People-first™ Factor #1: Lead by Example

October 4, 2010 -- Sal Silvester

Have you ever had respect for a leader whose words did not match her actions? Have you ever had respect for a leader who preached personal values and then behaved differently?

The fundamental component of leadership is People-first™ Factor #1 Lead by Example. This is the core of leadership. This is the component that will either establish or kill your credibility. And if you aren’t credible, you will never gain commitment and trust from your team members.

Here’s a great question to ask yourself as you examine how well you Lead by Example.

Would you work for you?

Think about it. If you worked for you, would you have respect for yourself based on the behaviors of how you lead today? If you worked for you, would you find yourself credible? If you worked for you, would you be committed to you?

Leading by example has nothing to do with being charismatic. It has nothing to do with the traits that you were born with. It is simply about personal alignment.

People-first™ leaders who Lead by Example by doing these things really well.

  1. They go first. Leaders never ask others to do something they wouldn’t do themselves first.
  2. They model the behaviors they want to see in others.
  3. They are clear about their personal values and then act in alignment with those values. Values are an interesting thing. We don’t simply check our values at the door when we step into the workplace. They follow us around. They come out in subtle ways. They impact our every behavior.
  4. They know themselves. Effective leaders understand how their personal style impacts the people around them - their peers, team members, and manager.  And, they understand why they respond to others the way you do.

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