With the summer heat behind us, many within the business community are only now beginning to get a chance to take a breath and think about the summer season and the current business environment beyond next week. With that opportunity comes the chance to be both self-aware in our own performance and also self-reflective from an organizational standpoint; in practice, Colin Powell once highlighted a strong ability of truly great leaders to be able to build their organizations as seen both from the inside and the outside.

As we think about our organizations moving forward, it’s important to note that our roles as leaders and managers include many roles--one of which is surely “role-model in chief” to our customers, staff, and community partners. While many of us may not like the idea that leaders are under a great deal of scrutiny from both inside and outside our organizations, it’s still a role that we must take seriously as our actions always speak volumes about our priorities.

One of the most powerful leadership tools available to all of us, through our own choice and at very little cost, is the decision to role model behaviors. It’s a great time of year to reflect on how we might be perceived within our organizations and how we’re setting examples to others. No one gets it right all the time--it’s not given to us to be perfect, of course--but the skills of self-awareness combined with the disciple to take action consistently are true tools of long-term success.

Now, for the moment, don’t forget to take some time today to plan a smartphone vacation and take a well-earned break. It’s a powerful example to your team, your customers, and your community partners that people are the first priority.

Clark Twiddy, President of Twiddy & Company, is the author of our Leadership Corner, published on our blog the third Tuesday of each month. He can be reached at ctwiddy@twiddy.com.