If you have ever worked for an effective leader, you know that what makes them most effective is they lead by example. Setting the right example for others on your team shows can motivate and inspire them. It shows others that you can be trusted and respected because you are willing to do the same things you are asking of others.
Leaders who do not lead by example are seen as having a double standard, which feels unfair to others. After all, why should they follow you into a difficult situation if you are not willing to get your hands dirty, too? Being a good leader means knowing when it is necessary to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Here are the top eight ways that you can lead by example, no matter your role or title.
Being truthful with others show that you are honest and trustworthy. Even when the truth is hard, ESPECIALLY when the truth is hard, you should always be honest with others. Honesty helps others to see your integrity, which also means they will trust you to honor your promises. The more people believe you, the harder they are willing to work and the better results you will get.
No matter the situation, it is crucial that you accept responsibility for the success or failure of your team. Taking responsibility for your actions shows that you can be trusted, and it allows others to see how this trait is one that should be cultivated in all team members. Do not blame or make excuses. Accept your part in whatever is happening and learn from each experience.
One of the best ways you can lead by example is to listen to your colleagues actively. Listening implies that you are trying to understand someone. Listening encourages others to share ideas and perspectives, which can ultimately help the process. Do not feel like you always must have the answers. Allow others to be a part of the process, too.
Another meaningful way you can lead by example is by showing others that your health and wellness is just as important to you as your work or your team’s success. Modeling healthy priorities allows others to feel like they too can take the time necessary to take care of themselves. Self-care will enable you to remain balanced and successful, so make sure others know that it is essential.
You expect others to find solutions and work hard, so you should always be ready to do the same. Being persistent shows others that you know how to overcome obstacles, that you will not falter in the face of adversity, and that they can count on you to be beside them when things get tough.
Showing others that you are open to learning new skills and mindsets shows them you are adaptable, accessible, and solution-focused. When you behave as if you already know all the answers, people will be less likely to want to work with you. You are open-mindedness by modeling lifelong learning and growth.
It can be hard to walk straight into a tricky situation without flinching, but that’s exactly what leaders do. It is okay to feel fear, but it is not okay to allow fear to rule your behavior. Being courageous means acting even in the face of fear, and that’s what others are looking for in a leader. Show them what you are made of in all tough situations, and they will follow you anywhere.
The best way you can lead by example is always to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get the work done. No one will want to follow you if you are demanding they stay late but are home at a decent hour every night. When the going gets tough, you should be in the trenches with your team, no matter the hour. Showing you are not afraid to work hard allows them to know you will be there for them, no matter what.