I have worked with a quite a few people in recent years on developing leadership skills. Many people look to us for leadership, and the biggest single thing they are looking for is “consistency”.

Our children need our leadership through their growing years. My children are now all in their 20’s and still yearn for leadership in the form of guidance and consistency. I remember when they were little, they would look with adoring eyes at the things Mum and Dad did for them, and said to them.

Our work environments are no different to our home environments – we have people looking up to us, and watching every move we make. Our leadership obligation is not optional. We are “on show” wherever we go and whatever we do.

As we come to the end of another year of business we start to think about unwinding and enjoying a break with friends and family, but still people are watching.

There is a difference between “unwinding” and “unravelling”. There have been some spectacular “falls from grace” when people have unravelled in the public eye.

Stephanie Rice had established a great persona as an Olympic Swimmer and was setting herself up for a career in the media spotlight. A little too much to drink brought it all undone. A controversial rant on Twitter led to most of her major sponsors dumping her overnight.

It’s not up to the “minders” to get us through these situations, it’s up to our own leadership to recognise the perils, and take appropriate action.

Just like our businesses have a brand (which we are careful not to damage the brand) we each have a personal brand that needs to be protected.

Grant Hackett damaged his brand when the police were called to his luxury apartment after a big day at the Melbourne Cup recently. Kyle Sandilands lost more than $1 million in Sponsorship when he damaged his personal brand after having a rant on the radio this week. Both the French and Italian Prime Ministers have damaged their personal brands in recent times.

Imagine if you saw any of our last five Prime Ministers at the local shopping mall dressed in a blue singlet with footy shorts and a pair of flip flop thongs on their feet. That would be incongruent with their brand or image. It would also destroy all the efforts they had made in providing leadership to their followers, regardless of your political beliefs.

Religious leaders and corporate leaders have the same responsibilities. Their leadership is always on show and in uncertain times people look for consistency and leadership.

The late Steve Jobs built the Apple brand to what it is today. He didn’t do it singlehandedly, he did it by having a great leadership model with an impeccable image. Do you think that if he regularly “let his hair down” with Friday night drinks that went too far, or showed his team any other shortcomings, that his leadership would have been so compelling?

Was he perfect? ………….No.

Did he “let his hair down” in the privacy of his own home?……who cares!!

 

Leadership is a 24/7 Role, just like Parenting is a 24/7 role. Our kids look to us for leadership in all areas of their lives. They mimic us, they watch our every move. They become “a chip off the old block”.

Surprisingly, our staff have similar needs to our children. They need a consistent, caring approach to their relationship with you. Even when we’re relaxed they are watching us, and desiring leadership. A small chink in our leadership armour now will undo all the good work that we have done in the past eleven months, or longer.

Party and drink responsibly, maintain good judgement, and show your team why they look up to you.

If your life was a documentary film, which parts of it do you wish you could reshoot? If it was going to be used as a training video for your staff, which parts would you like to edit out?  Don’t let your leadership end up on the cutting room floor!

UNWRAP your presents, UNWIND your pace of life, but don’t UNRAVEL your leadership.

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