YKK Stories

Fundamental Behavior 6 – Lead by Example

July 30, 2021
Author: YKK
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Lead by Example

When I was young, I wanted to be a competitive athlete.

When I was 9, I enrolled in a sports league in Bogota, Colombia. I was running the 1500 meters steeplechase.

In the group, we had an Olympic athlete as a coach. As part of his training, he ran with us between 5 and 7 kilometers every day. I remember his enthusiasm leading the group, giving recommendations to each of us for improving our running pace, such as relaxing our breathing, increasing our focus, speeding up our steps, improving style and practicing technique.

Although running is innate in humans, knowledge and skills are needed to play the sport safely in order to avoid serious injury. Our trainer knew this. He knew how to teach us good practices to avoid these injuries. And develop our full potential.

Then, when I finished high school, I started university. Unfortunately, the long days of work and the demands of my studies prevented me from continuing training at a competitive level. Nevertheless, 40 years later, I still run every morning for 5 to 7 kilometers. And in my mind, everything I have learned about maintaining focus, concentration, breathing, and rhythm remains clear.

The fundamental behavior this week is “Lead by Example.”

Like when I was training, my coach working hard with the group and being there for others was a great example of leadership. Our coach guided us and led us step by step. That is, he was running with us. He knew how to correct us and teach us the right technique to avoid obstacles. For me, this coach is a real leader. He has positively influenced my life by instilling in me the fundamental values ​​of sport as well as a concern for a job well done.

He is a leader because a leader works hard and is an example in what he says and does. I’m not talking about being perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist, nor does a perfect boss. But a leader teaches, guides, and promotes a harmonious collective where each person brings their strengths.

Whether we are managers or not, we are in one way or another an example for those around us. We are an example for our children, an example for our family, a positive or negative example for our colleagues and peers. What we do is seen by others and can have a positive or negative impact on others.

As an individual with different goals, knowledge, tastes, experiences and qualities, you in particular can be an example to others in your work. Take responsibility for transferring your knowledge. If you accept the responsibilities that come with being a good example, you will see how your actions can help others change for the better!

Every morning, when I go for a run with my two daughters aged 11 and 27, I pass on my enthusiasm for running, and I see Albert Schweitzer’s words confirmed.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

Hugo Sarmiento
Information Technology Manager
YKK CANADA INC.