I started to write on leadership about three years ago.
I decided that having successfully led teams, departments and organizations for over 30 years, and having had great feedback from the teams I led, that I had enough experiences to share, which others could benefit from.
Within three months, my blog had been recognized as one of the Top 50 Leadership Blogs to Follow for 2013.
I had written about 60 articles by then. I was writing about four or five a week on topics such are Reward & Recognition, Authenticity, Active Listening, all the good stuff like that.
I couldn’t believe that my writing had been recognized, I was like a dog with two tails. My wife, Carine, said she was very proud, which made me even happier.
But as we all know, pride usually comes before a fall, and this time was no different.
She said to me, “It was very interesting, I read quite a few of your articles, and I was wondering about something.”
I said, “Yes dear, is there something I can explain, or clarify better for you.”
She said, “Yes, could you explain why you don’t practice any of this leadership shit at home.”
I said, “what?”
“Active listening, when was the last time you actively listened to anything I said. If it’s good enough for your staff at work, why don’t you do that for me.”
Then she said, “And don’t get me started on recognition, I can’t remember the last time you commented positively on something I did, in fact, you barely even notice if I get a new hair cut, let alone clean the house or do the washing.”
She was right, I took so much of what she did for granted. I was happy she’d done it, I always thought she’d done a great job, but I very rarely ever said it.
I could argue I was tired when I came home, I was working long hours, or I was under a lot of stress.
But that would just be me making excuses. What I practiced and preached only applied to the time I spent in work.
Many aspects of leadership: Inspiring People; Good Communication; Positive Feedback; Trust; Integrity; and of course Active Listening, these are things that we should incorporate into every aspect of our lives.
We should use them with our friends, family, and our partners, it shouldn’t just be something that we reserve for our teams and staff at work.
Good leadership is something we should practice 24 hours a day, seven days a week in every situation.
Even though my wife has never written an article on leadership, that day she taught me an important lesson. Leadership is not a sometime thing, it’s an all time thing.
Photo: Flickr/ JF Sebastian