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My Favorite Leadership by Example Story Ever – Powerful

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Gandhi – Leadership By Example Story

Part of the “Leadership Stories” series.

One of my favorite leadership by example stories is that of Mahatma Gandhi. How closely does what you say as a leader align with what you do? Read on… Here is another great story to share with other leaders. May we all be better leaders as we lead by example this coming year.

In the 1930’s there was a young boy who had become addicted to and obsessed with eating sugar. His mother decided to get
Leadership Story Ghandi Leadership by Examplehelp and took the long and hot journey with her son walking many miles and hours under the scorching sun. 

She finally reached Gandhi and asked him to tell her son to stop eating sugar, it wasn’t good for his health. Gandhi replied, “I cannot tell him that. But you may bring him back in a few weeks and then I will talk to him.” The mother was confused and upset and took the boy home.

Two weeks later she came back. This time Gandhi looked directly at the boy and said “”Boy, you should stop eating sugar. It is not good for your health.” The boy nodded his head and promised he wouldn’t. The boy’s mother was puzzled. She asked “Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I brought him here to see you?”

Gandhi smiled and said “Mother, two weeks ago I was eating a lot of sugar myself.”


If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it with your team, colleagues or anyone else, please “Share” it, “Tweet” it, “LinkedIn” it, “Email” it, “Google Plus” it, or “Like” it, by using one of the buttons below. Thanks frie

For more stories to share click on one of the below posts from our archives:

A Powerful Story that Could Change a Leader’s and Other’s Life…

Leadership Story – Is Workplace Stress Okay?

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Leave a Comment

  • Deanna Anderson January 13, 2011, 7:58 pm

    Mike-I think it is always a nice reminder to share a story that says to do what I do, and not just do what I say. Lately I have had the unfortunate exposure of running in to Leaders that really aren’t leaders because they don’t care about those that are they are supposed to be leading. It doesn’t matter if you are at the bottom of the so-called food chain in business or at the top, everybody’s position is important and everybody should be recognized for what they do and appreciated honestly and not superficially.

  • Donald E. Moore January 14, 2011, 5:25 am

    Mike – great story, I have always been frustrated with management who subscribe to the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. It was one of the reasons for starting my own company, so that I could create an environment where we are all on the same team with the same goals, working by the same guidelines. Thanks for sharing. Don

  • Mike Rogers January 17, 2011, 5:24 pm

    Tbanks for your comments Deanna and Donald. I absolutely agree. Leaders who want you to do what they say, but not what they do are limited in their ability to be as effective. I am thankful for leaders in my life who have more than led by example.

  • John Luczkowski February 6, 2011, 3:14 pm

    as a teacher, I hated working with people who complained about behavior and never did a thing about it or complained about the quality of writing and never stopped to teach that, et al.

  • Mike Rogers February 22, 2011, 3:59 pm

    Thanks for your comments John. We can’t teach uless we lead by example first.

  • John Luczkkowski March 3, 2011, 1:32 pm

    That’s so true. Most people forget that __% of us are not handicapped nor genuises, so training and leading by example are the only way to get the outcome you desire. I value people who don’t assume I know how to do something and ask first. I can learn whatever you teach me and can learn to do it the same exact way. Just take the time.

  • Mike Rogers March 3, 2011, 4:25 pm

    Thanks for your comments John!

  • Elizabeth July 9, 2012, 7:12 am

    Within a business setting, how do you determine who are the Leaders? Your comments infer that there is a way to recognize them and it appears to be by the title of Manager…….is this so?

  • Mike Rogers July 11, 2012, 1:20 pm

    Hi Elizabeth, I am not sure what you asking. Can you explain? Thanks.

  • sanjay rakecha July 15, 2013, 10:10 pm

    If you ask some one to do this or that thing, you can first do the same before asking to anybody. Nice story Mike.

    • Michael Rogers July 17, 2013, 9:26 pm

      Very true Sanjay. You are welcome, glad you liked it.


  • akl kairouz March 16, 2018, 1:14 pm

    I need to learn about effective short stories on leadership for training


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