What is it about white picket fences that we like them so much? Stories are written about them, little girls dream of growing up and owning homes with them and often times we are drawn to houses that have them. There is something special about seeing a pristine white picket fence around a house.
When we moved into our house, I was thrilled to have a little white picket fence around the back yard. When I look at it, I am filled with warm memories of growing up on a farm.
This fence looks beautiful from the back porch, all nice and white with a few plants growing along the side to enhance the look.
An up close look though tells a very different story. When you look closely at some of the boards you will see that many of those boards are rotting and some are even broken off at the bottom. If you push a little too hard, you might just push all the way through!
What looks beautiful on the outside… IS NOT what you see on the inside.
This can be true of us Every Day Leaders too. We often look fabulous on the outside! We have just the right look and talk, our actions seem to say we are leaders but what you may find on the inside is far different. Our outside is nothing more than a facade, hiding our true selves.
As Every Day Leaders seeking to live a life of intention, our lives should look the same on the inside as the outside. If we claim to be someone with integrity… is that reflected all the time, even when no one is watching? Integrity is doing the right thing ALL the time. It is being who you say you are and doing what you said you have done, this includes on paper too.
If we say you can trust us, does this change depending upon the situation, the person we are with, or the opportunity presented? Trust is hard to get, easy to lose, and extremely difficult to get back. Customers are often lost over broken trust and employees are less productive when they don’t trust their leadership.
When we say that we care about someone, is it only for the moment or are we willing to truly show that we care even if it means being inconvenienced? Words are easy to say but do our actions speak loudly that we do care about those we lead? Do we take the time to show them by getting to know our employees and those around u?. Do we take time to help them work in their strengths to be more successful? Or is it all about our success and how they can help us achieve it? As a leader when you truly care for those you lead, you will do everything possible to help them be successful, knowing their success is your success.
If I am going to follow someone, I want to know who they are, not just who they say they are. I want to know they are consistent and that their words and actions are the same.
What image are you portraying to others? What things do you say and do to create that image?
The picket fence is a great reminder to us as leaders that looking good to others on the outside is not all we want to be or should strive for. We should always strive to be the same on the inside as what others see on the outside.
Our character counts. Not the way we look or dress, what we own, or even our position, but what really counts is that which is deep inside us. And that which is deep inside us will always define us. It is this character that is inside us that is the true influence on the lives of those around us.
The Every Day Leader, living a life of intention, being our best selves – inside and out.