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Angela M. Odom

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EP04: Lead By Example

2021 leadership Jan 26, 2021

Want more committed and invested team members? Walk it like you talk it or in other words, lead by example. The fact that you may have a well deserved and well earned title does not equate to effective results or an extraordinary level of commitment or investment from your team members. 

“The three most important ways to lead people are:… by example… by example… by example.” Albert Schweitzer

Ideally you are self-aware and understand that its not your impressive title that earns you respect, its your behavior. Think about it. Your team members are working in their current compacity for a myriad of reasons. Their reasons may be as simple as putting food on the table for their family. Your fancy title, although impressive and important to you and your esteem, does not inspire some of your team members to produce quality work or to invest in your vision. 

People who say one thing but do another eventually lose credibility.

A few insights

Everyone has the capacity to contribute to the overall organizational goals. Everyone is a leader whether they are supervising others or only themselves. Titles don't equate to effective leadership skills or competencies. Your individual behavior is what makes the difference. The person without the title or position of authority who displays leadership and takes initiative to complete their tasks is demonstrating leadership skills.  

Effective leaders who seek a level of commitment and investment from others and who intend to operate in an excellent manner understand that they must walk it like they talk it by doing those things that they expect others to do. 

Before you expect others to operate at a sustain level of excellence, you must know what you believe and what you value; be clear on your own guiding principles.

Do you believe its more important to complete the mission or to develop people who will complete the mission in an excellent manner?

When you know your core values, then you'll know the proper strategy needed to manage processes and lead people. One of the many lessons I learned while serving in the US Army was that my values were not the ONLY values. My perspective was not the ONLY perspective. 

I recommend you focus on the shared values of the organization and not lean completely on what you believe is the best path for everyone. 

One of the most critical lessons I learned early in my military career was what a leader does is more important than what a leader may say.  When your team is gauging your commitment and investment to the organization and to them, consistency and integrity is very important as your team. They want to know that your words and your behavior are consistent. 

Exemplary leaders set the example by aligning actions with shared values. Through their daily actions, they demonstrate their deep commitment to their beliefs and those of the organization.

Leading by example is much more effective than leading by intimidation or by directives. Ideally you want people to commit to completing their tasks because they choose to do so. They are more likely to choose to invest in your vision when demonstrate that you believe what you say. 

We often prove that something is important by doing that which we're asking others to do and by giving it our time, attention and resources and by setting the example.

Examples: Wear your mask. No work calls after 6 pm. No interrupting people 

 If you're in a leadership position, then you know that you have a responsibility to your team. They look to you for guidance and strength; that's part of what being a leader is. And a big part of your responsibility is to lead them with your own actions.

Leading by example inspires your team members to support your vision. When they know that you'll do that which you expect from them, they are more likely to work support over overall goal for the organization.  

I'm rooting for you.

Angela, Your Leadership Coach

For those women serving in supervisory or managerial positions, you're invited to attend a Women's 3-Hour Leadership Intensive. Click HERE for more information. 



Angela M. Odom is a life and leadership coach, podcast host, proud Army veteran and the author of BRONCO STRONG: A Memoir of the Last Deployed Personnel Services Battalion and a contributing author to the book, "Camouflaged Sisters: Leadership Through The Eyes of Senior Military Women Leaders". 

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