale of Two Leaders

One morning I went for breakfast with my family. We were seated in a restaurant in an outside area because the weather was perfect. You know the sort of day.

Something did not feel right in this restaurant. We weren’t greeted well when we came in and our menus came late. Initially we attributed this off to them being busy.

That is, until I found a hair in my coffee.

This is a common problem. I wasn’t upset and simply called the waiter, who refused to get me another cup. The manager came to our table and said I should expect it because we were sitting outside. (it can sometimes feel like an episode of Sesame street)

Later that same weekend we were at a different restaurant for lunch. The staff was friendly and the service was great. Even when they found out that they were out of stock of an item we ordered the team were amazing. While eating, a random person approached our table to ask about our meal. This person was the owner and had just popped in for the afternoon. He, too, was friendly and caring in his service.

Gravity is constant

No matter your business, or industry, or organisational layout. The type of leader you are will “roll downhill” to your staff.

Are you patient? Then your team will be too.

Are you happy to serve? Then your team will be too.

Do you respond well to criticism? Then your team will too.

Do you blame others for failure? Guess what…

Take the time to think about the failings you see in your team. Do you do the same? Are you living the values and behaviours you want of your team?

Also Read: Social Media, Friend or Foe?

Unspoken Culture is strongest

Growing up, my mother used to ask us to clean up our rooms. In the instances when she would give us a reason and start cleaning up herself, we knew she meant business. If we didn’t clean, we were in for it. There were times when she would ask us to clean our rooms and then sit on the couch with a magazine. We knew then she didn’t mean it and we could safely ignore her instruction.

This unspoken display was much stronger than the spoken instruction. This happens in the workplace as well and illustrates the importance of setting the example.

Your team are looking for a beacon to follow. They are looking for someone who has proof that their job is possible. They are looking for an example and a role model.

Will they find that in you?

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