Leadership Starts With Leading by Example

Leading by ExampleThere are literally thousands of resources available today to educate and inspire people about new aspects of leadership and interpersonal influence. But, as far as I am concerned, the most compelling way to inspire genuine leadership has never changed – it is simply to lead by example.

Last week, Faith Technologies kicked off its first annual High Potential Event. More than 50 employees came together for three intense days of leadership development. This event proved to be the ultimate “lead by example” opportunity for a couple key reasons. Not only did the planning and execution provide inspiration and development opportunities for participants, but it also provided key takeaways, including:

  • Hearing from company leadership about their experiences throughout the years
  • Collaboration across divisions and departments to share and indentify similar challenges and victories
  • Investing in employees as a competitive long-term strategy

This event gave our key executives the opportunity to teach “leading by example” while offering another layer of employees the skills they need to spread this initiative company-wide. 

All organizations can impact their employees through large or small “lead by example” opportunities. Here are a couple examples:  

  1. Do you have an employee who exemplifies excellent process skills? If so, can that employee conduct ‘lunch and learns’ within your organization, or can that employee be made available to coach others? Giving resource visibility within the organization indicates that the example of his or her behavior is one to be followed. 
  2. Have you read an inspirational book on leadership recently? Can you share copies of the book with key leaders around you and ask them to share their thoughts on the book with you? This does not have to be an academic exercise; rather, it can be an ongoing conversation with colleagues. One company leading the way with this initiative is Zappos.com, where a company library houses books on different subjects that employees can utilize for free.

In my opinion, true leadership starts with leading by example: What does this mean to you, and how will you choose to lead?