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Posted February 25, 2015
| Updated May 23, 2022

6 Ways to Lead by Example

Running a company — and therefore being in charge of people — is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it’s fulfilling in so many ways. But it can be a challenge because every day, regardless of how you feel, you have people looking to you for guidance. You’ve got to be on your toes and ensure that you’re doing your best to lead by example so that your staff emulates what you do and works their hardest for your company.

6 Tactics I’ve Found Effective in My Leadership Strategy

Do What You Say

I’m big on keeping my promises. Yes, I’m swamped, but when an employee asks me to do something, such as review their work or provide feedback, I make it a priority. That way, they know that my word is my bond, and that they can trust me.

Say What You Mean

I don’t believe in pussyfooting around something. I’m always honest. I refuse to lie or even expand on the truth to an employee, because I know from experience that it always backfires. People appreciate the truth, even if it’s ugly.

Be Big on Communication

Have you ever had a boss who blew up at you because you didn’t do something to his liking…only he never told you what he wanted? Yea, we’ve all been there, but knowing that it doesn’t help the situation means that, if anything, I’m going to overcommunicate just to make sure my team is on the same page. They may roll their eyes, but they know my intentions are good.

Support Your Team

Sometimes that means rolling up your sleeves and working alongside them to get a project done. It can also mean that when they need something, like your approval or appreciation, you give it to them. It’s easy to stay locked in your office, working on “more important” things, but remember: you wouldn’t be here if not for your staff, so make sure they know you’re rooting for them.

Admit When You’re Wrong

When you’re in a position of leadership, admitting mistakes can feel uncomfortable. After all, we’re the leaders! We don’t make mistakes! Except…we do. And your staff knows that. So rather than trying to point the finger at an innocent, be open and honest about what you did wrong, and see how you can fix the situation.

Maintain Some Distance

Look, my staff is like my family. I like having a meal after work with them occasionally. But I don’t make any mistakes: they’re not my BFFs. I am their boss. And there needs to be a little distance between us so that we keep that respect between us. It’s hard to respect a boss you’ve let your hair down around a few too many times, so make sure the employee/employer relationship is always there.

Being a leader is a gift. Don’t blow it. Think about all the crappy bosses you ever had, and do the opposite.

<a href="" target="_self">Phil Akalp</a>

Phil Akalp

Philip Akalp is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, and the founder and CMO of CorpNet. Phil and his wife Nellie have been building companies for more than 18 years. They sold their first company to Intuit in 2008 for $20 million, then decided to get right back into the game. Having weathered the ups and downs of entrepreneurship over the past two decades, Nellie and Phil are the undisputed experts on what it takes to start a successful business and follow your dreams.

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