Lead By Example

Lead By Example

Lead By Example

The first leadership principle I ever learned was to lead by example. Although it sounds simple, it never ceases to amaze me how few so-called leaders actually lead by example.

Remember the old adage “Never ask your subordinates to do anything you wouldn’t do?” It’s one completely ignored by many in leadership positions today.

Here’s a question: When Mr. or Ms. Leader did you ask one of your people to work on a weekend but you yourself won’t work on weekends?

How about working on holidays or at certain times of the day? Do you take the initiative to work all schedules you ask your people to work?

Are you the type of leader who takes all the good deals but gives the bad deals to your subordinates?

I had a boss once who refused to attend a training program that included physical and mental stress over a two-week period. He didn’t think twice though scheduling everyone else in his section to attend the course.

Needless to say his subordinates didn’t think much of this type of leader. At the same time, this boss would be the first to attend any “good deal” training course our company offered. “I have to make sure the course is right for my people…” was his excuse to the peons.

What a good leader would have done would be the first to attend the “bad deal” training and the last to attend the “good deal” training.

When it comes to dealing with disgruntled customers or vendors are you pawning the hard work off to your subordinates? Or are you showing them your employees the proper method to handle these cases?

One who leads by example will be the first person in to work and the last person to leave each day.

Leaders who lead by example will step up to the plate to do the hard jobs.

Why is it important to lead by example?

It’s important to lead by example because your people will follow your example. If you want a successful, can-do workforce show them how it’s done. If your people see you come in to work early and prepare for the day; they’ll come in early and prepare for the day.

Pick up most “How To” books written by successful business leaders and you’ll see people we want to emulate. We want to be like successful leaders. It makes sense. If they’re successful, we’ll be successful.

Leading by example leads to the next principle of leadership and that is: Take care of your people and they’ll take care of you.

Next week, we’ll talk about how, by knowing your people and taking care of them, they’ll take care of you and your business. In fact they’ll want to treat the business as if it were their own.

Until next week: Here’s to your success!

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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