Ever had a boss who would wax eloquent on the virtues of punctuality, but would himself turn up late to office every other day? Ask you to never ever compromise on quality, but would be the first one to do so when faced with a looming delivery deadline? Forever chant the “Customer Is Always Right” mantra, but bemoan about a client’s stupidity to anyone who cared to listen?
If you have worked under such a leader, then you are
likely to have experienced frequent bouts of disappointment, betrayal and disenchantment
with your boss and your organization.
Leaders who practice the "Do as I say, not as
I do" philosophy are the greatest “morale busters” an organization can have.
They gradually destroy a team’s passion and enthusiasm, and spawn a culture of cynicism
and distrust among the members.
Being a role model is the most important aspect of being a leader. A team always looks up to its leader for
support, strength, guidance and motivation. So it becomes imperative
for a leader to “walk the talk” and lead by example.
“My life is my message”, said Gandhi. And sure it was!
So what was it about Gandhi that motivated millions of people to take on the mighty British Empire not with weapons but with Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satya (truth)?
Very simple. Gandhi practiced what he preached. He led by example!
He lived by his principles of non-violence and truth. As an advocate for simple living, he renounced his western lifestyle and lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community. He also gave up his western attire for the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he handspun on a charkha (spinning wheel). He ate simple vegetarian food, and undertook long fasts as a means of both social protest and self-purification.
Since Gandhi always did what he said and said what
he did, he built a tremendous amount of trust, faith and loyalty among his
followers. They knew that he would never ask them to do something which
he would not do himself. Under his inspirational leadership, Gandhi managed to bring together Indians from across diverse segments of society and made them work unitedly towards a common goal. And succeeded in making the impossible possible… winning India's Independence without fighting a bloody
According to Gandhi, “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons
of preaching”. There's no arguing with that one!