Lead by Example
Be the Person You Want Your Employees to Be
When you’re a leader, it’s incredibly important to practice what you preach. You want your employees to do as you say, but they’re more likely to do as you do. So, say and do the same thing. Follow the policies you put into place. Like Gandhi, be the change you want to see. Don’t expect your team to show up on time if you can’t. To encourage promptness from your team, show up early. Similarly, for a positive work environment, be positive. Whether you realize it or not, you set the tone for the culture at work. Your employees pick up on what you do and don’t do, and they’ll do it themselves – for better or worse.
As the person in charge, you show folks what’s right and wrong within the organization. You’re also setting the pace. This is extremely relevant if you’re trying to improve diversity and inclusion, so set a good example in your hiring practices. In addition to setting a good example, call out the bad things. Be receptive to people calling you out for your mistakes too. Then, correct your actions and take ownership. When you’re leading well, team members treat others with respect because they understand that’s the way it should be.
When the boss sets a poor example, the team believes they can get away with the same poor behaviors. This sets up a toxic culture because the employees believe such behaviors are tolerable (and maybe even encouraged). When this happens, the workplace becomes a festering pool of toxicity, with a bully boss at the helm. If you’re a fan of How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson’s The Chain of Screaming theory may come to mind.
At the end of the day, be the boss you would want to have. If your journey has been anything like mine, your past bosses have taught you what you do and don’t want to mimic. So, do unto others what you wish to be done to you. Be kind, be fair, and above all – don’t assign last-minute deliverables. Everyone hates those.
“Lead by Example” is one of the five heroic leadership skills in my FREE e-book, the Five Heroic Leadership Skills! If you want more tips and tricks, subscribe to my email newsletter and you’ll get my latest content delivered directly to your inbox!