Leading From the Front and Setting Examples

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Workplace motivation is a key to success for smart leaders. A wide array of personal traits is needed to make a business successful. A bunch of like-minded individuals will be too polarized in their abilities and therefore, creativity and diversity at workplace is vital. To cultivate workplace motivation, the leader has to manage each individual in a different way. The traditional way of treating everyone equal works in some situations but it could also alienate others. Cohesion and togetherness is another important aspect of smart leadership which guarantees success. Good leadership takes the strength of character and a firm commitment to do the right thing, at the right time and of course, for the right reason. This means doing what you say and when you say it. If your team can’;t trust you, you’;ll probably never lead them to greatness.

Leading – and living – by example isn’;t as hard as it might sound. It’;s really the easiest path. If your team knows that you’;ll also do whatever you expect from them, they are more likely to work hard and help you achieve your goals. Mahatma Gandhi and Alexander the Great helped change the world because they lived by example. The world knows the stories of their accomplishment. If you ask your co-worker to do something, make sure you’;d be willing to do the same thing yourself should a situation so demanded. If you implement new rules for the office, then follow those rules just as closely as you expect everyone else to follow them. For example, if you make a new rule about barring all personal calls at work, then don’;t talk to your spouse while at work. If you do so, first of all you are cheating yourself and if any of your employees discovers that, you will be seen as dishonest. This will most certainly anger your staff and they may start disbelieving you. Look closely at your own behavior. Yes, you want people to pay attention to one another and listen to all viewpoints, so demonstrate this yourself. If, in the spirit of goodwill, you make a rule for everyone to leave the office at 5:00 p.m., then you need to do it too. If you stay late to get more work done, your team may feel guilty and start staying late too. This will kill the very purpose of making the rule in the first place. Setting personal example is the most vital trait of a smart leader.

The fast changing business scenario requires smart leadership to keep the performance on an upper keel. When the leader is also working alongside the employees, it shows the expectations clearly. This is the best way to demonstrate leadership by example. The team gets motivated and develops more respect for such a leader. The leader himself may not be personally credited for any achievements that come along. But that is just as well, because the team will get that credit for these changes which would not have happened without the leader at the helm. Shunning personal credit in the larger and collective interest of one’s organization should be enough satisfaction for a smart business leader. There is a saying that goes, “Success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan”. If the leader is the originator of many successes, he knows the truth of this maxim better than anyone else. The majority of people within an organization will never understand the full role the leader has played in orchestrating the success or contributions he has made. A good leader knows that his employees like to feel special. He needs to sincerely compliment them at every conceivable opportunity. Team members work for a better tomorrow; therefore the leader should keep rekindling hope and show them proper direction. Human nature is such that most people are selfish and get emotionally low at times. It is the leader’s responsibility to address the emotional needs of the employees first and keep them encouraged.

Transformational leadership is often touted as the most effective and best leadership approach in business. Such leaders inspire people to do well while also excelling themselves. This style results in high productivity as everyone is involved and the leaders’ enthusiasm rubs on the team. These leaders are endowed with integrity and enlighten their team with a shared vision of the future. They set clear goals, motivate people, manage delivery, and communicate well. However, there are situation when just one approach does not work. Leadership is therefore also about innovating approaches to suit a specific situation. A smart leader can immediately figure out which combination of traditional styles should be used alongside his personal innovation.


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