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Walk the talk… leading by example

Would you go see an overweight physician to see about a diet that can help you lose weight?

There are countless examples in which we see that people don’t follow their own advice, however, this can make professionals lose all their credibility with their clients.

These days there is a lot of information and people everywhere trying to be coaches, consultants, create courses and sell services in different specialized sectors, mostly in digital businesses and sales. But many times we encounter people who do not preach by example, they talk about things like getting up early to take full advantage of the day, but you see them on their social networks doing the opposite. 

Or when we see a boss talk about how important it is to be committed to the job and arrive early, but they’re constantly late, or have something unexpected come up, or leave early, etc.   If we want people to take us seriously as authority figures we must preach by example and this is applicable at all levels of the organization and even in personal areas like within the family.   

Many times it’s a bit complicated to be aware that you are an example to follow by the people who surround you.  It doesn’t matter if in your job you have a position where you have people under you or not.  In cases where you are in charge of other people you have to know that you are a reference point not only for your team but also for other leaders.  For those of you that do not have anyone under you, you are also being evaluated by the rest of your coworkers, and if you do something you’re not supposed to and no one writes you up, the rest of them will do it also, knowing that no one is going to say anything.

People are always making comparisons between the attitudes and aptitudes of people, and they always have something to say.  There is always someone watching your behavior and comparing you with their own boss or with someone else.  It’s something that’s ingrained deep within us and many times we do it without even thinking about it.

That’s why, especially people who are in a leadership positions like a team leader, must be very careful with everything they do, say, and with each attitude they have.  We know that it’s not always easy, but it’s very important to try to always set an example for the rest of your coworkers and team to follow.

If you want to know what you have to consider to lead by example, here are some tips that will help you not lose sight of anything important.

  1. Be an example of the behaviors you want to see in others. The change in attitude in the workers is impressive when they see that their boss does what he or she asks others to do.
  2. Show that you are part of the team. Do your part and show that you have the know-how to do it, help those who need help and congratulate the efforts of the rest of the team.
  3. Collaborate with the goals. Help your team reach their goals, evaluate and recommend what they have to do to improve outcomes and support them in any way you can.
  4. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t make promises that you know you won’t be able to keep, your team wants to know that they can trust you and also trust the way you lead them.
  5. Be clear about what’s expected of each team member including yourself. So that your team knows that you as well as they have certain functions to fulfill and thus keep everyone motivated to meet their objectives.
  6. If you set a rule or procedure, be the first one to implement it and don’t fail. It’s very important that you show that the rules apply to everyone and by following your example, they will also know they must respect them.
  7. Generate commitment from your team.  Ask your team for help and make the commitment to help them if they need something.  And most importantly, do it.    

It’s important to mention that many times, people are judged more by the way they act when faced with the unexpected and in times of crisis than by all they normally do, so be sure, especially in times of crisis, to act by example and help your team overcome the crisis and don’t abandon them or say things that you may want to take back later.  The moments that can mark you negatively are few, and that’s why you always have to be alert and be willing to show your talent and be an example to follow.   



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