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.
1. Take responsibility. Blame costs you your credibility, keeps team members on the defensive and ultimately sabotages real growth.
2. Be truthful. Inaccurate representation affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy.
3. Be courageous. Walk through fire (a crisis) first. Take calculated risks that demonstrate commitment to a larger purpose.
4. Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your team to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary.
5. Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define your company or team.
6. Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team for more.
7. Listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. You’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages healthy dialog.
8. Delegate liberally. Encourage an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths.
9. 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!
10. Roll up your sleeves. Like Alexander the Great leading his men into battle, you’ll inspire greatness in your company.