The Importance of Leading by Example
You can tell your employees what to do until you are blue in the face, but if you aren’t practicing what you are preaching, your team may not respond well. You are the main example for your employees, so it is absolutely crucial that you lead by example.
If you want your team to follow procedures or do things a specific way, you should always make sure you are also following those same rules and procedures. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! When your employees see you doing something the same way every single time, this helps them learn how they should be doing those tasks. This also helps set a quality standard and create consistency amongst your employees. You are viewed as a teacher as well as a leader, so teach your employees how to do things correctly the first time.
Building Trust and Respect
Leaders uplift those that they are leading. A strong leader also builds themselves up as a credible person to their seniors as well as their employees. They have worked their way to where they are ethically and with hard work. This dedication will show your employees that they can trust you and it also shows that you deserve respect. You should also give this same trust and respect to your employees. This creates a strong professional bond that will only strengthen the abilities and creativity of your team.
Create Open Dialogue
I think James Humes said it best, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” Your team is valuable. You hired them because they have a lot to offer, so don’t let them stay silent. A leader encourages open communication and sharing ideas. Give your team an opportunity to express themselves, share their opinions, and creative ideas. There are many proven methods to help you create an open line of communication amongst your employees. When you find the best method for your team, you will open a floodgate of new ideas and generate a new level of passion among your employees.
Practice Personal Growth
It is important that you take time to focus on improving yourself as a person in order to be the best leader possible. By creating a healthy routine and taking time to improve yourself and your skills is not only beneficial to yourself but shows your team that they themselves can always be improving and growing as individuals. It is so easy to get sucked into your job and forget why you started this career path in the first place. Creating time for mental rest and wellness is so important in any career, and as a leader, it sometimes falls to you to remind your employees about their passions for their career as well.
Education and Training
When your team is learning something new, you should be right there with them. Even if you have taken the training before, there is always more to learn or even something you may have missed before. When you show dedication to improving yourself and learning new things, this encourages employees to do the same. There is also a lot you can learn from your employees. They are on the front lines working directly with clients or customers. Take time to learn from them. Even if you have been a manager at the same place for 20 years, there may be things you have never experienced that your employees have. Learn from your team, don’t let your position in the company cloud your willingness to take advice or learn new things from them.
A business is only as strong as it’s leadership. If an employee fails at their job, it is not the employee’s fault. Their manager or leader failed them. Being a leader is hard and sometimes stressful, but good leaders know how to help their teams through the good and bad.
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