Learning to Lead by Example

By Alan L. Olsen, CPA, MBA (tax)
Managing Partner
Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen and Co., LLP

Each morning, the mirror reminds us of at least one person whose motives should meet all of our expectations. There is no limit to what an army of these individuals can accomplish. As you live your life if a way in which you are daily striving to reach your full potential, you can set an example for others to follow. Kind and complimentary words to others or even a simple smile to a stranger in passing are all you need to start with.

As you set out to lead by example, consider the following:

1. Serve those whom you lead. A true leader will work alongside those whom they lead. Through volunteer service, one begins to develop true leadership qualities that help the community become a better place to live. Some people are natural leaders while others have to work at it. But the crucial lesson is that anyone can lead by example, and service is the best way I know of to achieve leadership development for a strong business and community.

2. Take Interest in Others. If an individual can tell that you are sincerely interested in them and their life, they will have more respect for you. Try having sincere interest in others this week. When you meet someone, ask them something about themselves: their family or a favorite hobby. Keep a notebook with you and write down what you learn about others next to their name. When you speak to this individual again, you will have more of a connection with them. A small gesture can go a long way and start roots to a positive relationship.

3. Respect those whom you lead. This key to true leadership will come as you make an effort to serve and become involved in other’s lives. As you develop a respect for those you lead, you will come to understand and appreciate them more.

Leading by example is rarely easy or convenient. As you make the effort to set an example of true leadership, others will have a desire to follow you.

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