Leading by Example – Essential for Maximizing Productivity

Leading by example will never go out of style. Modeling our organizational values is the first step toward creating an inspired and engaged workplace. Statistics prove that such environments are much more productive than others. At DREAM4, we often say, “what we do will always speak louder than anything we can ever say!”  

This may seem like an overly simple concept, and perhaps you have not spent much time thinking about it in recent years.  Maybe that is why we should do a little self-test today?  Sometimes a checkpoint and some reflection is crucial.  This is especially true when something simple is so critically important to inspirational leadership and bottom-line productivity. As Albert Schweitzer once said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing.”

When we do not lead by example, when we fail to demonstrate the values important to our team, the consequences are highly destructive to the organization’s health and growth. Every team is better positioned for powerful progress if all team members are inspired and engaged. This depends on having some good examples of leadership within the team.

Mature individuals know that whether they intend to or not, they are always leading by example, so they are very intentional about demonstrating the right one. Choosing to model the right things earns us the right to motivate with our words eventually.  Without setting the right example, our words will always ring very hollow – especially if we are actually the boss! Modeling our values will always be the prerequisite for actually motivating others.  The absence of setting the proper example cannot be substituted.

As Michael Hyatt puts it, “inspirational leaders model the behavior they want others to manifest.” Day in and day out, they demonstrate important core values through their words, actions, and attitudes—sometimes in significant ways, but most often in little, subtle, consistent everyday actions.

Following are some simple ways to demonstrate important values every day:

  1. Show up on time for meetings;

  2. Follow through on commitments;

  3. Under-promise and over-deliver;

  4. Be genuine, authentic, and vulnerable;

  5. Work on building strong relationships;

  6. Extend grace when mistakes are made. Encourage others to learn from them and to make “new mistakes” next time;

  7. Never put down others’ ideas or thoughts;

  8. Always be willing to lend a hand to help others on the team.

When we lead by example in these ways and others, people tend to develop the desire to return the same behavior.  It can have a positive and infectious impact on our team.  It just takes the right influence.  John Maxwell said it this way, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts; it is about one life influencing another.”

People are always looking for someone to follow, and we should never depend on someone in the corner office to begin the process.  Earn your leadership with your value-based example, quietly inviting others to follow you as an inspiring, caring, well-intentioned leader – exactly where you are! 

Remember, leading by example is essential for maximizing the productivity of any team.  You can do so wherever you are and have a positive impact.  Where will you choose to start?

For more on DREAM4 and their impact on organizational engagement and leadership development, schedule a call today.


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Organizational health doesn't just happen; it takes attention and intention. DREAM4 is a personal well-being and leadership development company that strives to help your organization in these 4 specific areas.
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