One of my favorite parts of being a lifeguard is working when the swim team practices. Why? Because I get to watch my sister practice! (KT always makes me smile!!) During tonight's practice, Coach was doing individual goal meetings with each swimmer. While he met with an individual swimmer, the team was supposed to be doing a workout that he wrote on a white board for them to do. Naturally, several people started goofing off and over a matter of five minutes nobody was doing the workout--nobody that is until I saw one girl start swimming laps, back and forth, all by herself until one-by-one every single swimmer on the Wahoos swim team was also accomplishing the written workout. I couldn't help but smile as I thought, "That is my sister!"
KT led a team of fourteen people without even saying a single word. She led by example. Her teammates respected her enough that when they saw her dedication and commitment to practicing, they couldn't help but want to start swimming to. She didn't beg or plead people to swim so they could make Coach happy. She just started swimming. That is the true art of leadership--leading by example. People won't respond to your begging or pleading attempts to get them to do something. There's something that is just more motivating when your followers see you actually doing the work--living the life you are encouraging them to lead.
Leadership begins with you. Leadership is influence. Will you choose to start swimming?