Good leaders must lead by example. If their actions line up with what they say, they become people 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. Try not to explain or complain.
- 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 okay 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 you, your company, or your team. Never give up.
- Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team for more. Develop the mindset of a solution provider.
- 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 team that is mentally and physically balanced is a successful team. Model it, encourage it, support it!
- Roll up your sleeves. Like Harriet Tubman leading hundreds to freedom, do what it takes to get the job done. You’ll inspire greatness in your company.
Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications