Thankfully my time as a driving instructor is long gone.
When we taught our sons to drive, we were confident we knew what we were doing. We were both teachers, of course. Our tactic was the same both times – spend a couple of months giving them road experience, then about a month out from the test, we’d get Ernie, the local instructor to lead the boys toward the test. For both of them Ernie’s first job was always to ‘unteach’ the parent’s bad driving habits. What bad driving habits, I ask?
We just can’t help transmitting the seemingly invisible to the people we lead.
Recently, I’ve noticed examples, both positively and negatively of how the leader’s DNA filters throughout the whole ’body’. Even as I watched the TV news tonight, there was a report about the sacking of a state board at a significant not-for-profit, after years of bullying complaints, “In order to be true to why we exist, we need to ensure that any structures that exist are there at the service of the people and not the other way around.” Those at the top were responsible for the culture and behaviour toward all the staff and volunteers, all the way through.
Another leader I know constantly speaks vision, as a result the people are empowered to think big, to expand their capacity and try new things. Most importantly, at every level of the organisation the staff feel valued and confident in the part each one plays toward achieving the vision.
Who would you rather follow?