Behind every successful business is a great leader. A great leader is not only someone who is good in his words, but also true to his words. In another essence, the “Follow me, do not follow what I do” does not apply to him. In short, he leads by example.
There is nothing more frustrating than being under the leadership of a hypocritical supervisor. This not only weakens the company’s leadership system, but also lowers the morale of its employees. Leading by example is one of the greatest traits of a good leader. A good leader influences his people, not with mere words, but with quick and dignified actions.
As a leader, each and every move you make are being observed by watchful eyes. So it is important to remind yourself that you are not just doing things for yourself, but also for your own business and for the greater good of your organization. Here are 5 powerful ways to lead by example and keep the trust of your team and your people intact.
1) Accept Responsibility
You have to get yourself dirty. Accept tasks and responsibilities. Do not just dictate and command. You have to learn how to help your team and be involved in problem solving activities or in projects assigned to the group. You have to realize that being a leader does not entitle you to only lead by supervision. You have to exert effort and get your hands dirty in the process. When feedback is made available, and there are a few glitches of the work done, do not blame your team or your members. Accept the feedback with an open-mind, taking responsibility of what your whole team has done. Remember, it was a collective effort which was done under your leadership. It may be some of the teams direct fault, but as a leader, that someone is under your care and responsibility. Man up and admit the shortcomings. If a project is successful, appreciate and recognize the efforts done by the group. You may tap yourself for a job well done, but do remember to recognize that it was done by a team and not just one person. This kind of environment lowers the stress levels of each member of your team and encourages them to do their best to not fail the whole group. It also inspires them to do better since their leader is actively participates in assignments, so there is no reason for them not to contribute. Accepting responsibility as a leader would also push your members to do the same.
2) Be honest
It is encouraged that you take responsibility in the actions and solutions by your team or your group. However, you do not just give recognize them for the good deed but also tell them where your team is weak. But do this in a light and subtle manner – the purpose is to be constructive, not criticizing. If there are particular people in your team or organization who you think needs to be lectured, do this privately and talk to them. Be sensitive to his feelings. Do not directly go into the lecture; ask him what were the issues or the possible reasons which distracted him from doing his job well. Always remember that you are not criticizing; you are trying to help this person in order to address whatever issues he has so that he can contribute better for the whole team or organization. Being honest also means that you teal your people of whatever challenges your company might be facing. It is never right for a leader to leave his members or employees guessing on what might be the status of your business or their positions in the company.
3) Practice the golden rule
The golden rule is to “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.” In business and leadership, this can mean that if you want accomplishment, act on your tasks as you would like others to do. If you want your people to follow your rules, then you yourself must follow them. It is disappointing for employees and members to be obliged to follow a no loitering policy when you yourself loiter most of the day. A powerful way to influence your employees or your members is to follow your own rules and make sure that they follow them too.
4) Respect each others differences and cultures
In an organization, each person has his/her own beliefs and culture backgrounds. You have to respect them. Each of them has also his/her own style of accomplishing tasks. What is important is that they do accomplish them effectively and efficiently. When dealing with your staff, take their differences into consideration. You cannot come up quick and strong and direct to someone who needs introduction and thorough explanation. Respecting each others differences and cultures encourages your people to also do the same and empower them to do their best according to their proven way of doing things. You can always suggest other ways, but do consider that his/her outlook may be different from yours.
5) Delegate more
It is good to get your hands dirty, but you also have to delegate tasks. Delegation empowers people; it inspires them to work and encourages to achieve the objectives of the group and the goals of the company. Know your people’s strengths and weaknesses. Harness their strength and improve their weaknesses. The only way you can do this is you delegate a job that works best for someone with the particular strength and give the other job to another who might be weak on the first job but can do better on the other job. Delegation makes your employees feel important and useful, and in return, they are driven to work their best and give good results. You have to trust on your people’s strengths and find ways to work on their weaknesses.
When you implement these ways and inject them into your leadership, you will motivate your people to follow your heed and encourage them to work their best. Most especially, they will gain your trust and respect – 2 of the most important things in leadership.