Leading by example

Do not let what others say or do dictate how you respond. 

As my wise father said, it’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s what you DO ABOUT IT that counts.  If you find yourself reacting to someone else, you are not even in control of yourself, much less the conversation or the agenda.  And I will suggest — and this is coming from someone that is not a patient person and chaffes at looking before I leap (LOL) — somethime not doing anything is the best course. 

Or, as the Hippocratic oath states, “First, do no harm.”

Let’s lead by example. Focus on what we need to be doing, not on what others are doing. If you are focused on your own job, you get it done. If you let others divert your focus from what you are supposed to be doing yourself to start playing hall monitor and focusing on what the nebulous “they” are doing or want you to do in response, you are reacting to them, and they are controlling the (that means your and their) agenda.

The best way to handle this is to REMAIN FOCUSED on the job at hand and ignore those who want to distract you from getting your job done. If you do that, they will either fall in line or go away over time. So, the first criteria in determining what should we do is to ask ourselves, “How is what we’re doing now working for us?” And, if it is not working, then we know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, so doing the same thing again won’t change the result.  That means we have to do something different to get a different result.

Politics is the art of compromise.  That’s why politicians do not have the words “should” and “ought” in their vocabulary. Why? Because those words are judging words. They separate, they do not unify. They do not influence people, they invalidate people. When you use those words, you are talking AT someone, not talking TO them and certainly not talking WITH them, which is actually even better. Those words are not words of respect.

So, I am suggesting that we have to change our own attitudes and behavior and reactions to get a different result.  I’m not claiming that this will be any more successful, but at least IT WILL DO NO HARM.

Let’s choose to LEAD instead of REACT. You lead by example. Or, at least, good, successful leaders do.

If you want your life, your group or your actions to reflect a certain agenda, focus on what you’re doing, not on someone else. You cannot control the actions or others, the only thing any of us can control is ourselves — our own attitude and behavior. When we do that — it seems miraculous, but it happens often — we find that others will begin to respond differently.

Remember, positivity and negativity move in spirals.  You can be positive and set things in motion to spiral up in a positive direction, or you can be negative and watch things spiral down and out of control in a negative direction.  It becomes something of the nature of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  It is a question of personal choice — YOU DECIDE whether you want to LEAD by your own conscious choices and action or FOLLOW someone else’s lead by your own unthinking negative reactions. 

We are always responsible, even when we are not in control.  Because our being in control or not is a conscious choice.


About Laura Schneider

Retired IT consultant (disabled), musician and animal lover. I support the constitutional concept of Right of Privacy and no discrimination against any person based on race, religion, ideology, gender, sexual preference or disability. I am very concerned about the erosion of our constitutional rights and protections under GWB (and even this administration). I strongly oppose torture, rendition or illegal search and/or seizure (without a warrant) and warrantless wiretapping. I believe that education is our best hope of a bright future for our children. Knowledge is power, and that's the kind of authority (Biblically speaking) that our children must have in order to be successful in a 21st century world.
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