‘Lead by example’ is an old saying that all people who are in leaderships roles or who are looking to be in a leadership role will hear often.
The one thing I have learned is that leading by example is a far better way to show others what you want to have them see. To be a leader you need to ‘walk your talk’ and be someone that others would want to follow or learn from.
When my children were young I became very aware of the importance of showing them who they needed to be rather than telling them. It was important for me that I showed them the values of what was important, from my perspective. I wanted them to be, not what my words said, but see the example that I was showing them. Often people expect others to ‘do as I say’ rather than ‘follow by example’. When you do one thing but expect others to do another, you erode any trust that is created in the relationship.
We look at the youth today and tend to think of them as the leaders of tomorrow. For them to become a good leader, they will need to have the examples set so that they will follow on as they mature and grow. We have incredible youth who are often notrecognised for who they are as they ‘do it differently’ than past generations. We see them in the schools as they get older and take on important roles. We see them in the workforce expanding the ideas and ideals of others around them. Help expand them to grow into mature, reliable and accountable adults who may have the responsibility one day of leading a team of people or maybe our country.
To be a good leader you must have certain qualities that ignite something in others.
Here is my list of qualities, in no particular order, I see as imperative in leadership of any kind.
#1 Be prepared to do whatever you ask of others. From my perspective it is important to interact with people from a place of strength by not dominating but by serving as best you can, whilst honouring and respecting them. Many leaders are hypocritical, as they say one thing, and do another, with their expectations of others higher than their own.
#2 Courage is what makes people who they are. By being able to walk through a crisis or the hard times demanded of us will show what makes any person who they are. It is being prepared to demonstrate your commitment for a larger purpose when risk taking needs to happen.
#3 Credibility is gained by taking responsibility to the next level. Blaming others only sabotages you and your growth. Stand up for what you believe and be responsible for all outcomes.
#4 Trust and Honesty is showing how truthful you are. Being able to trust is difficult for people who have not experienced trust from an early age. It is something that needs to be learned if you want to become a leader. Being honest really IS the best policy as without it is others will be affected and hurt. A good leader must be both trustworthy and honest.
#5 Listening to what is being said or not said (by reading between the lines). Knowing that if you listen well you will get the answers you are looking for from a different perspective that may be the best bit of knowledge you ever get! Ask questions whilst seeking to understand the insights from others experiences.
#6 Persistence is what shows how much you really want to achieve something. Do whatever you have to do to accomplish what it is you want to accomplish. As the saying goes, ‘If you don’t at first succeed, try, try again’. Being persistent defines you. What hurdles and obstacles are you prepared to go through to achieve what you want?
#7 End results can be Success or Failure. Both of these words have many meanings which is dependent on the individual as to what is important to them as a person. Success and acknowledging how we got there and who else made it possible is all important. No one person is successful alone! It is quite okay to fail and being able to acknowledge our failures whilst learning how we can correct them or ‘try again’ is just as important. To become extraordinary we often need to fail many times.
#8 Self Understanding is the ability to know and understand one’s own core strengths so that we can focus on what we are good at and delegate to others what is not our individual strengths. This is one of the best things any small business owner can learn.
#9 Opportunities come to us when we are open to looking at our challenges from a different perspective. Do not dwell on the negatives (problems) but find and work on the solutions that will give you want you are looking to have. Be open to others ideas and creative solutions.
#10 Life balance is being aware of where you are at, at any time. It is about taking care of you, in both your personal and business life, by taking time out, nourishing yourself, exercising and not overworking. Being balanced mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually will never be even in our lives. We just need to be aware that these are all important and have a place in our lives.
I believe if you follow these above you will strengthen your character and commitment to do the right thing in your life at the right time for the right reason. If you do not have trust from the people around you, you can never lead others to greatness.
One or more of these things above may sound hard to some people. I believe that leading, and living by example is not as hard as it may sound. It comes to your beliefs and values. If people know you are there to help and support in all ways it is more than likely together you will achieve the goals you are looking to achieve.
So, I ask you …. Are you living your life as you would like and accomplishing as you want? Are you a leader who inspires and aspires to make a difference to the world?
Over the years there have been many people in history who have helped change the world by their thinking. Two who comes to mind are Mahatma Gandhi and Alexander the Great. They both lived by example and accomplished great things as a result of their beliefs.
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