When I was an outdoor educator, I taught students how to play a variety of leadership games. One of these game allowed the students to experiment with different leadership styles.
There were three parts of the game. In every part, the leader chose how the other students walked: normally, in slow motion, or like a zombie. First, the leader stood to the side and only gave verbal instructions. After this, the leader demonstrated the moves as they gave instructions. Finally, the leader announced one style but demonstrated a different style.
At the end of the game, students were asked which was the easiest to follow. The vast majority of students found the second version the easiest — when the leader led by example.
What we say has weight, but what we do matters more.
If you’re a caretaker, you can help care for your family, patients, students, etc. by sending a clear message. Maybe you’re the Mama who always ensures your children get at least eight hours of sleep, because you know how important it is for their health. However, you feel like you won the lottery when you get more than seven. Maybe you’re the stressed doctor who recommends yoga for stressed patients, but you haven’t tried it. Maybe you’re the teacher who encourages your students not to skip meals, but rarely has anything to eat before school lets out.
I humbly encourage you to lead by example. Take care of yourself so that you can take better care of others. If you need some help along the way, please don’t be afraid to ask.
Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week.