Time for my favorite! (don’t miss part 1, part 2, and part 3).

4 – Lead by example

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Ralph Waldo Emerson – one of my faves (from: http://www.movemequotes.com/lead-by-example-quotes/)

This IS my favorite, and probably the most important of the ten. You can not do anything else, but if you act as you want your team to act, you will be leading. Conversely, you can actively execute the other 9 principles, but if you don’t set an example of the sort of behaviors and actions you want to see in your team, you will most likely fail as a leader.

An example from my day job as an engineering consultant. Time sheets are a critical component of our business process. We can’t pay people or charge our clients if time sheets by all employees are not completed. As such, they need to be completed every week, ideally on Friday before everyone leaves. As much as I could hound my team to achieve this standard, if I don’t achieve the same standard, they would be unlikely to listen to me (or get their time sheets done).

Beyond achieving just tasks and standards, you need to set an example of the tone you want in your team, and the attitudes you would like to see. If you want a cheerful, friendly workplace, you need to be cheerful and friendly. If dress and deportment are important, than you boots need to be shiny, and your pants ironed and lint free.

As a leader, you set the tone, and the standard. Set the example of how you want your team to be and act.

Andrew