If you want to build a vibrant organizational culture, or govern with authority, or create a social dynamic that’s productive and fair, the simple rule is: the rules apply to people in power before they are applied to those without.
It’s easy to rationalize the alternative, to put yourself first. After all, you’ve somehow earned the authority to make an exception for yourself.
But when we avoid that temptation and expose ourselves to the rules first, obey the rules first and make the sacrifices first, our culture is more likely to stick.
The rules that matter the most are the ones about behavior, transparency and accountability.
People might hear what you say, but they always remember what you do.