Do you lead by title, or do you lead by example?
As a leader, respect for the others is a crucial element of positively influencing team members within an organisation. We often hear the phrase, lead by example. But what does this mean in the context of earning respect, trust and loyalty from your colleagues?
Leaders must be diligent to earn respect from their employees and being the one with the title of ‘leader’ does not necessarily mean that respect has been earned. It is possible for a leader to take their title for granted and assume that they are owed some level of respect, but this is a dangerous mindset to have because only earned respect creates positive influence as a leader.
Naturally, as humans, we respect the title that comes with a leadership position, but this does not necessarily mean that people will respect the person behind the title. The consistency of one’s character and the actions they take will ultimately earn true respect, trust and loyalty from team members.
True respect is what drives employees to commit themselves to a business, to treat customers well and to go the extra mile for their organisation.
As leaders, leading by example will ensure that respect is not related purely to a title, but true and genuine.
Quite simply, having a clear vision and matching your words to your actions creates clarity, respect and represents true leadership.
Above all, following through your words with actions shows your team that you are integral, failure to do so erodes trust and credibility as a leader.
It takes courage to lead by example, it means taking full responsibility for your business and not shifting blame. It means taking calculated risks and boldly following through when the need arises. It means always seeking solutions, even if they are not obvious.
The traits involved in leading by example ultimately help leaders to achieve earned respect, a deeper and more meaningful level of respect than that of which simply comes with a title.
Written by: Cameron Scott, my business partner.