The “cycle” of leadership

I was in a local restaurant recently and a man came up to me and said, “I recognize you from early mornings at the gym. You’re an inspiration!” For the record, I’m definitely not the muscle bound, Mr. Olympia type, and I certainly couldn’t recall anything inspiring about my 5 AM trips to the gym. Perspiring, yes. But inspiring? I wasn’t sure how to reply, but he went on to say he sees me on the spin cycle bike every morning. Apparently, that’s inspiring to him. It actually made me feel kind of good, too. And I thought I was simply going to the gym to exercise, stay in shape and try to slow down the aging process! There’s a great lesson in this funny story. Some leaders are very self-important and need everyone to fall at their feet when they walk by. On the other hand, some leaders can be aloof and not realize the effect that their actions have on others. Oftentimes while going about our “business,” we forget that people are watching and taking their cues from us. Leaders, how will others see us respond to adversity? Will we have a positive, can-do attitude? Or, will we complain, poor-mouth and take the “glass half-empty” approach? Will we serve others? Or, will we expect others to serve us? We have a tremendous responsibility to inspire and encourage those that we have the privilege of leading. While a servant leader should not be consumed with what people think of him or her, he or she should, however, be aware that others are watching. They are looking to see how they should handle certain situations by how the leader handles them. They will determine how they should treat others by observing how the leader treats others. What kind of example will you set? After all, you never know when simply riding a spin cycle bike will get someone’s attention.

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