Your example is the most important part of leadership
First published on CEOWorld Magazine on 29 May 2018.
Research tells us that when an employee quits a job, there is a 70% likelihood that the reason is because they have a problem with their manager. The reasons can vary, and sometimes the problem lies with the employee, but more often than not it will be because they have lost trust with their team leader. As I work with teams, I’ve observed that one of the factors that causes employees to struggle to trust their leader is the confusion caused by the conflicting messages they receive. It could be summarised as: ‘I can’t hear what you are saying because the noise of what you do every day drowns out your words.’
To ‘lead by example’ does not mean you never get things wrong. It does not mean you have to spend huge amounts of time with team members. It does not mean you have an open-door policy where you are constantly interrupted any time your staff have a question or demand. To lead by example does not mean you have to be their friend or can never challenge them to lift their game and do better.
A leader builds trust and respect by consistently leading by example in their mood (or attitude), relationships with people, and commitment to effective and productive work practices. A leader who consistently models a good example in these three areas will be doing what is required to set the whole team up to be successful. The personal discipline required is a small price to pay.
The three areas are:
Mood and attitude
Relationships and people management
Effective work practices
If you lead by example in the ways outlined, you will become the kind of leader with whom people love to work. You will build trust and respect from those you lead. Your teams will almost always achieve their objectives. Team members will have ownership and motivation to contribute strongly. The team environment will be dynamic and inspiring. You will build a workplace that no one wants to leave. Such workplaces do not just happen. They are built by leaders who understand that their consistent example is the most important part of leadership.
Click here to read the full article including ways you can improve in the three areas of personal discipline,