If you are a manager, superior, or anyone in an influential or leadership position within an organization, it is very important to promptly eliminate the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do” from your arsenal of expressions and replace it with “Do as I do.” As managers constantly focusing on analyzing their employees, it can be easy to overlook how impressionable your own actions are them. Just because you have explicitly told Jane that she must be in by 9, after watching you stroll in at 9:30 day in and day out, the solid foundation of her start time might quiver dangerously closer to 9:30 after time. Worse yet, your employees might begin to question your drive and commitment to the organization if the integrity of your words is crumbled with divergent actions, and they might lose motivation, enthusiasm, and commitment as well. Regardless of company policy and your own words, it is your actions that will truly set the tone and expectations for your entire office.
Below are some tips from an All Business article on leading by example. Now get out there and practice what you preach!
Here are a few simple things you can do to set a good example:
* Arrive to work and return from lunch breaks on time.
* Meet all deadlines. If you can’t, make other arrangements as soon as possible.
* Be helpful and considerate.
* Welcome and assist new employees so that they can immediately be productive.
* Don’t interrupt coworkers, even if they don’t appear to be “busy.” Politely ask if you could have a few minutes’ of their time.
Keep Your Word
If an employee comes to you with a request for time off, avoid making promises you can’t keep. Likewise, if you’re buried by major projects and tight deadlines, don’t make additional commitments you will be unable to honor.
The way to establish a reputation for honesty and reliability is by doing what you say you’ll do. This habit also shows your employees what you expect from them.
Always think through the ramifications of a commitment before you make it. If unforeseeable circumstances prevent you from coming through, let those concerned know immediately so they can develop an alternative plan. Don’t make excuses if you fail to do what you promised.
Treat Employees Equally
It’s critical to consistently enforce corporate policies. Otherwise, your employees will become suspicious and your credibility will suffer. Do not play favorites with employees by bending the rules for a select few. Nothing is more demoralizing for people than the knowledge that some of their coworkers are exempt from codes of behavior that should apply equally to all.
Consistency and fairness are also important when praising and criticizing your staff. Avoid being lenient with some and heavy-handed with others. Don’t allow negative personal feelings to influence your evaluation of people’s work.
Base Decisions on Values
Hold yourself and everyone else to the same standards, which should be based on your values and those of your firm. When you’re making a decision, make sure your choices are in line with those sets of values.
Avoid making important decisions haphazardly. If you feel pressured to give an immediate answer, simply explain that you need more time to consider all information and weigh potential outcomes.
Those in leadership positions in business–whether president of the company, supervisor of a department or project team manager–are standard bearers. Their behavior sets the tone for everyone else on staff. When you observe high ethical principles and lead by positive example, you’ll increase morale and positive interaction among staff members. You’ll also earn your employees’ respect and loyalty.