How a Leader Can Be a Role Model, Setting the Right Example
As a leader, the example that you establish in your character, attitude, personality, and work habits and especially the way you treat other people, sets the standards for your organization. Your people follow your example. If the general conducts himself well, soldiers will be inspired to do the same.
Your company is always a mirror image of yourself. Be a role model for your employees. Let them learn good things from their leader.
Being on Time: Punctuality is a sign of self-discipline and integrity. As a leader, we must do everything on time. If we are not punctual, we can't expect our employees to be punctual. By not being punctual, we nurture a culture of unpunctuality in our company.
Employees in such a culture don't take their time seriously. They hardly do things on time. They don't fulfill their promises to customers on time. Such a company always fails in its commitments to others. We must be always on time to foster timeliness in our company culture.
Hard Work: The leader of the organization has to work hard. In fact, he should work the hardest of all. If you believe that "I am the owner, so I can relax and work less. I am paying my employees to work, so they will work for me, allowing me to relax", you are grossly mistaken.
As the business leader, you must work the hardest. The chief of the army can't sit at his home and give orders to troops to fight on the battlefield. No battle can be won like that. The chief has to be there where his troops are. On the battlefield. Ideally, the business leader must put more hours into work than any of his employees do. Leadership is not authority only. It is a responsibility, which is not an easy one.
Being There, Standing by Your Team: You must be there when your team needs you, when they are facing a challenge. A leader's presence among them inspires the team greatly. Moreover, stand by them when they realize that they have made a mistake. Support them when things go wrong. When the leader stands by them when they are in trouble, the employees develop a deep sense of respect for the leader and loyalty towards the organization.
Motivation, Giving Hope: Periodically, everybody may need motivation. So do our employees. You must motivate them to follow your vision, to support and achieve the goals that you have set, to buy into the mission of the company as you see it. Today, getting the employees to follow you takes more than authority and power. You have to earn their trust, respect and commitment. That is the key to long-term success as a business leader. Refer to the chapter on Human Resources for some ideas to motivate employees.
The most important thing that the followers seek from their leader is hope. Give your people hope. They must feel secure about their career growth and about fulfilling their personal goals. Help them set and realize dreams by enrolling them into your vision and show them your commitment to achieve it.