Leaders, Who is Watching?

Gerwig 2015-06-24

Do you wear glasses or contacts? I recently bought a new pair of frames with my updated prescription. It was a transaction that was long overdue. My previous glasses dated back over 4 years. And during that time my prescription had changed a couple times and my frames looked dated and worn. Now, I have to share that during the 4+ years I went without updating my glasses, I did update my contact prescription.

Without my glasses (or contacts) on, I can’t see distances clearly so I can’t tell who may be watching me. But, over time, I’ve learned that people are watching. They’re watching me. They’re watching you. And they’re watching all the time. They’re watching whether we see them or not. They’re watching whether we’re too busy or distracted to notice. People are watching.

There are many reasons people watch. They’re curious. They like to compare. They like to see what others are up to. They like to “get in” on secrets and secret behavior. They like to see others make mistakes or do something embarrassing. Some are watching to check out performance or get behavioral tips. And many are just plain nosy. What about you? Why do you watch others? Be honest.

Whether you spend most of your day or week with family, in a corporate setting, with an athletic team or in a military unit, you watch other people and they watch you. Have you also noticed that we tend to watch even more closely those who are celebrities or senior leaders or those who “look” different? For example, if you’re a “foreigner” (e.g. an expatriate on assignment) in another country, you’ll be watched more closely. Guaranteed. It comes with the territory. Why? You’re different. You stand out.

Though you’re being watched by neighbors, co-workers, children, bosses and everyone in-between, you have no reason to be afraid. No reason as long as you follow these simple guidelines:

  • Be consistent in your behavior, not just because people are watching, but because it’s the right thing to do.
  • Demonstrate great character all the time.
  • Treat people the same regardless of their position, title, race, ethnicity, gender, etc.
  • Be honest.
  • Demonstrate respect.
  • Be kind.
  • Don’t play favorites.
  • Be the same regardless of your audience.
  • Be the same whether you’re in a crowd or think you’re alone.

You could probably add to the list. Please feel free to do so. But you get the idea. Behave consistently and demonstrate great character. That’s it. Then you don’t need to be concerned about being watched. And trust me, you are.

As always, the floor is open to your comments, suggestions, thoughts, and feedback.

Dr. is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]LeadStrategic.com.

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