Lead by Example: Rosa Parks Set the Bar

Albert Schweitzer, philosopher and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, said,

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.

The most important action a leader can take is to set an example.  A successful business cannot sustain itself by standing still.  Today’s leaders regularly are called upon to lead employees through projects that change the way they do business.  Change is scary.  Whether implementing a new technology, improving a process, reorganizing the company or handling a management shakeup, a leader must model the change with authenticity and courage before employees will follow and adapt to the new way of doing things.

Rosa Parks refused to obey segregation laws and give up her seat on a bus in 1955.  The time had come forrosa-parks_with-montgomery-bus a change.  With passive resistance, Rosa Parks led by example.  Her action on a bus that day resulted in a civil rights movement that ultimately changed the culture of a nation.  Rosa Parks knew she would have to face the consequences of her resistance.  Her act of deviance was courageous because she overcame her fear of those unknown consequences and chose to act regardless.

The extent and pace of change that leaders and employees face in business today is unprecedented.  Great leaders are needed to inspire employees to overcome their fears of the unknown and adjust to change.  To be believed by employees, leaders must be authentic.  To lead by example means to act in a way that is true to you and your style.

Rosa Parks’ action was impactful because it was unique to her situation.  A seamstress returning home on the bus after a long day at work doesn’t want to change seats or stand in the aisle of a bus.  Parks’ act of remaining in her seat was true to her situation, and that is why it resonated so strongly with others.  People could relate to her feelings—no matter the color of their skin.

When you lead by example, there is no need to issue orders or tell people what to do; no need to force people to do things they don’t want to do. Instead, inspire others simply by doing it the way it should be done.  Rosa Parks demonstrated leadership through example.

Whatever change you wish to lead, be authentic and courageous in your leadership.  First find your own way through the change—and then lead the way for others.

Remember: You are always “on stage.”  Your team is watching everything you do and how you react. Approximately 60 percent of communications are non-verbal.  You may not have to say a thing to set an example.

Note:  A version of this article was originally posted on Blogging4Jobs on July 8, 2015.

Financial Sector Sees No Job Growth in September

Financial ServicesThere were no job gains in the Financial Activities sector in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Jobs Report released on Friday.  Financial Activities, which includes the banking, securities, insurance and real estate sub-sectors, has added 147,000 jobs to the economy over the last twelve months.

In September, a small number of job gains occurred in insurance (+2,000) and real estate (+1,000) that were offset by job losses in banking (-2,000) and securities (-1,000).

Over the last twelve months, insurance added 72,000 jobs, real estate grew by 42,000 and securities gained 18,000 jobs.  During the same period, commercial banking lost 17,000 jobs.

Average weekly earnings of Financial Activities jobs increased by 3% over the year.

The September employment numbers are considered preliminary by the BLS and are subject to revision.

Is It Time to Put the Performance Review on a PIP?

HR MagazineIn an article from the April 2015 issue of HR Magazine, author Dori Meinert discusses the qualitative approaches to employee performance appraisals being chosen by many companies.  The elimination of performance ratings and stack ranking of employees are developing trends highlighted in the article.

Four years ago, Adobe Systems Inc. used the type of traditional performance review system that a vast majority of companies still use. Its 11,000 employees were ranked on a scale of 1 to 4 in what one Adobe manager describes as a “soul-crushing exercise.”

Right after review time each year, the HR team saw a disturbing spike in voluntary turnover as disheartened employees—many of them good workers—left the company.

Read the full article here.

Healthcare Leaders: Is Your BHAG as Humbling as El Capitan?

Noma Bruton:

David Covington, CEO & President of Recovery Innovations, Inc., has written a great article comparing the Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) of overcoming smallpox, polio and HIV to the goal of eliminating death by suicide.

Originally posted on davidwcovington.com:

shutterstock_66127849At the recent Healthcare Analytics conference in Salt Lake City, Good to Great author and leadership guru Jim Collins, who coined the term Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG), inspired us with an amazing story of grit and determination. He recounted how seven years earlier, big wall rock climber Tommy Caldwell asked him, “What if your BHAG is not actually attainable?”

Caldwell wanted to free climb El Capitan’s Dawn Wall, a steep rock face with extreme pitches and hardly any vertical cracks (which climbers wedge hands and feet into to help them ascend).

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