Lead by Example

Leaders are expected to tell their employees what to do. They are responsible for the mission, vision, strategy, planning and execution in an organisation. However, if you want to become a leader of influence then you must walk your talk. You must lead by example. Your words and actions must be congruent.

When you lead by example you will gain respect and admiration and you will inspire people to action rather than frighten them into doing what you want. We don’t want to let people down that we respect and admire. We want to gain their admiration and respect by doing good work and following their lead.

People will only do what you tell them to do as a leader reluctantly. You can shout and scream at them. The sign of good leadership is not what your employees do when you are there in person but what they do when you are not there.

People do what they see you doing. If you lead from the front then they will follow you. If you lead from the back, they will moan, complain and resist and won’t progress along the path you have paved for them. Such behaviour erodes team spirit and hold your team back from producing a top performance.

If you are willing to do what you tell your people to do first, then they will do what you want. However, if you are reluctant then they will be even more reluctant. Leading from the front will give them trust and faith in you and your plan of action. They will believe that they can succeed. They will follow your lead. When people have faith and trust in your leadership, they will put in their best efforts even in the face of adversity and struggle. Courageous leaders inspire their people towards courageous actions. Show willingness and courage in spite of difficulties and struggles.

You must lead by example to be effective. Your words and actions must be consistent. If not, then you are not a leader that can inspire others. People model what they see in a leader.

When you want to make a change in an organisation or the people in your organisation then you must lead by example and change yourself first. If you want your workers to come to work early and you always come late then you won’t be convincing. You must start first with yourself and start coming to work early. If you want your troops to charge to the enemy lines, then you must lead the charge.

You must first be a role model for behaviours that you want your people to exhibit. A big cause of failure in leadership is hypocrisy that leaders are asking people to do things that they are unwilling to do. When people who had not met Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon Him) asked what he was like, his companions always replied that he was like a walking Quran. This means that his actions were exactly like the teachings of the Holy Quran. Hence, He was able to inspire billions of people to follow Him and His examples towards Islam and its teachings.

If your organisation is in financial trouble and you have to cut costs and number of employees, you must start with yourself. This action gives a powerful message of excellent leadership. Give yourself a pay cut first and your team will be more willing to make sacrifices that are needed for your company to survive the financial challenges ahead.

Leading by example will inspire others and you will get the results and buy in from your employees. People model what they see. They model both good behaviours and also destructive behaviours. Be a best example of excellence and your people will also strive for excellence. The aim isn’t to be perfect but to strive for perfection through daily improvements.

Teachers are much more effective if they are living their teachings than if they are just imparting data to their students. Knowledge and actions are twins of success and good leadership.  They complement one another. Knowing what to do is an important aspect of leadership which comes through experience and overcoming progressively more difficult challenges.



  • Examine your experiences, key areas and qualities and analyse what can be improved to improve your leadership.
  • Determine a daily plan of action that you can implement. Put it in your diary and make sure to execute.
  • Study members of your immediate team. Identify their strengths and weaknesses. Prepare a plan of action, training and feedback you can give to improve them.


Your role as a leader is to ensure people grow and develop themselves and their leadership qualities and experiences. By creating strong leadership you are enhancing the potential for success of your people and the organisation.


#YPS #Leadership

Posted by ypsociety