Model the Way
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. -- Albert Schweitzer
You expect great results from those you lead, but it has to start with you! In their book The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner highlight modeling the way as one of five key leadership practices. Modeling the way has many aspects including:
leading by example
never stop learning
setting and affirming values
seeking feedback from above and below
don’t make promises you can’t keep
don’t ask others to do things you wouldn’t do yourself
acting with authenticity and humility; transcend ego
communicating clearly and effectively
aligning action with shared values
professionalism and high work ethic
embracing work-life balance
Of course, self-awareness is critical: understanding what motivates you, why you act the way you do, and how your actions impact others.
For Further Thought: Step back and try to objectively answer this question: “Would you follow you?” Do your day to day actions inspire others to be their best? Do you ever fall into the trap of overpromising then not delivering or saying one thing and then doing another? What steps can you take to align your actions and behaviors to be the best that you can be?
As a leader, you have an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. Don’t underestimate your impact!
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