Credibility is one of the hardest virtues to retain. Nothing sustains credibility more than leading by example. It is common sense… do what you want others to do, behave as you want others to behave. We have learnt it as children and it applies to every sphere of our lives. Business is no different. Actually it is even more apparent in business for there are more people watching you here.
Leading by example is the easiest way to get people to respect and accept your views. It is the best motivational tool too. Think of the many incidents you may have heard… of bosses who talk of cutting costs while refurbishing their cabins with expensive upholstery; leaders who talk of accountability but take home bonuses while declaring losses. There are more than enough examples of what not to do. The important thing is to learn from them.
Honesty is the best policy while leading. If your team sees your commitment to your opinions, then they will follow suit. Mr. Narayan Murthy and Mr. Ratan Tata are some of the leaders who are recognized for their ability to lead and inspire. In order to inspire they just do one thing over and over again… they lead with honesty and that sets an example. They inspire because they show integrity and responsibility.
Leading by example also means taking responsibility for your actions. Once a leader shows that he/she is responsible it sends a clear message to the team about working responsibly towards their goals. Leading without paying attention to your actions is as inept as giving direction to the wind-nobody will follow.
This month… Lead by example, the rest will follow.