Don’t even bother trying to lead others if you haven’t mastered the art of leading yourself first. Seriously, you’re wasting your time.
It works like this: you’re at the doctor, and he tells you to stop smoking. Even recommends a program. But you can’t help but notice that he smells oddly like cigarettes himself, has telltale yellow teeth, and looks a lot older than the 40 years that you know he is. You think about the program he’s recommending. Well, it worked so miserably for him – as if you’d waste your time.
Or you’re watching some random TV host recommend their latest results-guaranteed exercise program. The same host whose weight has gone up and down like a yo-yo over the years. That’s a recommendation that’ll probably be best ignored.
Here’s the thing: nobody’s looking for wisdom. Find me 10 people who don’t know that the best way to look after your body is exercise + eating properly – good luck! No, we all already know what we should be doing. We just want an example to follow.
Nobody wants to be told what to do. Everyone wants to be shown what to do. Show, don’t tell.
I think this is because we want to see that it’s possible before we try anything ourselves. We need to believe that a certain course of action has paid off for someone else, and that they’re willing to hold our hands, to show us how to do it. Only then will a person follow your advice, because it worked for you, and you’re willing to show them how.
This is also why you’ll end up like your friends: Their examples show you what is possible, and how to get it.
If you can’t kick your own ass into gear, someone whom you are intimately familiar with, how do you expect to be able to kick anyone else’s?
Thanks for reading! And if you want to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you: chris.hulbert at gmail.
(Comp Sci, Hons - UTS)
iOS Developer in Sydney.
I have worked at places such as Google, Cochlear, News Corp, Fox Sports, NineMSN, FetchTV, Woolworths, and Westpac, among others. If you're looking for a good iOS developer, drop me a line!