Mendoza: Leading by example

Mendoza: Leading by example

OFTENTIMES we hear people especially leaders saying, “follow what I say but do not follow what I do”. This is, according to them, is telling their followers that they are imperfect and they want their people not to repeat the same mistake if same situation will be encountered. Many also say that said statement is an excuse for these leaders to dupe their followers because they are just merely mumbling said powerful words without really intending to do it themselves.

In an article written by Bruna Martinuzzi published in entitled How to Lead a Team Honestly and Authentically, he emphasized the need for leaders to make sure, “They Walk the Talk”.

She mentioned about these three examples to stress his point: There's the boss who tells everyone to stay late, and then leaves promptly at 5:00pm to go golfing. There's the supervisor who criticizes everyone for spending time on the internet, but is discovered buying groceries online in the middle of the afternoon. And the CFO who recommends layoffs to stop "unnecessary spending," but then buys herself brand-new luxury office furniture.

Martinuzzi again made mention the point I am telling earlier when he enthused, “There's hardly anything worse for company morale than leaders who practice the "Do as I say, not as I do" philosophy. When this happens, you can almost see the loss of enthusiasm and goodwill among the staff. It's like watching the air go out of a balloon – and cynicism and disappointment usually take its place”.

Further, she averred that no matter what the situation is, double standards which is as we know means people say one thing, and then doing another – always feel like a betrayal. They can be very destructive. If this ever happened to you, you can probably remember that sense of disappointment and letdown.

Martinuzzi is firm in his pronouncement that if are in a leadership position, then we know that we have a responsibility to our team. They look to us for guidance and strength; that's part of what being a leader is. And a big part of our responsibility is to lead them with our own actions.

A tall order, isn’t it?

Martinuzzi mentioned about an old saying about the difference between a manager and a leader, "Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things. He said, it's best to be both a manager and a leader – they're just different processes.

According to her and as other leadership guru said, as a leader, part of our job is to inspire the people around us to push themselves – and, in turn, the institution – to greatness. To do this he said, we must show them the way by doing it ourselves.

She mentioned about the inspiring people who have changed the world with their examples. He said that Mahatma Gandhi who was committed to nonviolent resistance to protest injustice, and people followed in his footsteps and led India because his life proved, by example, that it could be done.

Legendary businessman, Jack Welch of General Electric knew that to push GE to new heights, he had to turn everything upside down. So that's just what he did. He developed the whole idea of a "boundaryless organization which means that everyone is free to brainstorm and think of ideas – instead of waiting for someone "higher up" in the bureaucracy to think of them first. This resulted for GE to become an incredibly successful company under his management. His team was always willing to follow his lead, because the people within it knew that he always kept his word.

Martinuzzi pointed out that if you give yourself to your team and show them the way, then, most likely, they'll follow you anywhere. When you lead by example, you create a picture of what's possible. People can look at you and say, "Well, if he can do it, I can do it." When you lead by example, you make it easy for others to follow you.

She concluded that good leadership takes strength of character and a firm commitment to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. This means doing what you say, when you say it. If your team can't trust you, you'll probably never lead them to greatness.

This Corner hopes that each one of us live what we say so that we will be able to lead our team to the right direction they deserve to be in, no ifs, no buts.


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