Monday, December 13, 2004

Actions over words...

I tell people all the time that what leaders say matters. What they do matters more.

Here's a very relevant joke posted on my friend Danny Mayer's blog. Cute, but pertinent.

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. The tailgating woman hit the roof . . . . and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still ranting & raving, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with both hands in the air. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking area where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects. He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake ma'am. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing like there was no tomorrow. I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."

Good reminder....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This rings true at so many levels, not only leaders, but representatives of groups, especially religious affiliations. No wonder church attendance is down, and non-church goers see regular attendees such as this one giving the church a negative reputation for its "output." As leaders, we not only need to pay attention to our actions and words, but very careful attention to our "agents" who are visible to our stakeholders. Tolerating inappropriate organizational behavior at any level is demoralizing for those who represent the agency positively.