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Leading by Example - How to be a Better Leader

Tuesday, November 06, 2012   By Mike Reddy


Business coaching is more than delivering outstanding results.  It's understanding that great results can come from inspired leadership.

And it appears that everywhere we look the most conventional ideas of a leader are shifting. In small businesses we are now seeing a very different model of leadership flourish. The traditional model is triangular with a 'big chief' at the top, supported by the base of lower to mid level employees.

Today we are seeing more of a square model where it appears that all sides support each other, encouraging leadership from each angle.

It is increasingly important to cultivate every team member's leadership abilities in order for your business to thrive with this new model.

From a business coaching angle, leadership is a combination of both inherent and acquired skills. Great leaders strive to define vision simultaneously motivating others. Becoming a better leader requires energy and commitment.

Identify the important qualities of a leader: they are bold, risk-taking, decision-making individuals who listen attentively, engage others and are known to be trustworthy and respected. Embody these characteristics as a leader, fostering these ideals as qualities to strive for.

The "Do as I say, not as I do" philosophy fails every time - you must enlist the "Do as I do" in order to reignite your teams motivation. When you lead by example it paints a realistic picture of what is possible, making it easier for others to follow your lead.

Different team members may require different styles of leadership. Know your people and tweak your style so that it best facilitates their learning. Gather feedback from your staff so that you can better tailor your leadership strategies.

When business coaching I have seen that leadership cannot be forced - in order to reap the benefits; you must make the initial investment in properly training and educating your team. Think of the position more as a coach, then as a boss. This mentality helps foster the teamwork model and puts less stress on the traditional 'you vs. them' ideal.

This form of shared, self-directed leadership provides each of your team members with a voice. One that is respected and evaluated credibly. Breeding this kind of confidence will spill over into a positive profit statement. "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." (John Quincy Adams, Former US President)