There is one statement that validates a person's integrity when stated by another: "He really walks the talk." It's a statement of personal alignment - that your actions match your words. As stated in a recent Chrysler ad, "The strongest statements are made without saying a word."
Modeling ethical, values-based behavior creates an infinitely more positive impact than just talking about it. As a leader or a parent, those you try to influence will not always mimic your words, but they will usually walk in your path.
It is a misperception that leaders and parents must continually present ideas, speak up, direct, and be heard. However, excellent leaders learn to listen up - listen for ideas, problems, concerns, needs. They know why God gave them two ears and one mouth and take it to heart.
St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel always. If necessary, use words." Do the same in your leadership role - whether at work, at home or in the community. Since one of the laws of leadership is that you are always leading, then lead the way for others, and use words only if necessary.
In short, walk the walk.
-adapted from Lee J. Colan