"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing." ~ Albert Schweitzer
The Weight of Leading By Example
Schweitzer spotlights the significance of leading by example, as leaders are seen as the living embodiment of the values, culture, and ethics that define an organization.
Leading by example is the centrality of influencing others. It is not just a significant factor but the only thing that can stand the test of time. It is the touchstone by which leaders are assessed. Every action and interaction of the leader is embedded into the actionable DNA of the organizational culture and becomes a blueprint for the entire organization.
Leaders can lift the weight of leading by example by:
Teams follow authentic leaders; they demand authenticity without it being said implicitly. Leaders who align the organizational and personal values to professional conduct intentionally and are transparent about the challenges faced when doing it and how they overcame it are trusted. They show a higher level of self-awareness and vulnerability to ensure that their example is not just a facade but a genuine representation of their leadership journey.
Authenticity resonates with teams, fostering trust, loyalty, and admirable influence.
When teams see their C-Suite leaders using their privilege and responsibility to set a positive example, especially in challenging situations where compromising on values, ethics, or SOPs could bring personal or organizational gain, they set a positive example that transcends the boardroom, shaping the very fabric of the organizations they lead.
Lift the weight of leading by example with authenticity.
Leadership Coaching Questions
How can you better demonstrate your authentic self to your team?
What could your C-Suite peers consistently do that sets an enduring example for the organization to follow?