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July 29, 2019

Lead By Example

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Full-disclosure, this might be biased because it fits into my personality type. I’m not going to motivate you with a speech or draw attention to areas that need to be better. In fact, when I was the captain on my college soccer team there was a running joke about me speaking in any kind of motivational way. I was self-conscious about it at the time, and took it personally, but with maturity I gained self-awareness and realized that wasn’t me. And that’s okay. Instead I lead by example, and guess what?There’s no one else my teammates would rather go to battle with. My actions motivated them to put more into the competition. I lead by example.

A prerequisite of leading by example is getting in the trenches and doing the dirty work. Your example demonstrates the importance of that type of work, and your team noticing that you do it with care and precision inspires them to do the same. It builds a layer of respect around the task and your capability as a practitioner.

Something I always love thinking about is the distinction between a boss and a leader. A boss is someone who directs people, and uses them to accomplish an objective. A leader shows people how to do it, and contributes in accomplishing the objective.  

So, the next time you find yourself in a leadership position lead by example, and lead from the front.

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