Tomorrow I’ll see a good friend and former boss who taught me a lot about business. One of the things that I remember that he taught me was that actions speak louder that words. Rule #1: Do something.
Leadership by example can seem obvious so he gave me three questions to use as a litmus test:
How do you spend your time?
People notice the disconnect between what you say and what you do. If you want quality to be important, pay extra attention to spelling and formatting.
What questions do you ask?
The questions you ask signal employees about the topics you think are important. Employees won’t be interested in strategic objectives if you never talk about them.
What do you recognize and reward?
Why people are rewarded and promoted demonstrate your seriousness about a specific set of corporate principles. If you care about innovation, reward risk takers, even if they fail.
Of course, not all leadership by example should be commended:
(For another take on how to lead by example, check out this article on eHow.)