Leaders lead by example, whether they intend to or not. You can tell your team, your employees, your people what to do but what they will actually do is whatever it is you’re doing.
People do what the leader does, not what they leader says to do. You may have some people that will follow your words for a time but after a while they follow what you do and that can last a lifetime.
That’s why it’s so important for an authentic leader’s words to match their actions. Most people simply do not know how to be successful, they need a model of success and that’s what an authentic leader can be for them.
Here’s an idea for you; invest some time developing a personal mission statement for yourself. Be idealistic about yourself, how would the perfect you look and act? How would the perfect you behave, believe, say and do?
Now be more realistic; what can YOU really commit to? How close to that perfect model can you get given the circumstances of your life and environment?
How will you move from where you are to the model you can commit to? What needs to change in order for you to get closer to the “perfect” you?
From those questions you should be able to develop a personal mission statement, so write it out.
This isn’t something you hide away in a computer or tablet. This is something you print out and hang in your office. This is something you hand out to your team. This is something you ask people to hold you accountable to follow through with.
Most important, share it with the people who truly care enough about you to be honest with you. Ask for their help in getting closer to the “perfect” you. You’ll never get there but the journey will greatly improve your ability to lead.
The closer you get, the more likely it is that your words match your actions and the closer the match the better example you become for the people you lead.
You DO lead by example, the only questions is; is it the example you want to set for the people you care and lead?
3 thoughts on “You’re an Example, Like it or Not”
Thank you for writing another absolutely fantastic article, Steve! Just brilliant!
Thank you, I appreciate your kind words, both here and on Twitter!
Wôw. I had never really considered my own mission statement and sharing it with my team. I have been so focused on the mission of the team/company. I should know better, but I suppose I was focusing more on the forest than the trees. We have to do both. Thank you for the reminder.