If you know me at all, you know I have 2 rules of leadership:

  1. Treat people the way you want to be treated
  2. Do the RIGHT thing

This week, a young man, the police and the owner of Bellhops all demonstrated through their actions what it actually means to live these principles.

If you’re not familiar with the story, a young man, Walter Carr, didn’t want to be late for his first day of work after his car broke down and no one was available to give him a ride. Undaunted by his situation and the obstacles in his way, he decided to take drastic measures to be on time. He would walk the 20 miles to work. No small feat considering it was an estimated 7 hour journey and he would have to walk ALL night to arrive by 8:00 am.

A little over halfway through his overnight journey Walter was spotted by police in Pelham, AL. Naturally, they stopped to question the young man. After hearing his plan to walk all night and then work all day at Bellhops moving a family to their new home, they not only gave him a ride – they took him to get breakfast.

Through all of that, Walter arrived at his work location before the rest of the moving crew. Although offered by the homeowner to rest until everyone else arrived, Walter declined and started work immediately. As you might expect, the homeowner was struck by the values, philosophies and actions (The OC Equation™) of this young man and posted his story online.

When Walter’s boss, Luke Marklin, learned about his initiative, perseverance and unwavering commitment not only to Bellhops, but to their customer, he decided to take action and implemented the 2 rules of leadership by giving Walter his personal vehicle as a gift.

Treating people the way you want to be treated, with dignity and respect, and doing the right thing, even when it’s hard, always pays dividends – sometimes overtly and sometimes subtly.

You can’t buy and you can’t demand loyalty and dedication, you can’t teach initiative and perseverance, but you can support and reward actions that live those values.

Everyone in this story lived these leadership principles. How will YOU live these principles today and will others’ know you by YOUR action?