Do as I do: Leading by example

by 09 Mar 2017
We've all heard that infamous phrase. Maybe our parents said it to us when we were younger. Maybe we've said it to our own children. But, one way or another, we've stumbled across that dreaded admonition: “Do as I say; not as I do.” 

When we hear people say this, something doesn't sit right with us. Even when we find ourselves saying it, it leaves a bad taste in our mouth. Why? I think the reason is simple: it's wrong!

Expecting people to listen to us when we don't even follow our own rules reduces their confidence in us. It's the very definition of hypocrisy. Why would anyone follow us if we aren't even willing to go where we tell them to go? Would you trust a trail guide who's afraid to go into the woods? Of course not. So how can we expect our people to trust us if we aren't willing to go out in front and lead them?

As leaders in the mortgage industry, we've got to lead by example. Rather than saying, “Do as I say, not as I do,” we need to say simply, “Do as I do.” We'll only be effective when we are enabling people to follow our steps and not just our orders. We can't just tell people what to do; we've got to show them how to do it. If we spend too much time telling people to do something we aren't willing to do, we'll lose them in a heartbeat. If, however, we're willing to lead by example, our people will follow us anywhere.