Embarrassment can occur anytime. It happened to me recently.
Once I invited some of my colleagues to my house. It was part of a course that I personally conducted in my company.
The objective was to show them how I lived, worked, played and learned in my house. Prayerfully, it would help them avoid my mistakes and improve on my strengths.
It was one of the scariest things to do in my life. Sometimes, I feared they would use my openness and private information against me at a later stage.
So, why did I do it?
I did it as a way of showing my gratitude to the people who have so generously shared their personal life with me. Their act of friendship and authenticity have enriched my life and helped me to be a better person.
They have paid it forward and I was hoping to do the same. I hoped that others could learn from my successes as well as my failures.
There was another reason for me to open up my home.
I read somewhere that pride could come about when people were uncomfortable under their skin.
Their unhealthy self esteem could drive them to seek unnecessary attention and acceptance. It could also drive them to believe their views were always right and they were better than the people around them.
I hoped by being transparent, I could learn to be at peace with myself. In recognising my weaknesses, I would learn to be more humble and motivated to improve myself.
Back to my story, I received my colleagues that day with a degree of trepidation. As usual, I started the class by explaining how I would normally start a new day.
I was of the opinion that if you could start the day right, your activities could proceed more smoothly. If not, everything might be inclined to go downhill.
Hence, I believed that my first appointment every day should be with our Creator and myself.
At one point in the training, I wanted to show them my kitchen, refrigerator and cupboards. I took pride in my endeavor to live healthily and wanted to inspire them to do the same.
Usually, I would not prepare for this part of the lesson. I aimed to be real and transparent about my lifestyle.
There was an embarrassing moment when to my surprise, I found many chocolates, candies, cookies, and ice cream in my kitchen. I had forgotten that in recent times I had received many of them as presents.
My colleagues might not have realized the feelings that was going through me.
Fortunately, I had a divine inspiration to turn it into a learning lesson for myself as well as for them.
I wanted to be transparent with them. I told them, “Do I eat them? Of course.
“Am I constantly tempted by them? Most definitely.”
“How did I overcome these issues? I decided long ago that I needed to develop an effective plan and system to respond to them. I should discipline myself and ensure I would not give in to temptation.
“For example, I have conditioned my mind to eat healthily. I make it a point not to buy unhygienic food or even come near to it.”
As I reflect on that training, I relearn a powerful lesson for effective leadership.
We will influence our people more effectively through our life than through what comes out of our mouth.
Whether we like it or not, we will lead by example. Our people will follow what we do more than what we tell them to do.
How we live our lives will eventually become the main curriculum and method for influencing and training our people.
By our deeds, we will mould and shape our people and the direction of our team. They are more impactful than all the beautiful messages that we can craft and communicate to them.
If we cannot lead ourselves, we cannot lead others. The quality of our personal results will determine the quality of our team’s results.
We must also seek to be the leader that our people want to follow. People will not follow a leader if they don’t like, trust and respect him.
In short, let’s aim to be the living lesson for our team. We will do what we tell them to do and aim to do it in a better way.
Our lives should be the real-life examples of our messages.
How then should we set good examples?
I hope this message will find a place in your heart.
By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.
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