Being a role model is leading by example.
Regarding your role at work, most behaviors fall under these headings:
1. How you prioritize your work and where you put your focus;
2. Your attitude and demeanor, and communication style;
3. Taking care of yourself, work-life balance, dress, exercise, use of leave, and work hours;
4. Dedication to the employer and loyalty to the organization; and
5. How you treat and interact with others, vulnerability and openness, and how you show appreciation.
When you adopt the “Lead by Example” view of your role, it encompasses nearly everything employees can see you do or hear you say.
Employees reflect on nearly everything their bosses do, and all the implications it may mean for them. This is a natural process. For example, if their supervisors don’t take vacations, employees will be self-conscious taking vacations. Some may even model this behavior. If you come in late, employees notice it. Some may feel more freedom to come in late, too, or not worry so much about it. This dynamic can be applied to hundreds of matters.
There are several ways to positively lead by example. For one, it is important to not just act as a supervisor but to work as a member of your team.
“Get your hands dirty. Do the work and know your trade,” Brent Gleeson, speaker and founder/CEO of TalkingPoints Leadership, writes in the article “7 Simple Ways to Lead by Example.”
“You don’t have to be the most advanced technician on the team, but you must have an in-depth understanding of your industry and your business. Leaders have many responsibilities, but it is important to work alongside your team. This is a great way to build trust and continue to develop your own knowledge and skills.”
While doing this, make sure to listen to your employees’ feedback and not simply give orders. A good leader will also get out of the way and let their employees do their jobs.
“Communicate the mission, vision, values, and goals. Then step back and let the team innovate,” Gleeson says.
Act in a manner in which you would like to see your employees act. This includes taking responsibility for your actions and following the chain of command.
In addition, be a good role model by taking care of your physical and mental health. “Wellness and fitness are essential for good leadership,” Gleeson says. “The more you take care of yourself, the more energy you will have and the better work you will do.”
There’s no perfection or in being a good role model, but remember how much your words and actions matter and the influence you can have, intentionally or unintentionally, on your employees.
Southwest EAP can help you with challenges in leading your employees. Please feel free to contact us anytime to discuss your needs and how SWEAP can better serve you.