How to Lead by Example

Click above for a brief overview from consultant Tracey Nelson

Click above for a brief overview from consultant Tracey Nelson

We at Momentum Consulting are in the business of helping businesses accelerate and perform through executive and team training in leadership and high performance. We lead by example, utilizing our 26 Organizational Fundamentals in how we operate business. We can help your business uncover your organizational fundamentals and lead by example, as well.

Most high performing leaders are quite intentional about crafting their leadership style.

They may access multiple resources, including books, magazines, news, blogs, and other leaders to develop their concept of the type of leader they aspire to be; e.g. inspirational, transactional, collaborative, authoritarian, charismatic or any number of existing or personally developed hybrid practices.

You have the power to choose your leadership style, but the one aspect of your style you can’t choose is leading by example. You truly have no choice but to intentionally practice it, as it will happen whether or not you choose to do so.

For example, you can talk about how important it is for your team to collaborate, but unless you are regularly collaborating with them, the practice can’t take root. You can insist that meetings start on time, but if you are consistently late, you are evidencing that timeliness is not important in the organization.

I personally did not understand how to manage people well until I had an excellent manager myself and then modeled my style on hers.

To quote Mahatma Gandhi:An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” 

Sadly, there are many cases of leading by poor, and often nefarious, examples. Historically, “Boss” Tweed was the prototype of corruption in his governance of New York City. More recently, WorldCom, HealthSouth, Enron and many more companies have been shown to have illegal practices which started at the top.

Knowing you are constantly being scrutinized, assessed and followed admittedly puts a lot of pressure on you. Institutionalizing practices can help relieve some of that pressure.

A few suggestions:

  • Value your people: work with HR to create guidelines and practices which respect the personal lives and values of your employees.
  • Resolve conflicts: differing opinions will occur and they are healthy, to a point. When you resolve conflicts fairly and with respect for both parties, you are setting the tone for resolution down the line, resulting in fewer conflicts which require escalation to your level.
  • Listen: if you want your organization to be innovative and you want to be heard yourself, start with listening generously. Creativity and transformation in your organization cannot happen unless people know you and other leaders will listen to their ideas.
  • Deliver: make commitments to your team and do your best to deliver. 

You certainly have other aspects of your leadership style you wish to incorporate and institutionalize as well. With many of Momentum’s clients, this has taken the form of developing a set of specific behaviors for everyone in the company and consistently reinforcing and reviewing adherence to those behaviors. 

Yes, it’s on YOU to set an example, but you can and should enlist the whole company in your efforts! 

I would very much appreciate hearing from you of leadership examples, both positive and negative. Send me your stories!

“Leadership is not position or a title; it’s action and example.Cory Booker

Kind regards,


Fundamental of the Week #21: LEAD BY EXAMPLE  The best way to influence others is “being the change you want to see.” Bring a calming presence. Help others to shine. 

Momentum Consulting offers executive business coaching, top level executive consulting, team trainings, and team offsites to build and transform your business to the next level. Inquire about business consulting and leadership coaching today.

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