Leading by example

Leading by example is probably one of the greatest and yet least taught business lessons in companies today. It is too simple to write a book on. We have more books on business than just about any other topic other than the Bible, and the average book on business has all manner of strategies to grow a company. Sadly, very few of them work. The principles look good and sound good but when put into practice, have very little effect on the trajectory of a company.

There is no greater business principle than leading by example. Just to look at a few random jobs, let’s say you are a mechanic. You lead by doing the job right the first time so the customer is happy. The other people working around you will see this too and they will want to up their game by seeing you as the example. For another example, let’s say you are in sales. People will gravitate to you if you lead the sales board. If you are average, they will find someone else to follow. Another example, let’s say you work as cook. If your work area is clean and food quality is important to you, other cooks will watch what you do and try to emulate you.

This business idea of leading by example can be applied to every job and every business. The truth is we all know this intuitively in our line of work. The problem is many times people want to do as little as they can to get by. It has been my experience that when promotions come, they come to the ones who work as though the business is their own. Think of where you work for a minute. If you treated your job as though the business was yours, it is my guess that you would get noticed and respected.

I remember one time when I was the leader of a men’s church organization. One of the roles was the secretary that would write down the minuets of the meeting and would give a report the next time we met. We had this gentleman acting in that role who came from a law enforcement background and he took the job serious. He was about doing the best he could in his role. The result was that in each meeting when he gave the minutes, it became one of the highlights. He did such a detailed job that it became the example to follow.

In summary, whatever job you hold, if you try as best you can to do the job well, you will be a better person for it and you will feel better about your role in your company. Doing the best you can and leading by example would be a small book to read but would probably be on the best sellers list. KT

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