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Leading by Example

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In addition to being good in principle, leading by example also inspires loyalty and trust in your employees. In order to keep enthusiasm and goodwill among your team members, you need to do more than instruct, you need to lead. Below are a few ways you can lead by example and inspire your employees to succeed.

  • Make a firm commitment to your team and purpose. Remind yourself why you started the journey and took on the role you’re in.
  • Before you ask someone to do something, think about whether you would be willing to do it yourself. For example, if you change office hours, follow the same schedule you put your employees on.
  • Examine your own behavior and make sure you aren’t mirroring any behaviors you critique others for. For example, if you don’t tolerate interruptions at meetings, you should hold yourself to the same standard.
  • Establish a standard of excellence. Set high expectations and hold both yourself and your team members to it. Showcase your work and display the high quality of results you expect.
  • Remember to take the same leniency with yourself that your team members are allowed. If you want your team to take full lunch breaks to relax, you should take them too so that your team doesn’t feel the need to mirror your dedication.
  • Deliver on your promises. Focus on results and make sure what you say will get done gets done. If you tell your team member you will provide a set of data, deliver that data.
  • If needed, bring in a team of experts who can get a job done. This shows your team that you aren’t too proud to ask for help, and that results are the end goal.
  • Be transparent. Treat people well and be honest about their work. If they ask questions, answer truthfully and, if needed, explain your motivations. Your transparency will inspire transparency from your people, and will enhance your teams’ ability to develop authentic working relationships.
  • Develop relationships. Value your team members and develop listening and communication skills that will foster trust and healthy working relationships.
  • Accept responsibility for any mistakes instead of blaming others. Being responsible helps showcase your credibility and reliability, whereas blame makes people defensive and hinders growth.
  • Cooperate with others. Your team can produce higher quality product and work more efficiently when collaborating, so show your value in teamwork by working well with others.
  • Invest in learning and development for both yourself and your team members. Demonstrate your commitment to professional improvement and provide resources for your team members to do the same.

Leading by example is the best way to show your team that you will also do what you expect from them. It will make them more likely and willing to help you achieve your goal. Overall, leading by example makes you a leader people want to follow. Tell us what other ways you can lead by example in the comments below.


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