8 Ways To Lead by Example in the Workplace

To lead by example means to guide others through your behavior instead of your words. Your intention is to inspire others to copy your behavior. The opposite of leading by example is to say one thing and do another. The saying “do as I say, not as I do” may have worked in the past, but it has no place in today’s world.

Leading by Example

Benefits of leading by example in the workplace

Although most leaders hold positions of authority, you don’t need to hold one to demonstrate leadership skills or to lead others by example. Having leadership in place has many advantages, whether you’re an executive or a junior associate. The advantages of having a person or people who set an example in the workplace include:

More respect and trust

Respect comes from superiors, coworkers, and subordinates for those who set an example for others to follow. Their superiors regard them as a capable team leader who instills faith in their work. People who set a good example are perceived by coworkers and subordinates as having a thorough understanding of the workplace and how everyone interacts. When you earn the respect of your coworkers, you unite as a team to complete a shared task.

A leader can gain the team’s trust by being credible, keeping their word, and making an effort to find solutions to any issues that may arise at work. Employees respect your leadership style and trust your actions and words as a result, so respect and trust frequently go hand in hand.

It is also more likely that teammates will respect and trust one another when a leader earns their team’s respect and trust. An effective workforce is built on its leaders, and it is often due to them that a culture that values respect and trust among coworkers develops. A leader can do things like publicly recognizing everyone’s skill set and including every team member in projects or crucial decisions to foster this.

Higher productivity

Leading by example can also lead to high productivity. Your team will quickly follow your lead when you set a good example, working just as hard and accomplishing just as much to contribute to the company. There is frequently a stronger motivation to perform to the best of one’s abilities for their team and to avoid disappointing anyone. A leader encourages followers to create effective processes that will enable them to produce work that is high-quality and delivered on time.

Loyal employees

Employees want to enjoy their coworkers, including their manager, even if they enjoy their work. By setting an example for those around you, you can make them proud to be a part of the team and work for the organization. The office staff has a variety of skills and is better able to produce at its best as a result of low employee turnover and the ability to retain and recruit top talent.

Additionally, loyal and content workers are less likely to miss work, are happier, contribute more to group discussions, volunteer for more tasks or to assist a colleague, and are more likely to recommend their employer to friends, family, and neighbors.

Commitment to the organization

When an organization has a good deal of leadership, the employees are typically more dedicated to the business. They work to support the company’s mission, purpose, and values by developing strategies and a plan to do so. They also strive to help the organization achieve its goals. When a leader sets an example by supporting their team, it motivates others to follow suit.

Benchmark standards

In the workplace, a leader’s actions set the bar for what is appropriate and desired behavior. Members of the team may respond to the actions of the leader in different ways. Employees believe they are capable of whatever the leadership deems acceptable, whether these are good or bad practices. Employees should learn that being on time for meetings is expected of them if their leader, for instance, always arrives on time. On the other hand, if you’re a leader who doesn’t interact with your staff, you might notice that the office starts to function in silos and is less collaborative.

What does it mean to lead by example?

By setting a good example for others, you can influence their behavior and encourage them to follow your lead. When you set an example for others, you create a path for them to follow and ensure that everyone is striving for the same thing. A good leader makes it seem natural for others to want to give their all to the company they work for. You can achieve this and create a workplace that is full of trust, confidence, and purpose when you set an example for others to follow.

Ways to lead by example in the workplace

Lead by example if you want to be an effective leader. By doing this, you should create a fun, innovative work environment where everyone feels valued and is motivated to go above and beyond for the good of the team. Consider these actions to lead your team by example:

Follow through on your promises

Establishing a trust-based foundation is one of the best ways to set an example for others. The best way to get started is to keep your promises. This demonstrates your level of dedication to the group and increases their trust in you as a leader. You might discover that they are more eager to inquire, accept additional duties, and be an active team member. An employee may feel disengaged and be unproductive if they don’t believe their boss will follow through.

Come to work with energy

Think about arriving at work with a smile on your face, a positive outlook, and productive energy that translates to increased momentum and motivation as you complete your daily tasks if you want to lead by example. Your team should naturally adopt your outlook and pick it up, creating a productive team that supports one another and takes a great approach to getting the job done.

Work alongside your team

The most effective leaders work alongside their team. Spend a lot of time outside of your office, even if you have one, so that your staff members perceive you as an integral member of the group. As you collaborate with them more, you’ll gain a better understanding of their unique talents, responsibilities, and projects, which will enable you to lead them more effectively, respond to their inquiries, and direct them toward success.

Working closely with your team will help you establish trust with them and improve morale. Working with your team also gives you a more intimate understanding of any difficulties. Then, you can work on the fixes they require to improve their work.

Follow the rules

Consider establishing rules if you want the office to run smoothly and be a place where everyone is responsible for their work. Rules don’t necessarily have to be bad things; in fact, they can clarify a lot of expectations and duties. Follow the guidelines you’ve established and the guidelines of the company to set an example. If you do, your team is less likely to flout or break the law, which promotes better cooperation at work.

Place trust in your team

Start by ensuring that your team is aware of the organization’s vision, values, and goals and how they contribute significantly to the achievement of those goals. Keep in mind that every employee was hired for a specific reason and has a specific skill set and unique experience. Trust your team to complete their tasks efficiently, and you’ll not only earn their respect but also serve as an example for other managers at work.

Attend workshops and training sessions

Even leaders still have room to grow. It’s crucial to demonstrate to your team that you are aware of your limitations and that you are dedicated to acquiring the skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to succeed in your position. They will gain confidence in your leadership and be motivated to seek out similar opportunities for themselves, such as conferences and networking events, as a result.


Pay attention to your team members, your organization’s other leaders, and even your superiors. Everyone has something of value to add to a conversation. Aside from that, listening to your team demonstrates to them your respect for them as individuals and for the work they do as well as your desire to learn more about them so you can lead effectively. Engage them in meaningful conversation so they have faith in your abilities and feel free to talk to you about any problems. The more you listen, the more you learn.

Remain cognizant of your words and actions

You should be aware that anyone can interpret your words and actions. If you’re setting an example for your team, it’s important to be aware of how they might interpret your actions and words. This will help you to be more conscious of your attitude and behavior. Try to remain encouraging to your team and supportive even in challenging work situations.


Why is leading by example important?

By setting an example, you paint a picture of what is feasible. When people see you, they may think, “Well, if he can do it, I can do it.” “When you set an example for others, it’s simple for them to follow you. Look at legendary businessman, Jack Welch of General Electric.

How do you use lead by example in a sentence?

Leading by example is a leadership approach in which you set an example for the behavior you want to see in your team members. When you set an example for your team, you actively demonstrate excellence rather than just encouraging it.

Should a leader lead by example?

They never preached about it, but just led by example. Top management will be seen to lead by example. It is best to lead by example and with support. Billy McKibben, the captain of the Longfellows, set the bar high as his team defeated the Strikers 7-2 at home.

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