CEO Coach Robinson Blog # Eleven How important is it for you as a leader to be able to change your behavior?

by jeremy.robinson on June 23, 2011

You’re a leader and have the power of example- both positive and negative-for tens, hundreds or even thousands of employees in your company or organization.

Suppose you had a stutter as the future King of England did, as depicted in the movie “The King’s Speech?” Suppose you were able to overcome it in the same way he did?

You may be a leader in name but you truly become a leader of others when you show your own humanity and take a risk by talking about a hardship you’ve faced or overcome.

These days we swim in deep seas of mindless information. We wake up when we hear or read stories of leaders who’ve made changes- even the smallest kind- and are willing to self-disclose what they learned though their experiences.

You’re a leader: so lead. Tell people around you what changes you’ve made. Don’t just ask others to take risks. Take risks yourself, first. Be a power of example.

The power of example is what makes us powerful. Not our titles. I have had the honor of hearing many powerful stories of leaders and their followers in the course of my career- so many powerful stories from so many different people it feels like swimming in the River Ganges with all of them.

I’ve heard stories of leaders overcome serious illnesses from cancer to MS to depression. I’ve heard about leaders who rebounded from the suicides of their siblings, car accidents, even murders of family members. I’m honored by the amount of trust placed in the coaching process by these courageous individuals.

I’ve had my own hardships to deal with around illness and some other matters- although this is not the place to annotate those experiences. What I’ve heard and experienced myself has taught me unforgettable lessons in both overcoming adversity and how loss is part of our lives- no one goes through life without facing some type of hardship.

It is up to you how you use the power of your story to related to others. Your story of how you’ve changed or overcome a situation or hardship is often the most inspiring thing that your people will ever hear from you. They’ll remember you for it. And trust you even more in your telling it.

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