Al Hebert | Jani-King of New Orleans, Regional Director
If you own a small business – you are its leader, as are you the leader of the team and the personnel that works for your business. An often asked question (and sometimes a tough one to answer) is “How do I become a good leader?” That is an important question we should all ask and one that takes good doses of pride and humility to answer. Below are 7 simple ways to lead by example that are great starting points to effective leadership. I came across this listing, developed and written by Brent Gleason who is an ex Navy Seal and motivational leadership speaker, in researching best practices for myself, and I humbly pass them along to you for your inspection and review.
Get your hands dirty.
Do the work and know your trade. You don’t have to be the most advanced technician on the team, but you must have an in-depth understanding of your industry and your business. Leaders have many responsibilities, but it is important to work alongside your team. This is a great way to build trust and continue to develop your own knowledge and skills.
Watch what you say.
Actions do speak louder than words, but words can have a direct impact on morale. For better or for worse. Be mindful of what you say, to whom, and who is listening. Always show support for all team members. If someone needs extra guidance, provide it behind closed doors.
Respect the chain of command.
One of the fastest ways to cause structural deterioration, foster confusion, and damage morale is to go around your direct reports. All team members need to respect the leadership at every level. If the senior leaders don’t respect the chain of command, why would anyone else?
Listen to the team.
As leaders, sometimes we are so consumed with providing directive, giving orders, and, well, talking that we forget to stop and listen. If the recruitment and training engine is functioning well, you should have a whole team of experts to turn to for advice. One sign of good leadership is knowing that you don’t know everything. Listen and get feedback from your team regularly.
As the saying goes, it’s lonely at the top. Blame roles uphill. Great leaders know when to accept that mistakes have been made and take it upon themselves to fix them. It doesn’t matter if one of your team members messed up or you did. If you are the leader, you need to take responsibility.
Let the team do their thing.
Stop micromanaging. Communicate the mission, vision, values, and goals. Then step back and let the team innovate. Setting this example for the team will encourage your other managers to do the same.
Take care of yourself.
Wellness and fitness are essential for good leadership. The more you take care of yourself, the more energy you will have and the better work you will do. The only way to build a fitness oriented culture is to lead by example. Get in shape and lead from the front.
These are only seven of the many ways to lead by example. This style of leadership must be practiced continually and be performed in and out of the workplace in order for it to be genuine.