Leaders will always be seen. What they are seen to do will set the example for what they want others to do. Whatever examples you set for the team will encourage your other managers to do the same. Trust is built by consistently demonstrating the same things. Creating an environment of trust is the responsibility of a leader. If you want your people to behave at their best – set the example.
Top 8 Ways To Lead By Example
- Take responsibility.
Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team for more. If mistakes have been made, accept them and move on to fixing them. Blaming others or even yourself is a waste of time and attention. Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your team to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary. Focus on correcting them, and don’t allow team members to go on the defensive. Blame cultures sabotage growth and individual careers so don’t grow them. If you are the leader, you need to take responsibility.
- Speak the truth, ask for the truth, listen to the truth.
Be truthful in your communications. Don’t leave out bad news, or be political in order to create temporary positive feelings in your audience. People will get to know what is true and they will lose respect for you if you haven’t represented things accurately. Show that honesty really IS the best policy and invite truthful communications from your people. Be prepared to listen and hear contrary views to your own. You will benefit from this; don’t let your ego prevent you listening to differing perceptions.
- Respect the people you work with.
Respect means listening and valuing each person’s contribution. Stop micromanaging. Each person should know their own role and responsibilities – let them get on and accomplish them. If you’ve shared the mission, vision, values, and goals, step back and let the team innovate and achieve. One sign of good leadership is knowing that you don’t know everything. Listen and get feedback from your team regularly. If recruitment and training is functioning well, you should have a whole team of experts to turn to for advice.
- Be fair and just.
Don’t take sides in arguments or for one person or group. Be the valued neutral point of fairness and justice and listen to all sides of an issue if your judgement is called for. Unbiased assessments of the pros and cons of an issue, where all sides are considered will lead to the best decision and the best outcomes.
- Demonstrate your technical competence.
Do the work and know your trade. You don’t have to be the most advanced technician on the team, but you must have an in-depth understanding of your industry and your business. Leaders have many responsibilities, but it is important to work alongside your team. This is a great way to build trust and continue to develop your own knowledge and skills
- Watch what you say.
Actions do speak louder than words, but words can undermine confidence and have a direct impact on morale. For better or for worse. Be mindful of what you say, to whom, and who is listening. Do not be critical about people not present and certainly not about people present, with others in the room. Always show support for all team members. If someone needs extra guidance, provide it behind closed doors.
- Delegate completely.
Once you have delegated responsibility to someone, don’t interfere. One of the fastest ways to cause structural deterioration, foster confusion, and damage morale is to go around your direct reports. Team members need to respect the leadership at every level. If the senior leaders don’t respect the authority they have created, why would anyone else?
- Take care of yourself.
Wellness and fitness are essential for good leadership. The more you take care of yourself, the more energy you will have and the better work you will do. Ensure you have a valuable life outside work. Demonstrate work-life balance. The only way to build a healthy environment is to have healthy people work there, so lead by example and demonstrate a healthy balance between life and work.
These are only eight of the many ways to lead by example. By walking your talk, you become a person others want to follow.
5th August 2015