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Why you need to not lead by example, & list of positive actions instead. Brutal lessons from the lockdown that show why you need to not lead by example

They state that you ought to lead by example. Work the method that you want others to work. Set the tone. Inspire others. But by its very definition, leadership isn’t exactly like management, and management isn’t exactly like operations, so I’ve always thought that while this may function as case in sports, it isn’t correct for business.

When lockdown 1.0 happened, I had around 200 staff. About 50 % were at work and another half were contractorsand work-from-home staff. Worries was palpable, so when a live events company, there is the real prospect our business could possibly be decimated.


As I’d never experienced a pandemic lockdown before, I did so what most entrepreneurs may possibly do. I led by example. I acquired up earlier, I worked later. Rolled up my sleeves and helped anywhere and everywhere I possibly could, across every area of the business enterprise. After all, easily didn’t, we might have no business left.

I acquired involved with sales, marketing, customer support, finance, admin, and HR, and worked as hard as anyone could. Up at 3 a.m. for work, work until late, and repeat. We navigated the lockdowns, and in lots of ways, our business became better and stronger.

But i want to ask you this. If you’re the captain of the ship and there’s a fire in the engine room, can you run-down with all of those other crew to place the fire out? Well I did so, because that’s what leaders do, right? They lead by example. Then who steers the ship? So how exactly does it stick to course? You don’t need yet another couple of hands putting out the engine fire while you can find no hands at the tyre?

Lead From leading

Because I was in the engine room feeling heat with the others of my team, our culture was completely lost. No-one could recall our vision. Nobody had any notion of our strategy, our mission, our values, and individuals were scared playing around in panic mode throwing buckets of water everywhere. That they had no-one guiding them as the guide was “leading by example.”

I will did my job. And my job isn’t their job. I will have led by leading, not by example. I will not need worked harder, I will been employed by smarter. Rather than being busy doing, I will have already been less busy, thinking. Less admin, more strategy. I will have separated myself from the mass fear and panic, which meant less, no more time on operations. Additional time with mentors who’ve experienced the cycles. Additional time studying history. Additional time focusing on the culture, stating and restating the vision and the mission.

An excellent company, such as a great sports team, could have a varied tactical and cultural mix. Adiversity of individuals and positions, roles and responsibilities, and everyone in the business must have their key result areas (KRAs).

The simplest way to lead isn’t by example, but by doing all your job. Also to do your task well, you should not get distracted doing other’s jobs, and you also have to know what your actual job is.

Plenty of leading by example is merely for show. Look at me performing a good job here. It’s posturing, superficial, and seen to be working instead of actually doing all your job. Great leaders know their job, plus they understand that their job is exclusive, and the ultimate way to lead would be to do their job well, and by doing their job well, empower and enable everybody else to accomplish their job well.

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