Leadership 101: The Hypocritical Leader

Practice what you preach.

team spirit

Haven’t we heard this many, many times?

Yet, interestingly enough, it’s one of the principles that I see neglected time and time again.

Let me give you a bit of insight:

I was talking to one of our employees who is looking to be a team leader. Mind you, a team leader in this organization is simply a step below managers. Team leaders have the responsibility to know the rules, follow and enforce them in a smooth and professional manner when a manager is not around.

This particular team member asked me what all being a team leader requires. So, I gave him the rundown of how team leads are to be leaders and what that meant. I gave him the powers that he had and the responsibility that these powers entail.


“However,” I told him “you cannot be a hypocrite.” “You cannot tell an employee not to do something while you turn around and do that exact thing.”

He then thew me for a loop when he answered, “You mean, like *Hannah?”

I was shocked and slightly defensive. Hannah is a member of management that constantly seems to want to improve staff by noticing how slack they have gotten on policy and trying to correct it.

As I was about to pounce on that comment, I thought to ask him what he meant by that comment.

He went on to list several examples of how that particular manager is always doing things that we encourage and strongly prohibit staff from doing.

I found that interesting.

A few days later, I walk in to see that manager, as well as another one, doing the very thing that we strongly discourage employees to do. Yet, these are the same managers who complain about these very issues and wonder why staff doesn’t take the threats seriously.

In life, I have learned that people don’t care what you say unless you back it up by action. This seems simple enough until it is applied to a management role.


A lot of times, we can be lulled into the thought that because we are the boss, people will automatically respect and follow us when that is simply not the case.

This position must be earned through discipline, mutual respect, and empathy.

You set the tone.

leadershipIf you want your employees or followers to stop or start a particular behavior, you must do it as well. If it is not practical for you not to do this, be sure that your staff understands why you can do something while they cannot- as there are several times this may occur.


People pick up much more than you think. Even if others don’t agree with your rules, you will be respected for simply doing what you ask others to do or not to do.

leadership is..quote

*Name Changed for Protection of Privacy


Leadership 101: How Doing Others Work Helps You

“The managers always step in to help when needed.”

At least once per year, I try to meet with each person of my staff during work. During these meetings, we discuss things going well within the company and things that can be done better. I always make sure that they know that they can discuss anything and anyone that concerns them so that we can improve the operation of the company.

This year, one of the phrases I repeatedly heard was some variation of:

“I like that the managers always step to help when they are needed.”


I’m sorry…what?!

hearing-listenWhat causes so many to mention this and why is this such a big deal? Isn’t it natural to see a team member in need and try to help them out?

Maybe this is not as common as I thought.

Digging into the trenches with whomever you are leading automatically credits you respect and credibility.


Respect: By helping your employees with their work, you show that you can take the work you dish out. Whether you like it or not, many people act based on the example set before them- especially when they are unfamiliar with the task. So, by doing this, you are not only saying that you aren’t too “important” for that type of work but that you are qualified and that that is the way in which the job should be accomplished.

Credibility: By completing (or helping to complete ) a task, you show others that you are capable of doing their job which eliminates some of the questions that others may have about your leadership.

How do  I begin?

It is simple. Just do it! Whenever you see a need, try to partner up with a staff member before ditching it all on them. Although delegation is important, it is also important for everyone to recognize that when it comes to your mission, everyone must chip in even if it is not in the job description.

So, let me leave you with this thought:

Being a leader is not about telling other what to do. It is organizing, enabling, encouraging, and helping a group of people to work towards a common goal for a common good.

As always, I love to hear your questions and thoughts! What do you think defines a good leader?