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A Legacy of Humility or Arrogance

Humility - More is caught than taught.

More is caught than taught. I often sit back at big company sponsored meals and watch the leaders and the would-be leaders. If they knew my observations, I think they would be surprised. Some might even get offended.

I watch leaders who stand in the corner and wait for people to come to them. Lines form as if people must wait to pay homage to royalty. I see leaders holding court and telling their “war stories” as people feign interest. I also see leaders ignore people and spend all their time on the phone, away from the people they lead.

Now if we believe the old saying, more is caught than taught, what are these followers catching from their leaders? They are probably catching that the leader expects the attention of the led. The leader believes that everyone should hold them and their experiences in high regard. The leader’s time is valuable, and we should all feel honored to get some of it.

I have also witnessed another type of leader in action at these events. They hold similar or even higher positions, but they approach things in a very different way. I’ve seen leaders who move through the crowd and introduce themselves as if people didn’t know who they were. I’ve seen leaders who ask so many questions about an individual’s personal life, you never hear the leader talk about himself. I’ve watched the same leader never pull out his cell phone during a three hour meal and give complete attention to the people in the room with him that night.

Again. Consider the statement, more is caught than taught. What are those followers catching from that leader? Maybe they see a leader demonstrating that he believes and acts like “it’s not about me.” They witness a powerful person who does not see himself as any more important than the rest of us. They watch a leader set the example in how to listen and demonstrate that they care about the people they lead. They see a leader who knows that the people at that dinner are more important than the messages that are filling up his phone during dinner.<