Leadership by example is the idea of being the person you would like others to be. It is you standing out as an example to others.
It is doing the things you want others to do.
If leadership is influence, then leading by example is the best way to show others the way.
The flip side is called hypocrisy. We all hate hypocrites!
This is someone that tells you to do something or be a certain way but they never follow suit.
Leading by example gives power to what you say. It also gives you the integrity required to have a positive influence on someone.
Imagine if I expected people to be on time to meetings. It’s generally a reasonable request. It’s even grounds for discipline if someone repeatedly comes in late.
What would it be like if I was always coming in late to those meetings?
It would be frustrating and demoralizing to my team because I am holding them to a greater standard than I am holding myself.
At the end of the day we can’t ask people to do any more than we ourselves are willing to do.
If I want to influence someone to live a life of integrity, be punctual or speak nicer to others, I myself must first model it to them.
Leadership is influence. This means that if you are leading someone you have influence in their life. Who you are is what will influence them more than what you say.
This is a challenge to leadership by example, which at the end of the day is the only kind of leadership.
You will either lead others by being the example of what to do or what not to do. You will be either an example of who to become or who not to become.
This has much to do with self-leadership. This is your ability to instill discipline into your life and lead yourself well.
Share a story in the comments of someone who led well by example or someone that was an example of what not to do.
How can leading by example increase your ability to influence others in a positive way?