How to lead by example

How to effectively Lead by Example

Pushing the people ahead as a transformational leader

A great leader always strives to lead by his/her own example to set direction and build an inspiring vision.A good style of leadership should in fact be transformational through creating a vision of the future that can inspire others and keep the team highly motivated. Leading by example means helping professionals to ‘see what lies ahead and act swiftly to counter any challenges along the way.’ If there is no person with enough leadership competence, the company may end up with triggered conflicts among the team members and, consequently, with loss of motivation and low performance levels. 

How to apply this type of approach within your company? Here are some tips:

Prove that you are able to take responsibility

Leading by example implies first and foremost having an exceptional sense of responsibility. It should be the first value that you share with your team. Taking the blame and accepting a sort of ‘personal responsibility’ especially in case of failures or critical moments allows the leaders to create trust and reliability.

Always listen carefully to your team members and try to decode their needs

Leading by example is also about people management, so listening to the requests of the people that follow your example is fundamental. An exemplary leader should also be able to interpret the evolution of the team including the unexpressed needs or worries. Therefore, an advanced emotional intelligence and empathy are strongly recommended.

Don’t avoid talking about failure and get the best out of it

A common mistake is not dealing with a failure and not talking about this element that should represent a ‘vital process of invention, innovation, and risk-taking. If you want a truly extraordinary team, celebrate failure and even encourage it in a controlled, experimental environment.’ Using a positive approach and dealing with it by sharing responsibility just like any other part of the business process will make everyone feel part of the project. Apply the motto attributed to the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop: ‘united we stand, divided we fall’.

Be honest and transparent

If you want to lead by example you need to communicate your values and vision with honesty and transparency. Ambiguity is not welcomed for this type of approach. If you want to be taken as an example prove that you have a high ethical conduct. You can’t betray or suddenly change your values in an opportunistic manner. Be consistent and linear if you want to get the best from your team.

Leading by example means also performing coaching activities and managing complex team dynamics. A good leader makes sure that all team members acquire and improve their skills in order to get the job done. 

According to John Baldoni, author of Lead by Example, great leadership is ‘about decisiveness, authority, conviction, compassion, and, most important, the ability to set the right example’, and it takes a lot of practice, experience and humility to learn from mistakes. Take the right inspiration from our latest blog posts!

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