For great leaders to win, they do need to be first and most importantly they need to lead first.
Here are a few areas where great leaders always lead first:
Descend from the Ivory Tower
We frequently hear about famous people making personal visits with their fans. After those visits, someone invariably says, “They were so down to earth.” Why is that a compliment? Because the fans feel connected to their favorite singer, sports star, or actor when they see them acting like a regular person.
This is the same with leaders. People expect leaders to lead from the top of the mountain, but understand the impact at the bottom of the mountain. They want to feel connected to the person who plays a large part in their chances for success. People don’t want to hear “Go,” as E.M. Kelly said, people want to hear the leader say “Let’s Go!”
Leaders lead first by taking the initiative to invest time being with their teams.
Demonstrate what is right
Steve Jobs once said, “A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.” Your team is watching and listening to everything you do – make it count.
If there is a fast approaching deadline and the team needs to work some extra hours to finish – great leaders will be there with them. If there is new process put in place that each employee needs to follow – great leaders follow it.
Don’t just tell people what you want them to do, show them. As Henry David Thoreau said, “People will believe what they see. Let them see it.”
Leaders lead first by taking the initiative to lead by example.
A leader sets vision, goals, and timelines and lets employees decide how to achieve. No one wants to be told what to do every step of the way. Remember, if you always tell your employees how to do everything, you will have to always tell them how to do everything.
President Theodore Roosevelt said, “The best executives are the ones who have sense enough to pick good people to do what they want done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
Leaders lead first by taking the initiative to let their team take the initiative.