Leaders are being watched all the time. Every gesture, action and word is being closely observed. In a New York Times article, “He Wants Subjects, Verbs and Objects” based on an interview with Richard Anderson, chief executive of Delta Air Lines, makes the following point:
“I’ve learned to be patient and not lose my temper. And the reason that’s important is everything you do is an example, and people look at everything you do and take a signal from everything you do. And when you lose your temper, it really squelches debate and sends the wrong signal about how you want your organization to run. And it was a good lesson.”
Everything you do is an example. Leaders are closely watched all the time. You are not only being closely observed, your actions are being assessed and people are making judgements. Judgements about..
What is the right way to behave around here?
What are the acceptable ways of getting things done?
What topics and ideas are ok to share and talk about? What ones are not ok?
How do decisions get made?
You get the idea. This means that leaders must act with integrity at all the times. As person of integrity you do way you say and say what you do. You are a living example of how things ought to be done. This means leaders do the right thing even when they are not being watched!