Albert Schweitzer, philosopher and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, said,
Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.
The most important action a leader can take is to set an example. A successful business cannot sustain itself by standing still. Today’s leaders regularly are called upon to lead employees through projects that change the way they do business. Change is scary. Whether implementing a new technology, improving a process, reorganizing the company or handling a management shakeup, a leader must model the change with authenticity and courage before employees will follow and adapt to the new way of doing things.
Rosa Parks refused to obey segregation laws and give up her seat on a bus in 1955. The time had come for a change. With passive resistance, Rosa Parks led by example. Her action on a bus that day resulted in a civil rights movement that ultimately changed the culture of a nation. Rosa Parks knew she would have to face the consequences of her resistance. Her act of deviance was courageous because she overcame her fear of those unknown consequences and chose to act regardless.