Want Better Employees? Lead Them by Example!

Sheena Stemler All, Management Best Practices Leave a Comment

As a manager, business owner, or company leader, you understand that one of the best ways to develop employees is to lead them by example. However, you also know this is easier said than done. You probably have your plate full at work, and may feel you don’t have time to put thought and energy into leading by example. Guess what? This type of leadership doesn’t have to take a lot of effort.

Easy Ways to Lead Employees by Example

Effectively leading others by example can be easy. Here are a few practical ways to do this:

Remember that leading by example is all about intent

A lot of managers almost solely lead their employees by giving them directives. This is an acceptable way to give instruction, but leading by example should always back up a directive. Business Enterprise Club’s article Leading Through Example says, “Leading through example is leading through intent; not through directives. When people hear you say to do something they may follow what you say, but that is much less efficient than when they follow what you mean. By following your intent, your subordinates will be much more productive and much more aligned with your vision than if they just follow what you say word for word.” Do you tend to lead more by intent or by directives?

Demonstrate self-care

An employee who has good self-care practices will be better at his or her job. Period. The same goes for managers. You’d think that self-care would be natural, but it’s not. The vast majority of people put others’ needs before their own and require encouragement in this area. In 7 Simple Ways to Lead by Example, Brent Gleeson wrote, “Wellness and fitness are essential for good leadership. The more you take care of yourself, the more energy you will have and the better work you will do. The only way to build a fitness-oriented culture is to lead by example. Get in shape and lead from the front.” Are you willing to demonstrate to your employees what self-care looks like?

Give workers the benefit of the doubt

It seems like a good number of managers have trouble giving their employees the benefit of the doubt. No matter how hard it is, believing the best of people is important and a powerful way to lead by example. After all, if you start a trend of positivity, it will begin to spread through your company’s culture like wildfire. Although you may have had some bad experiences with employees in the past, start to assume that everyone is doing the best they can. This will encourage them to rise to their potential.

Lewis Cass said, “People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.” What are some ways you lead your workforce by example? Share your thoughts in the “comments” section below.











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