Leading By Example Setting examples as a leader isn't a hard task to do, and you just have to remember one thing... a leader is not just the person in charge…
Why is it important? We are all leaders. We set examples for ourselves, our families, our colleagues, bosses and supervisors every single day. How can we expect others to do the right thing – if we don’t do it ourselves? There are actually many ways to lead by example it’s not about being the boss nor is it about being the first to volunteer.
Why is this a principle of Behaviour Based Safety? Our behaviours are everything we do and everything we say We all agree that people should wear the correct PPE, report close calls, take responsibility for their safety and the safety of others, follow the correct procedures and respect other people…. and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! How can we expect others to do the right thing – if we don’t do it ourselves? If we aren’t doing these things, how can we expect anyone else to?
Do You Know Someone Who Does It? Think for a moment about someone you respect and trust. The person you are thinking of is not necessarily your line manager it could be your partner, friend, colleague, teacher, local football team manager…. What do they do or say to make you think this way about them? Are they clear in their instructions? Do they support you and help you when you need it? Do they bring out the best in you? Do you feel they understand you?
Are you doing it already? The answer is yes We can’t help leading by example It happens in spite of ourselves The question is though – what example are you leading with? Is it positive or negative? Leading by example negatively brings down morale and destroys communication and trust – and that’s just for starters!
Remember… The standard you set is the one you walk away from. What does this mean to you? Positive If you see something not ‘correct’ and you improve the situation before walking away… people will see that you are setting a higher standard. They will see you leading by example. Negative If you see something not ‘correct’, and you choose to do nothing about it – what standard are you setting for other people?
So …. How to do it positively? Be confident of who you are Demonstrate what you believe in by giving others a positive example Build trust by doing what you say you will do Ask questions, talk it through with your colleagues, check your understanding if you feel you are being asked to compromise what you believe in Build solutions collaboratively and only say “no” to a request with evidence and an alternative suggestion Welcome feedback and ask for suggestions to improve
…and… Be the leader you want someone else to be for you. –Speak with respect –Tell people when they have done well –Help people when things are going wrong –Keep your promises –Do what you say you will do –Be open when people come to you –Make decisions
So what did we learn? We are all leaders We set examples for ourselves, our families, our colleagues, bosses and supervisors every single day We can’t help leading by example - It happens in spite of ourselves We can event use the examples of others to learn how to lead by example! Positive examples are the most influential Live by your values and what you believe in, and help others to do this for themselves