executive leader

Executives Lead Themselves First

by Sonya Shelton

Executive LeaderWhat messages are you sending to your team? Are you relying on the old adage: Do as I say, not as I do? Is that how you lead?

If so, they’re probably not too happy with you as a leader. A survey by Opinion Research Corporation asked U.S. workers to name just one characteristic that they thought was the most important in a leader. The number one answer: Leading by Example.

If you cannot lead yourself, you cannot lead others. Leaders can never take others farther than they have gone themselves. Your team wants you to lead them, but you have to earn their trust and respect first.

People look to you to set the standard. That doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers, but it does mean you have to be aware of what you do. Everything communicates something — even when you go out of your way not to communicate. To be credible, what you say and what you do have to be in alignment.

Before we can lead others, we must first be able to lead ourselves. Because if we’re not willing to do the work needed to continually grow and excel, our teams won’t either.



How can you improve your ability to lead yourself first?

What can you do to lead by example?


“Each of us must step into the role of leader, taking responsibility first for directing our own lives, and then for interacting with other people — at work, at home, and everywhere in between.”

~ Deepak Chopra

Share this Post