Leading by example is precisely why leaders focus on always doing exactly what they say. Your actions should be aligned with what you are saying. Although, it’s tough to practice what you preach; you need to model the change in behavior you want to see. The core of focusing on the walk not the talk is to be the change you want to see in others.
In other words, you need to assess your own behavior first before communicating these changes to your fellow because changing habitual practices isn’t as easy as simply making a choice. It’s very important for a leader to be consistent with their actions. The single most essential component to effective management is trust. Everything will go out the window when trust is lost. And in the eyes of most people, a lie is a lie.
Too often leaders want to run and/or hide from their mistakes. Don’t make excuses, but be clear that you recognize where you went wrong. Being sorry isn’t admission of defeat. It revisits the human aspect that people screw up for a superfluity of reasons. You are not an exemption. It is a great start to admit your mistakes and apologize. However, be clear in asking for support in moving forward. If you choose to ignore it than acknowledge it, don’t be flabbergasted if things don’t get better.
Show people what the organizational values mean through your behaviors. People learn by observing their leaders. You must focus on your walk more than your talk. Bringing values to life is a behavioral issue because you are a role model for your people. Your values can be seen in terms of your behavior, where you go, what you say, how you spend your time and how you deal with problems and crises.
Actions speak louder than words. Everyone has lapses. Make sure that you acknowledge whenever you find yourself off track and in breach of values. When problems catch you off-balance, your immediate reaction might be contrary to your personal or organizational values system. Remember, subordinates follow your lead.
As a leader, you need to help your people succeed. You must smooth the way for them because there are always impediments and obstacles to achieving goals. You must identify these barriers, remove or lessen them, or show your members how to deal with those that can’t be removed.
People desire for recognition. The main reason why people leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. Recognizing a worthwhile behavior is the single best way to ensure organizational commitment. Although none of us would work for less money than we feel is fair, money alone isn’t enough for encouraging long-term high performance. People cannot be motivated when they feel that what they are asked to do is worthless or contrary to their fundamental values.
Most of us want to feel that we are valued as people, not just mere staff. We want to be respected for who we are, not simply for what we do. We also respond positively to be with others who share similar beliefs and with whom we can build relationships. That’s the very reason why we need to focus on the walk not the talk.