A good leader truly leads by example: a case study
Paul B. Brown recently blogged about how the best leaders model the behaviour they want. The article, posted recently on Forbes.com, pointed out that employees spend a great deal of time observing the behaviour of their bosses. Moreover, what a boss does is just as important as what he says, if not more so. Brown provides an example of a workforce in a car dealership he once visited. The dealership had been run by the same family for generations and significantly dominated the car market in the region. The owner himself was described as a quietly charming man who was seldom known to raise his voice.
Car dealerships are by nature busy places, and fender benders are an occupational hazard as cars are moved around the show room floor and readied for delivery. The rule at this particular dealership was that customers must be made aware of any damage that had occurred. On one occasion, a high end luxury vehicle was being prepared for collection when it was bumped by the salesperson driving it, and the corner back bumper was damaged. The car was quickly repaired and once again in perfect condition by the time the new owner arrived to collect. And since the damage was not visible to the naked eye, the new owner was not informed about what had happened.