Lead by Example

There is nothing more annoying than a hypocritical leader. We all recognize the boss who leaves the office early for personal time but makes everyone stay until 5 on the dot. Or, the manager who gives you complex tasks, then avoids responsibility when the outcome is less than desired.

When you say one thing and do another, your group will ask, “If she doesn’t do it, why should I?” Your hypocrisy creates suspicion, mistrust, doubt, and resentment. To be a really effective leader, you have to lead by example.

Leadership is only successful when it demonstrates to others how to extend and go for greatness. Your group should look at you and think, “If she can do it, I can, too.” Real leaders don’t whip their people into shape from the back of the pack. That’s being a dictator. Real leaders lead the charge while carrying their portion of the weight.

Dirty hands

When you sit back and order to others what you want done without wanting to do it yourself, you’re setting yourself up to be loathed. No one likes doing the dirty work. But if the leader in the room is prepared to get up to their elbows in something that’s not their job, not one else will be complaining about it.

Be responsible

The best leaders in the world tactically pass the credit and take the blame. When you blame your group for a failure, you make your people wary and defensive, sabotaging any trust you may have created. Excellent leaders accept personal responsibility for their group’s failures and pass credit when it is given in order to get trust, contain worry in their group and model graciousness and humility.

Acknowledge and celebrate failure

If your leadership type is, “Failure is not an option,” you might be setting yourself up for not only more failure, but also fear and disappointment. Failure is a crucial process of innovation, risk-taking, and invention. If you want a really exceptional group, celebrate failure and even foster it in an experimental, controlled setting.