How Stealing Canned Goods Made Me a Congruent Leader
January 14, 2017

Congruence: What It Is & What It Isn’t

People will pay little attention to what you say, but they’ll notice everything you do. Being congruent is the first step in building a great character. Your character is the mental and moral qualities that are representative of you. In other words, your character tells the world everything they need to know about who you are.

Congruence as a leader occurs when what you say matches what you do.

Every action a person takes speaks volumes about who they are and how they think. An incongruent persons actions will not match with who they claim to be. Remember this,the person who says one thing, but then does another lacks congruence. 

They may also lack responsibility and control but that’s for another post.

Growing up you may have heard your parents say on several occasions, “Do as I say, not as I do.” This kind of thinking is flawed and is a terrible way to lead. People choose to emulate those they admire, which explains both the good and bad behaviors of children and employees of many organizations.

People are always watching. Keep that in mind.

Practice What You Preach

Individuals who are not congruent can be scary. Its a sign they lack both transparency and discipline, aka they may have something to hide. You can also bet they may be liars and manipulators as well.

The biggest problem with incongruent people is they will surprise you with displays of character that do not exemplify the individual they have portrayed themselves to be. Based on their actions, you may get the feeling you never knew who you were really dealing with.

If it is your intention to be the best role model for your employees, subordinates, and even your children, you must practice what you preach. By the way, I don’t mean some of the time, I mean all of the time!

If you say it, commit to it!

Create Guidelines And Principles For Yourself

At the age of 21 (now 30) I got caught stealing canned vegetables from a local grocery store. I was arrested and had to pay fines that amounted to 71.5 times more than the groceries I had stolen.

Since then, I’ve created a philosophy that states, “You Do Not Take What Isn’t Yours”. Needless to say, I haven’t stolen anything since that incident.

But, If I tell you stealing is bad as I proceed to stuff Peas and Carrots in my grocery bag, I would be sending an incongruent message.

In Conclusion

In order for us to remain congruent for ourselves and others we have to have an unwavering faith in becoming our best selves. There are people out there looking for great leaders and you might be one of them.

Do not ruin your current and future opportunities with incongruent behaviors.

Take heed to this advice, practice what you preach, create clear guidelines for yourself, and give the world the best version of yourself that you have to offer.

What guidelines have you created to become more congruent? Comment your thoughts.

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