What are the barriers to doing this?
As we have discussed throughout this blog series, leadership is hard. It is human nature to wish someone else would take responsibility when in a tough situation. Psychologists Latane and Darley define this reality as the Bystander Effect. In difficult situations, the more people that are present, the less responsibility we feel to risk stepping up – someone else will, right? Most situations in leadership are ambiguous. When faced with ambiguity we tend to look around for the reaction of others and follow their actions.
Why is this important to do anyway?
But guess what? Your workforce looks to YOU for direction. Your model and your decisions are ALWAYS on stage. When times are difficult, your employees are looking to you for inspiration. If you show urgency and jump to action, there is a higher chance others will follow than if you don’t act. If you model calm, there is a greater likelihood that your team will respond with confidence. In leadership you must… “be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi) Be the lead you want others to follow.
How can you do it?
- Model with courage. Most people do not carry the emotional strength to be true to themselves. One gift you can give your workforce is to stand up for what is right. Your courage will model the strength for others to trust in their convictions.
- Model with performance. As a leader you have to “up your game”. You cannot expect others to demonstrate high performance if you are not willing to hold yourself to the same…and higher. Be the benchmark of performance you want your team to strive for.
- Model with passion. Your employees want to be a part of something that is worth getting excited about. If they do not see any passion or energy in you, there’s a fat chance you are going to see your team get excited. Get fired up about the work your department is doing. Show interest in them and connect their work to the mission of your organization.
- Model the way. Models provide a picture for us that we use as a guide. Your moods, your reactions, your response to mistakes, your recognition of those doing the work…all of these paint the color on the picture of what kind of leader you are. Make it a picture worth viewing and one your employees can have to pattern after.
What are some of the other ways you actively try to model for those you serve?
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