A Simple Leadership Principle


I once had a boss who performed magic! His mere presence on the sales floor seemed to always enable us get the job done in record time. Whenever an important merchandising project rolled up, his presence instantly doubled our strength. He wasn’t mean. He didn’t yell at us. He made work fun. He made it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier. It was simple.

The principles of great ‘Leadership’ can sometimes be broken down into smaller pieces. One of the often-missed smaller pieces is leading by example.

Leading by example is as simple as:

  1. Working side-by-side with employees showing them how to do it. The employees will also appreciate the time they have with their boss.
  2. Volunteering for the tougher assignments. By showing that you have the courage to take on a tough assignment, your followers will be more apt to volunteer when you need to accomplish something big.
  3. Doing the dirty work first. Your employees should see that you aren’t afraid to do the unfavorable ‘grunt’ work.
  4. Changing your mindset first. When upper management makes a decision that requires change in your team, let them know it isn’t easy. But tell them how you will change yourself to accommodate the request.
  5. Sharing your own struggles. If an employee is finding it hard to execute at their job, share with them a similar experience you’ve had and ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them overcome it.
  6. Failing in front of them. Do not hide your failures. When you fail, let them know you did, and it’s ok because you will get better.

What are some examples you have of leading by example? Please share them in the comments below!


Author: Joe Croarkin

Husband, father of three, brother of four

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