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Leading by Example; Still in Vogue


Imagine the captain of a ship navigating through a storm. The crew is anxious, the waves are high, and the wind is fierce. The captain, however, stands firm at the helm, calm and composed. His posture is upright, his voice is steady, and his focus is unwavering on guiding the ship to safety. This captain doesn't just tell his crew to be brave; he shows them what bravery looks like. His physiology, language, and focus on solutions rather than the storm itself inspire his crew to trust in his leadership and work together to overcome the challenge. This story exemplifies the essence of leading by example.

 



Leadership by Example: Transforming Your Approach


Leadership is not just about giving orders or setting goals; it's about embodying the qualities you wish to see in your team. Like the captain navigating through the storm, a leader's true test comes during challenging times. How you show up (physiology), the language you use (language and meaning), and where you direct your attention (focus) can significantly influence your team's morale, productivity, and overall success.


Physiology: Your Presence Speaks Volumes


Your physical presence—how you carry yourself, your facial expressions, and your energy—sends powerful messages to your team. If you're slouched, frowning, or seem disengaged, your team might mirror these behaviors. Conversely, standing tall, maintaining eye contact, and showing enthusiasm can inspire confidence and engagement.

Your physical presence—how you carry yourself, your facial expressions, and your energy—sends powerful messages to your team. If you're slouched, frowning, or seem disengaged, your team might mirror these behaviors. Conversely, standing tall, maintaining eye contact, and showing enthusiasm can inspire confidence and engagement.


Put into Practice: Reflect on your physical presence during meetings and interactions. Are you embodying the energy and attitude you wish to see in your team? Small changes, like improving your posture or smiling more, can have a profound impact.


Language & Meaning: The Power of Your Words


The metaphors and language you use shape your team's perception of their work and challenges. For instance, referring to problems as "opportunities" or "learning experiences" can shift the team's mindset from one of frustration to one of growth and resilience.

Remember that words have power - they can either construct walls or pave roads to success.


Put into Practice: Pay attention to the metaphors and language you use regularly. Are they empowering or defeating? Make a conscious effort to use language that uplifts and motivates your team.


Focus: Solutions Over Problems


Where you direct your focus influences your team's outlook and outcomes. Focusing on negative outcomes can create a culture of fear and stagnation. Instead, by focusing on finding solutions and learning from setbacks, you cultivate an environment of innovation and continuous improvement.


Put into Practice: Next time you're faced with a challenge, consciously shift your focus from the problem to potential solutions. Encourage your team to do the same by asking solution-oriented questions.

 

Leading by example is about more than just what you do; it's about how you do it. By being mindful of your physiology, the language and meaning you convey, and maintaining a focus on solutions, you can become a leader who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Like the captain in our opening story, you can inspire your crew to navigate any storm with confidence and unity.


Remember, leadership is a journey, not a destination. It's about continuous growth and striving to be the best version of yourself—for you and for those you lead. Keep these principles in mind as you navigate your leadership path, and you'll be well on your way to making a lasting impact.

 

P.S.: Have any thoughts or experiences with leading by example? Share below so we can learn together!

 

Thank you for reading!


Kate Hayes

High Ground Coaching and Development

Inspiring Leaders to Create Leaders

 

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