“The three most important ways to lead people are:… by example… by example… by example.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
Good leaders must lead by example. Through their actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become a person others want to follow. When leaders say one thing but do another, they erode trust, a critical element of productive leadership. Here are 10 of the dozens of ways to lead by example.
- Take responsibility. Blame costs you your credibility, keeps team members on the defensive and ultimately sabotages real growth.
- Be truthful. Inaccurate representation affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy.
- Be courageous. Walk through fire (a crisis) first. Take calculated risks that demonstrate commitment to a larger purpose.
- Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your team to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary.
- Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define your company or team.
- Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team for more.
- Listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. You’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages healthy dialogue.
- Delegate liberally. Encourage an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths.
- Take care of yourself. Exercise, don’t overwork, take a break. A balanced team, mentally and physically, is a successful team. Model it, encourage it, support it!
- Roll up your sleeves. Like Alexander the Great leading his men into battle, you’ll inspire greatness in your company.