Leading by Example

A Message from Mr. George

The first thing about leadership is to lead by example. Mahatma Gandhi used to see hundreds of followers and answer their troublesome questions. These followers would line up for blocks in the hot sun, hoping that Gandhi’s wisdom would solve their problems. One mother took her son to see Gandhi. When it was her turn, she asked Gandhi to command her son to stop eating hard candy. Gandhi asked why she made such a request, and the mother replied that the son has lots of cavities. The dentist told her the hard candy is the root of the problem. Gandhi told the mother and the son to come back one month from now. She was confused but followed Gandhi’s instructions. One month later she returned with her child to see Gandhi. Gandhi looked the child in the eyes and said, “Young man, your mother loves you very much, and she worries about your cavities which will lead to more toothaches. I would like you to stop eating hard candies and listen to your mother.” The mother was even more confused at this point, she asked, “Why didn’t you tell my son not to eat hard candy when we were here a month ago? Why ask us to wait a month?” Gandhi replied: “I also was addicted to hard candy myself, and I was in no position to ask your son to give up his hard candy addiction. If I want to ask your son to stop eating hard candy, I have to do the same myself. Therefore, I have stopped eating hard candy since the day we met, and a month later, I can now ask your son to do the same.”

For us adults, leading by example also mean the kids will copy what we do. The parents are also part of the kids’ kung fu training!

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