Kira Wagner asked:
The focus for the moment is on leadership style. We’re all leaders in one way or another. The questions are: Do we lead by example, or is it “do as I say not as I do”? Do we realize the effect that our words as well as our actions have on ourselves?
The saying “actions speak louder than words” has been around since it first appeared in the 1692 book, Will and Doom, by Gersham Bulkeley when he wrote “Actions are more significant than words”.
I, like many others, was taught that our actions were the things we did with our bodies. Doing something with our hands, our feet, our bodies–THAT was an action. Talking about something wasn’t DOING something–there was no action.
It seems that we’ve forgotten concepts that have been around for years – words – spoken or written – require action to be delivered. Our very thoughts are actions within the synapses of our brain.
The idea that “thinking” about something is the same as “doing” something was documented for us over two thousand years ago.
We hear the question – “How loudly do I have to yell before you’ll hear me?” asked in a hundred different ways everyday. The parent, the employer, the boss, the president of an organization…even the self-talk within the boundaries of our mind are yelling to be heard. If not the volume of the voice, it’s the volume of the actions.
The mark of a true leader is not in how much we do or how strong we appear. It is in how little we do and how “Zen quiet” we are that identifies a truly powerful leader.
Leading, whether it be ourselves, our family, our volunteer organization or within our business–is not about the rules or regulations, the “should” or “shouldn’t”, or the “will” or “will not”. It is about the growth of the individual or group as well as the natural process of unfolding and exposing the strengths of all concerned.
A leader is able to hold up the mirror of leadership to everyone they encounter and allow them to see the leader within themselves. As that process evolves, so will the natural evolution of the organization that they are accountable “for” and “to”. Even if the “organization” is simply that of our own lives.
Looking at our levels of frustration, anger, health–in general our own angst–is a good mirror for how we are leading ourselves as well as others.
If we find ourselves yelling to get our point across, we’ve lost touch with those we’re leading. We’ve lost touch with the purpose of our involvement.
When we choose to encourage rather than enforce, to support rather than suppress, and to discover rather than demand, we find peace of mind, prosperity and freedom in all of our endeavors.
Can you find the ability to Lead with Silence?