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

  • ensuring accountability

  • aligning action with shared values

  • managing expectations

  • 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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Douglass Teschner