We sometimes forget that we’re in the spotlight.  Whether you’re a parent or an entrepreneur – and particularly if you’re both – you are always on display.  Your behaviour is always under scrutiny. And sometimes we see it reflected back in unexpected ways.

At a gathering of friends recently, I met up with Greg, who I hadn’t seen in quite some time.  He has three children and the youngest is his daughter, Sophie. We talked about what it’s like being a dad, all the challenges, all the ups and downs.

After a few minutes, I realized Greg was a bit frustrated with Sophie.  He thought she was hard to handle and said was “something else!” Greg told me that when he had accidentally dropped a cup of water the other day, Sophie had stomped to him, wagging her finger, saying, “No, Daddy!  No more. Be careful! Very dangerous!” Greg was gobsmacked, saying she had “such an attitude.”

We chatted for awhile and then drifted into other conversations.  A short time later, Sophie did something her father didn’t like. I watched Greg go over to her and scold her about being careful just the same way that she had scolded him.

Greg couldn’t see that her habitual behaviour and mannerisms were a direct reflection of the way that he was leading his child.

No matter what you do – as a parent, as a leader — you are being watched every minute of every day.

The people around you are taking their cues from you.  They are watching every miniscule detail about how you show up in the world.  Whether you have a team you lead or a family you lead, you are setting the tone for how those around you behave.

If you turn up late to a staff meeting, you’re telling your team that your time is more important than their time.  Is that how they will treat your customers?

If you send curt, short replies to email without any warmth or heart, guess what you’re doing?  You’re telling those around you it’s okay to treat others that way – again, maybe your customers.

If you criticize someone in public in front of your team, you’re giving them permission to do the same as opposed to praising in public and giving feedback and making agreements in private.

If you are whispering behind their backs as a leader, you are basically saying that it’s okay for any team member to do that about anyone.

It’s very difficult for people to see that their business is a direct reflection of them and their leadership style. The same way that children can pick up on every little thing you do, your staff is the same way.

You need to be consciously aware of your behaviour and how you are treating others.  It’s a double-edged sword. If you’re a conscious leader and setting the right tone for your team, you’re in great shape.

But if you’re not a conscious leader, having your team follow your lead can be dangerous.  You need to be committed to raising your own level of awareness – as an entrepreneur, as a parent.

The more aware you are, the more you can model the kind of behavior you want to see.

Think about how your teams – or your children – behave. Where is that behaviour coming from?

Where are they getting their cues?  It might be time for you to ask yourself some hard questions about your leadership and how you are leading your own life – as a parent, as a partner, with your health, with your business.

The new year is coming.

What do you want to transform in 2019?

With love and wellness,

David.

P.S. This TEDTalk about having a coach is a must-see.  Great insight about how getting coached can significantly increase your performance. It’s not how good you are now; it’s how good you’re going to be that really matters.