You can lead effectively if you lead by example. “Lead by example” sounds like one of those cliché statements that fly around. However, you will come to realize that great companies often have leaders who obey thisgolden rule – “Lead by example”.

Understand the concept

Firstly, you must understand the concept of leading by example. The truth is that every leader is already leading by example. The question is what kind of example are you setting as a leader? – Good or bad. The concept of leading by example is simply to set good examples. It means to mirror what you desire to see in your team members.

The idea is that you should not say/expect one thing and do another.Your team will follow you devotedly if your actions are consistent with your expectations. Having understood this concept, let us find out what it really means to be leading by example.

What it means to be leading by example

  • Set the bar high for yourself

This means you should not set low expectations for yourself while you expect much from those on your team. When you lead, you set the bar from above. But when you lead by example, you also live the bar being set.You must haveequal or even higher performance expectations for yourself as you have for members of your team. To do this, you must first establish priorities for yourself as a leader. Then, model and live the conduct and behaviors you want in your team members.

  • Finish off on your commitments

One thing about leadership is that people on your team are watching you. Your team members notice everything you do. Not only that, they are being influenced by your behavior. Leading by example means that you also get your hands dirty with the rest of the team. You also actively engage yourself in pursuit of a goal you have set for them. Leaders who only pay lip service don’t usually get much result from their team.

  • Take the blame and share the credit

Most people have mastered the art of taking credits and shifting blames. If you act like this toward your team members, you will be setting a bad example for them. As a leader, you must be willing to take some hits that you don’t deserve. You must also appreciate team efforts when things go well. Don’t act like you pulled it off all by yourself. This will encourage your team members to act selflessly and build a strong team-spirit. A strong team-spirit has many benefits.

When you are conscious about leading by example, you would do three things regularly.

  • Think and clearly spell out what exactly you expect from your team.
  • Evaluate yourself to see if you are reflecting those things personally.
  • Set a process on how to achieve your goals

If you would love to develop this kind of process, you could enroll in courses or do proper research. Another way to improve on leadership skills is to attend leadership talks or any similar program. Your professionalism and efficiency in leadership and management will surely be improved when you master the art of leading by example.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.