Byron's Babbles

Everyone is Watching!

IMG_3460One of my leadership heroes, John Wooden, was a great coach and an amazing person of true character.  One of many of his quotes was:

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” ~ John Wooden

While I totally agree with this quote, I also believe that leaders need to remember that everyone is watching as decisions are being made. This past week I have had several situations happen where I have had to make decisions and take action knowing that everyone is watching. Honestly, I was was very aware that everyone was watching and was actually taking this into account. It seems to me that a leader’s character and core values are tested most when EVERYONE is watching and it is in that environment that many leaders fail the test of true character and walking the walk. I wish Coach Wooden was still alive to ask him if: Perhaps character and great leadership is better defined by what you do when everyone is watching, just as much as it is when no one is watching?

Whether we know it or not, people are paying attention. The way we act today, influences how we all act tomorrow. And those actions influence others – whether they know it or not. Whether we’ve chosen to recognize it yet or not, we are an example to others by the actions we take and decisions we make – for ourselves and those around us. Either of how to act or how not to, or how we walk the talk of what we say we believe in. In this sense we are all leaders and you know I believe everyone is a leader. Every choice we make, big and small, is a chance to lead. We are either an example of high standards and what’s possible, or another contributor to the complacency. I have been preaching, for example, in our schools that we must tighten the ship and make every decision based on what is best for students. Therefore, my decisions this week have had to be with this in mind, knowing everyone is watching and using the metric of, “Is he tightening the ship?” Remembering this unavoidable principle has always helped make decisions quite clear for me. If my actions (or inactions) aren’t something I’d want those I lead to take, then they probably aren’t what I need to take.

We must even pursue the decisions and actions we cannot make or do today because this makes it a lot more likely to pursue it tomorrow. And as others notice, it enables them to do the same. Remember, everyone is watching. We must realize that we all are a personal example of what’s possible to someone, or a whole group of someones – however small and subtle those decisions and actions might be on a day-to-day basis. They add up. And to be that same example for those around us. For the people you might not realize are watching… because someone and everyone always are.

My actions and your actions are training ourselves and others. Are we living up to our organization’s vision, mission, and core values? Are we living up to our own personal core values? Everyone is watching! What will they see us do next?




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