Walking the Talk in Michigan

Man of Integrity: Judge Raymond Voet
The Fayetteville Observer | photo by Greg Barnes

The news is chock full of instances about a leader’s ethical lapse. But how often do we read stories about someone really leading by example? The Associated Press put out a story recently about a Michigan judge, the Honorable Raymond Voet, who held himself in contempt of court in his own courtroom!

Judge Voet has a posted rule in his court that those whose electonic devices interrupt proceedings will be held in contempt. On April 12, 2013, His Honor’s new smartphone started asking for voice commands during some closing arguments in his court. At the break, he held himself in contempt and paid a fine of $25. Judge Voet feels that if he can’t live by his own rules, he has no business enforcing them on others.

My mentor John Maxwell says that you have to live what you teach because you are your message. Judge Voet has sent a powerful message to those who will come before his court that even he is not above the law. That is a powerful message for all civil servants to remember.

Judge Holds Himself in Contempt for His Smartphone by the Associated Press

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