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Four Ways to Lead by Example

Anyone can be a business owner, but not everyone can be a leader. Leadership is defined as, “the process by which one individual influences the behaviors, attitudes and thoughts of others.” The key word in that sentence is influence. To influence your employees, a mutual trust needs to be established first between the employer and employees. This trust is developed through leading by example. Leading by example brings about influence. It is a process. There are many suggestions, ideas and opinions on how to accomplish example-led leadership, as there are varying leadership styles and personalities. Here are some effective ways to lead so that your team can achieve greatness:

Walk the Walk: Being a leader ultimately means you’re under the scrutiny and watchful eye of your employees. Make sure you are credible, follow through on your word, and be consistent in words and actions. Credibility and trust are achieved when employees feel that their well-being is placed on higher priority, as opposed to the business owner’s personal agenda.

Share the Vision: As business owners, we all have a vision of what we want our company to accomplish. In order to ensure that vision is carried out, employees must be fully aware of the ultimate goal and the plan needed to achieve it. Without sharing your vision fully, employees are unable to present their ideas to better the vision or add to it. Therefore, when you notice one of your employees acting out the plan toward the goal, this is a positive sign that you as the business owner have done your part.

Openly Communicate: Interactive and effective leadership is created through a steady flow of communication. Make sure you’re actively listening to your employees concerns, feedback and ideas. Provide them with direct answers and do not be ambiguous; be transparent. Let them know what is feasible and what is not. Having an open line of communication ensures that the flow of information does not become lost or distorted.

Praise the Little Accomplishments: Celebrating short-term goals and minor accomplishments are great ways to build morale in the workplace, as well as a way to establish rapport between the business owner and associates.

Leaders set the pace by helping others see the challenges that lie ahead. Leaders see their employees’ potential and encourage them to reach their full growth. To be a successful business owner and leader, your actions need to reflect what you preach. How do you lead by example, influence your employees and, most importantly, establish trust?

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About Artemio Flores III

Art Flores is the president of the Entrepreneurs' Organization - San Antonio. He is also the vice president and co-owner of Artcom Associates, Inc. The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a dynamic, global network of more than 9,500 business owners in 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO is the catalyst…