Originally published in August, 2015
I was recently listening to a group of teenagers talk about their summer jobs and most of the talk was about the leadership style that one of them was dealing with.
I heard the words, “They don’t set a good example” numerous times in the rant. Coming from a teenager, this raised my ‘leadership radar’. Great, good and even mediocre leadership has to start with setting an example. You cannot preach one thing and do another.
As a leader, you are always being watched. Your team is taking its que from you: the good and the bad.
Here are 5 things you should do to set a good example:
- Be on time
- Perform at a level that shows you are a leader
- Commit and deliver
- Follow through
- Treat people with kindness and empathy
Timeliness. Are you always on time, to a fault? Do your meetings start on time and end on time? Do you arrive at work early – like clockwork? Do you make promises and deliver on time… all the time?
Performance. Are you are known for your excellence in performance – or at the very least, a performance level that is recognized as the very best you can do?
Commitment. Are you looked upon as the most committed to the organization or department?
Follow-through. Do plans never die on the vine with you? Do you follow through on everything?
Dealing with People. Are you the one in the group who defines kindness to another’s troubles, empathy for those who need it, forgiveness always and a smile even through your own troubles?
If people start arriving at meetings late, seem to be slacking off, look like they don’t care anymore, deliver late or seem to be no longer getting along with others, look in the mirror. You might be a lot closer to the cause than you think.
Yes, leadership is tough. Everyone is watching you constantly and expecting you to set the tone and to set an example. Great leaders set great examples… all the time.
David Barrett is a professional speaker specializing in strategy execution and Leadership.