We have all heard the adage ‘lead by example’, but what does that actually mean and how can you put it into business context?
This blog will discuss what leadership is and how you can lead by example.
Leading or leadership is not management. You do not need to be in a leadership or managerial role to be a leader. Leadership is more than just budgeting, controlling monitoring, forecasting, assigning and evaluating work. Leadership focuses on empathy and building trust. Employees follow leaders, not managers.
In the market today, employees are looking for strong leaders. People they can follow and learn from. They are often people they aspire to be in their career.
What 'Leading by Example' means
Leading by example is behaving in a way that others want to follow, as they can see the positive outcomes in behaving in that way. This is setting the example. Keep in mind, within business, people are always watching your actions and behaviours, and this can either lead to positive or negative behaviours.
Set the example
Consider the following examples:
1. Support and respect the chain of command
If you do not follow the chain of command and your employees see this, they may start acting this way. Without a structured chain of command, companies are disorganised and can lack accountability and processes, which will lead to confusion.
2. Be accountable
Accept and acknowledge mistakes.
3. Deliver on promised results
Do what you say you are going to do. Leaders are strong delegators; they know how to divide objectives, who should be put on what task and utilise the skills and knowledge within their team. They understand they need to work collaboratively.
4. Be involved
Know your role and your objectives. You do not need to be a subject matter expert in everything, but a leader who knows their job and has the knowledge and skills to be able to meet expectations will gain more respect than a leader who doesn’t.
Taking the time to listen, take on feedback and understand challenges or issues. Listening helps builds trust and rapport.
6. Solve issues or challenges
Conflicts, challenges and/or issues happen daily within a business, a leader who supports and assists in solving problems in a timely manner, sets a culture that focuses on the overall outcome through building, supporting and developing the team.
Being a great leader takes time, training, and the right mindset. If you want to be a great leader, invest time into understanding what a leader is, research the mindsets of known great leaders (why did people follow them) and be consistent.