Somewhere in my life journey the phrase ‘practice what you preach’ became embedded in my sub conscious. In many ways it is the basis of my values of authenticity and truth; but I have realized another important aspect. There is always someone watching!
Now as a manager I was the first to reach out and support my staff to look after themselves, to debrief, take a break when needed and remember to put their own family at the top of their priority list. It was only after my burnout that I was able to reflect on the flaws in my message.
You see my words may well have offered all this support but my actions did not lead by example. I did not do the things I expected of others, I did not place value on my wellbeing and I certainly wasn’t practicing what I preached.
As leaders, in whatever form that may take, we need to lead by example, we need to be acutely aware that people are watching us. Some to wait until we slip up, but most to see just what is possible.
In ‘Living Well, Working Well’ my vision is to support others on their journey to wellness in Life and Work. In order to do this I have to lead by example – there is no other way for me to be aligned with my message and authentic in my words. So I try, daily, to life my life in a way that brings me close to that place of wellness. It is not massive action, not untold secret ways or hidden promises, but small everyday conscious choices.
Living Well and Working Well requires me to be true to myself and to the challenges and positives in each moment. I try to share not only the picture book perfect images of life (that we know aren’t really the full picture) but the struggle and anxiety that make my life real.
This is a Journey, not a race to some untold final destination – it is not about the end it is about the present. Sometimes I wonder if what I have to say is really of any value, but then I remember that it is not for me to judge that but those who are watching out there. My role is to be myself, share my journey and be truthful about my reality. It is up to you to decide what is relevant, what touches your heart and what you want to lean into. It is up to you which small everyday conscious choices you are ready to make.
The other day someone made time and effort to let me know that a message I had shared changed the trajectory of her day and her mindset – I was blown away with gratitude for her sharing as it reminded me I am on the right path.
Who else is watching?