Shari Storm: Last month, an article cited a study which found that parents are actually bigger offenders of the no-texting / no-cell-while-driving laws than their teenagers are. This is a scary thing. It's unlikely we'll ever get teens to stop texting while driving if they keep watching their parents do it!
That's the thing about being a parent: You're always on stage. Little eyes and little ears have large mimicking ability. I remember when my oldest daughter was 3 and we stepped outside one winter and she exclaimed, "It's freakin' cold out here!" My husband looked at me and said, "That one's on you!"
More disconcerting was the time last week when my 7-year-old (who tips the scales at a scrawny 53 pounds) pushed away the bowl of cereal after eating a few bites and said, "Ugh, get this AWAY from me!" -- in the same disgusted tone I use when I've eaten too many caramel-flavored Bugles.
You're always on stage when you're a boss, too. When you're trying to get your team to act in a certain way, your actions will speak much louder than your words. You must lead by example. If you want your employees to have a healthy work-life balance, don't work until 8 PM every night. Conversely, if you want your team to go above and beyond, don't spend long lunch hours on the golf course. If you want your staff to get along well with others, don't speak poorly of other staff or departments. If you want your staff to own up to their mistakes, be the first to apologize when something goes wrong.
I love the bumper sticker, "Lord, please let me the person my dog thinks I am." Once I had children, my mantra became, "Lord, please help me be the person I want my children to be." The same can be said at the office: Be the person you want your staff to be.