Steve Kaplan's Blog

May 4, 2011

Lead by Example

Filed under: Tips — stevekaplan @ 12:45 pm

This is one of my five keys to leadership.

Lead by example: Your employees will take their cues from what you do, not what you say. If you demand long hours, yet walk out the door at noon, how seriously will people take you? When I was running my businesses hands-on, I often left e-mails or voicemails for employees after midnight and on weekends. I also let it be known that when I wasn’t at work, I spent plenty of time with my family. They got the message- and soon followed my lead. The result was a culture of hard work in a family environment.

Leading by example goes far beyond the hours you keep; it defines your company’s personality. Do you treat your employees with respect or suspicion?  Do your employees hear you working out how to best serve your customers or how to chisel a few extra bucks out of them?  Do you make fun of employees behind their backs or praise them to their peers? Do you follow up on your plans and orders or issue and forget? Do you keep your promises or look for loopholes? Your employees, for their part, will mirror your tone and demeanor when interacting with other employees, clients, suppliers, and customers.

How do you lead by example?


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