Steps to Management Success – Step 85: Lead by Example

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 5th, 2010

STEP EIGHTY-FIVE: Lead by Example

Whether you like it or not, you are a role model to your employees or staff. They may not always look up to you, but they are always looking at you. If you say one thing but do another, you are sending a dissonant message that could adversely impact your image and effectiveness as a manager.

WHAT IT MEANS: What makes a business grow? Leadership. The leadership and vision of the entrepreneur light the way for business success. You and your employees follow the course you have set for the business. Be sure that you lead by example when it comes to working hard, valuing lifelong learning, and appreciating employees’ contributions. Your personal attitudes and actions influence those around you.

Some people just love their chosen occupation and nothing makes them happier than doing a good job. They enjoy meeting and helping people. They’re enthusiastic. These owners or managers are enthusiastic and positive around everyone—especially customers and employees. People want to be surrounded by positive people. A leader who may not be charismatic but is positive draws a positive response from those he or she interacts with. A positive outlook can help develop a can-do attitude among employees and can generate a feeling of goodwill among customers.

ACTION PLAN: Start acting immediately as the person you will be, a person of character with a sound reputation. Your words, your manner, your attitude, your dress, your posture, and your actions are all reflections. In modern society, people are constantly bombarded with visual and auditory messages. People need cues to sort good from bad and to find order so that they can make decisions. In many different aspects of your daily life, you are giving off cues that can be positive or negative. If you speak well, dress appropriately, smile, are courteous, work hard, volunteer, and don’t complain, you give people shortcuts to view you in your best light.

EVEN BETTER: Identify some great leaders whom you admire, learn more about them, and then strive to emulate their leadership style.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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