I am reading Dan Millman’s Peaceful Warrior – this was made into a movie starring Scott Mechlowicz and Nick Nolte. The subtitle of the book is “A Book That Changes Lives,” which is much deeper than I remember the movie being.
At one point in the story, Socrates (Dan’s teacher) tells the story of an incident in Gandhi’s life:
One day a mother came to Gandhi with her little boy for help. She asked Gandhi, “Please, Bapu, will you tell my little boy to stop eating sugar. He simply eats too much sugar and will not stop.” Gandhi told the mother to leave and come back with the boy in two weeks.
The mother returned with her son and said to Gandhi, “We have come back as you asked.” Gandhi turned to the boy and said, “Young boy, stop eating sweets. They are not good for you.”
The mother then asked Gandhi, “Bapu, why didn’t you tell my son that when we first came to see you? Why did you ask us to leave and come back in two weeks? I don’t understand.”
Gandhi said to the woman, “I asked you to return with the boy in two weeks because two weeks ago, I, too, was eating sweets. I could not ask him to stop eating sweets so long as I had not stopped eating sweets.”
Are you doing what you ask others to do? Are you leading by example? If not, you are asking others to do something you are unwilling or unable to do yourself. This is called hypocrisy, and it is a major character flaw.
Leadership is about setting an example for others to follow. If you want others to be honest, you must be honest. In my case, I do practice all the things that I write about here with gratitude.