Why the Best Leaders Lead By Example

Written by Jay McDonald on .

The meeting isn’t quite over, but you step out of the room to take the call. The report isn’t quite the way you envisioned it, but you send it to the client anyway. Sound familiar? With changing priorities, a work pace that moves at break neck speed, and a relentless “to-do” list, leading by example isn’t always the easiest thing for CEO’s and executive decision makers. Yet in many cases, it’s the foundation for respect and trust from others in the organization. Simply put, leaders who model desired behavior can expect the same in return. With integrity, conviction and strength of character, leading by example is what transforms good companies into great companies. Live The Golden Rule Most of us remember the Golden Rule- “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. It’s a simple thought, yet one that resonates with everyone from parents raising children, to employees looking to further a career. When leaders set the example of treating colleagues, superiors, and subordinates with respect, dignity and kindness, others follow. And the personal standards that work together to create exceptional character, translate into organizational values. Honesty, generosity and positivity are not mere words on a corporate plaque, but part of the fabric, reinforced from the top. Reinforce Standards in Day-to-Day Operations It’s one thing to expect a certain level of performance from your team, but it’s quite another to model that behavior. Leaders who truly lead by example do so by reinforcing desired principles through their own words and actions. If you expect your team to stay in a meeting until it ends, do the same. If you expect the highest quality of work, then deliver it yourself. When employees see organizational standards reinforced firsthand, it resonates. After all, leaders who actively demonstrate integrity, conviction, and self-assurance have the right to demand the same. Excellence is Never an Accident High performing organizations are the result of all people at every level working as efficiently and effectively as possible. Trust is high and individuals in every department want to work hard to meet objectives. As a leader, when your actions are inconsistent with your words, trust erodes and employees begin to devalue those very organizational values that encourage hard work and high quality. Excellence is never an accident, but rather the result of leaders living organizational values and doing what they say they’ll do.

Jay McDonald

With a unique breadth of knowledge earned through decades of hands- on experience, Jay is recognized as a strategic visionary whose high energy, quick wit and straight talk combined with a passion for mentoring others allows him to help executives achieve greater results and enjoy more rewarding personal lives. Connect with Jay McDonald on Google+

Board Positions & Designations

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