Just because you have an impressive title on your office door or business card doesn't mean that you are a leader. Yes you may have a title that says you are a leader, but that title doesn't mean anything unless you demonstrate actions that show you are a leader.
A leader is a leader because of ‘what they do’, and it is ‘what they do’ that makes people follow and thereby experience success themselves.
In an earlier post we examined how a leader’s actions in the work place affect how people work. It’s important that a leader should remember that they lead by example, so they must strive to be the best that they can be.
So if you are a leader, how can you lead by example?
A leader will lead by example if they concentrate on the following things:
It is important that a leader supports change throughout the organisation and within the workplace in order to lead people toward, and to achieve success. This applies to everything, not just current initiatives and projects.
Encourage the input of others by asking them questions about their thoughts on projects and initiatives. Ask questions often to demonstrate that you value their opinion. Asking questions also promotes learning, communication and engagement – all elements of a successful workplace.
There’s no point in asking questions if you don’t listen. If you ask a question make sure you attentively listen to the reply. This shows you truly care about, and value, the persons opinion and will also encourage employees to ask questions and voice their opinion in the future.
A leader’s attitude is the most important attitude of all in the workplace. Earlier we defined a leader as someone that people follow so it is crucial that leaders exhibit an attitude that encourages positivity and maximum productivity in the workplace. If you don’t, who will?
Trust is important in any business, and as a leader it is up to you to build and foster this culture of trust. It is up to you to first offer trust to employees, and although it may be broken on occasion, the trust you exhibit will be repaid if you persevere.
The expectations you set for people can have a positive or negative effect. Some may flourish in the knowledge of your expectations, where others may buckle under pressure. Employees may not always reach those expectations at first, but if you let them know that you support and believe in them, you will see them achieve more than they knew they could!
It is important that your employees keep learning, developing and growing. You must continue to ask questions, listen and adapt your attitudes to show them that you continue to learn and they will follow suit. Remember they learn by example, so show them that you can always continue to learn and improve your skills.
The most important thing to remember is that employees learn by example, so keep that in mind when in the workplace and adapt your actions accordingly.