Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Lesson in Leadership

Driving to Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon I was pulled over by an Indiana State Trooper (or “the L.A.W.” according to my husband).  It goes without saying that I was less than pleased about this.  As he wrote the ticket, I kept my mouth shut so as not to aggravate the situation.  This was a difficult feat considering what the officer said to me.  When explaining that I was speeding (a fact I’m not refuting), he shared that his own speed was 75 miles per hour in a zone where 70 mph was the limit.  He went on to say that the reason I was getting the ticket was because I came up next to him and then proceeded to pass him.  The passing was due to cruise control so it was a very slow and steady passing, but I digress.    I was appalled!  He just openly told me HE was speeding and yet I was being penalized for doing exactly what this enforcer of the law did.  

Call me crazy, but I believe if you are in a position to enforce rules, you best abide by them yourself.  If I, as a citizen, am expected to obey the law, he as a leader and enforcer should without question have to, as well.   A slew of clichés come to mind- practice what you preach; do as I say, not as I do; and the like.  I’m aware that life is not fair.  And I know I was not in the right in this situation.  Those are not my points.  As someone who holds leadership roles in organizations from my own business all the way to community service groups I could never imagine asking someone else to do something I wasn’t willing to do myself.  In fact, it’s always been my opinion leaders should be held to a higher standard and set good examples for those around them.  Now more than ever I will be sure to examine my behaviors so that I keep myself in check.  While this officer cost me a little bit of money, I gained much more from him than he knows.  I got a valuable lesson in leadership I won’t soon forget. 

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