02 Sep

Leader, take your vitamins first!

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Today morning life gave me an opportunity to be a better leader. I learnt a lesson from my son that I will always apply to become a better leader. My 7 yr old son has been a very healthy eater since he started eating.  Lately he turned into being a picky eater, not interested in eating kids vitamins and no more love for protein shakes ( being vegetarian, shakes are the biggest source of protein for us).

Something has definitely changed! He used to love taking protein shake for lunch with his food, take his vitamins without being asked and eat almost everything that was cooked in home. Me and my wife had many conversations with him and we used many techniques to put him back into his healthy habits. All convincing has not been working since last 1 year.

Today morning, I was shocked! My son was almost ready to eat his favorite cereal and then he gets up to grab his vitamins without being asked. Day before he asked for a protein shake/smoothie when he returned from school. Since last few days he is no more a picky eater to a good extent. I have been trying to understand what is making him change especially when neither me or my wife have convinced him in last few weeks.

Actually it is me who has changed!

My son has been watching and being influenced by the change I have brought in my life. Since last few weeks I have started exercising daily, taking my vitamins and eating healthy food.  Actually I have been “Walking the walk” or “leading by example” or…… In last few weeks he has seen me drinking protein shakes. When he got up for taking his vitamins he saw me taking my vitamins with my breakfast. Finally I am practicing and not preaching and that is the change.

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” – Mahatma Gandhi

This is how we really influence our teams/organizations/families/society. Knowingly or unknowingly everything we DO (and not say) is what is really replicated. One question that has not left my mind since then, do I lead my team/organization/family/… By walking the walk?

As leaders if we expect accountability we are the ones who should be accountable to our teams first. If we expect an extra effort from our team we are the ones who always have to go an extra mile. If we expect loyalty then we should be the most loyal to our teams, and the list goes on….

I hope you are a leader like that!

“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” ~ Thomas J. Watson, Former Chairman of IBM