The Most Important Leadership Lesson You Can Ever Learn

by | Nov 15, 2012

I don’t know who first said it, but they hit the nail on the head.

“More is caught than is taught!”

No other leadership axiom will have a greater impact in your leadership life.

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I first started teaching this axiom to my team years ago.  I thought it was true and nifty.  But not until I had my first child did this axiom become a core value of my life.

The drive to my office is 1.6 miles.  I’m on a main road for 100 yards.  I never wore my seatbelt for the drive to and from work.

When my daughter was about one, I took her to the office with me one day.  I put her in her car seat, buckled her in and jokingly said…”now young lady, you always wear your seat belt when you are in a car, I mean always, no exceptions, no excuses.  You always wear your seat belt.”

I jumped in the front seat and took off.  That’s when it struck me; my actions were betraying my words.

I was demonstrating to my daughter, you “almost” always wear your seat belt.

That’s the moment; “more is caught than is taught” came to life for me.

Here are a couple ways to practice this axiom in the three areas of whole life leadership I focus on.


Who do you admire and hear wisdom from?  For me, one person is my pastor, Dwight Mason of NewPointe Community Church.  However, there are nearly 4,000 people in attendance at our church on a Sunday.  But I want to catch more from him than I get to hear 40 minutes once a week.  Well, if you want to know what someone else knows, read what they read.  I added authors to my reading list that Dwight reads.

Study the life and leadership of Jesus.

Be mindful of what you are watching on TV and the music you listen to.


Your spouse should (and will) know you love them, not by what you say…but by what you do.

For your kids.  Be fanatical about being a role model.  They will learn the most important things from you.  How to trust and love God, how to be married, how to work hard, how to treat other, etc.

Read books such as Bringing Up Girls or Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dubson.


It’s the questions you ask regularly that speak most to your team what the focus of their work should be.

Be aware if you are modeling how you want your staff to work, treat costumers and make decisions.  Your team is your “customers”.  How you treat them is how they will treat their customers.

This simple axiom is the key to successful leadership.   What you tell your loved ones and your team about how you feel or how to work, should already be evident to them by what you do for and with them.


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Question: How do you feel about, More is caught than is taught?  How do you use this axiom in your leadership?