Who are the leaders that you have learned the most from?
Are they the ones that sat in an office, never gave an opinion and never gave you direction? Probably not! You wouldn’t learn or achieve very much by following the example of that type of leadership. Your leadership style will be emulated, so the best way to lead others to do and be what you want them to be in the world of work is to lead by example.
Leaders who lead by example build trust and admiration and seem to get much more accomplished in a shorter amount of time. It’s helpful for team leaders to lead by example so they can rally and inspire the group toward achieving its aim. Here are a few ways to lead by example – no matter who you’re trying to lead:
1. While actions speak louder than words, you still need to watch what you say.
Words can have a serious impact on morale and enthusiasm. A few badly thought out words from a leader can discourage a team and make it difficult for them to show support and meet goals. Have you ever been tongue lashed publicly in front of your peers? Did that make you want to do the best for your boss?
2. Honour the chain of command.
While you may not agree with some of the decisions handed down from the upper chain of command, you must respect it at all times to set a good example. Otherwise, confusion and chaos may occur, and the structural elements of the team will begin to fall apart. Discuss issues of disagreement with your boss in private not in public.
3. Do the work you ask of others.
Be ready to pitch in when needed and even when you aren’t. It shows a team that you are a member, even though you’re the leader and builds trust and confidence in the other team members. You may also gain knowledge and learn some things that you may not be privy to if you’re constantly giving orders.
4. Take an interest in others.
Everyone has a bad day sometimes – and you should be sensitive to those days when your employee just isn’t doing the job up to par. Rather than showing criticism, show sensitivity.
5. Choose your battles wisely.
Don’t concentrate your efforts on the little conflicts which arise among team members. Instead, put your efforts into more important matters. Otherwise, you will find yourself constantly drained from non-consequential battles.
As a leader, it’s your job to know what’s going on. Don’t be so busy giving orders and guidance that you miss listening to your team members. Even though you may be an expert in what you do, you can’t know everything. There may be a few good team members who can teach you a thing or two and provide great feedback about your business decisions and team.
7. Don’t take your team for granted.
Never take one or all of them for granted, but consider each as a valuable asset to what you desire to accomplish. Also, assume (until you’re shown differently) that each person on the team is a reliable and honest person who you can trust and depend on.
When you strive to set a good example for others, you are demonstrating leadership qualities that will serve you well in the long run.
Do you have any leadership examples you would add to this list?