The Boomerang Effect: Leading (and Living) by Posture and Presence

I got up early this morning with email hackers on my mind.

Yesterday, while driving to a dinner appointment, I started getting texts/emails/calls from concerned friends that my primary email account had been hacked. Like almost all of the bogus emails floating around (and I get them frequently from just about everyone on my email list) this letter declared I was in London (I wish!) and needed money (true enough) so please send 1000 euros immediately (to which I asked my closest friends who alerted me to the bogus email, “Did you wire me the money yet?”) 😉

My friends are smart people.
They knew better than to follow the lead of something that didn’t sound quite right.
So they did what good friends do, they checked their facts just to be sure by talking with me.

As I laid in bed last night unable to sleep, I considered how essential it is to follow the right people’s lead (at work and in personal relationships.) When we have poor leaders, poor examples, everyone suffers.

The employees suffer.
The customers/clients/students/patients suffer.
The country suffers.

Apply that principle to personal relationships too.

Family suffers.
Friends suffer.
Neighbors suffer.

No people group is exempt from poor leadership.

Sometimes, leaders just don’t know how to communicate well and their weaknesses can become strengths with experience. Other times, they just don’t care about anything but their own skin and agenda and the results are disastrous and long-reaching.

Just as I was reminded yesterday of how easy it is for some unfriendly stranger to hack into my account and try to harm and influence the people I care about, I also noted how much time it takes to repair the damage. Which is why all of us, employers/employees alike need to lead ourselves well first before we try leading others.


But don’t take my word for it. Check out this excerpt by author Jeffrey Fox.

“People take their cues from the boss,” bestselling business author Jeffrey J. Fox writes. “If the boss is always late, punctuality becomes a minor obligation. If the boss blows off customer appointments, the sales force makes fewer sales calls. If the boss is innovative and inventive, the company looks for opportunities. If the boss leads a charge, the good and able employees will be a step behind.” No one wants to work for a “do as I say, not as I do” type of leader because, in reality, that person is no leader at all. Great bosses succeed, Fox says, “not with policies, but with posture and presence.”

Remembering that what we give almost always boomerang’s back at us…eventually…makes me mindful of the value of living an authentic life despite my ongoing failings/weaknesses/setbacks.

I don’t think it gets much better than when someone you care about and respect says, “I’m so glad we’re in this together.” And we can honestly say in return, “Back at ya!” And mean it.


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