Part of the Series: "Leadership Principles For Young Professionals & Millennials"
If you hope to lead anyone, you must be an example to follow. The Marine Corps stresses physical appearance, fitness, attitude and personal example. People will mirror what they see, especially what they see their leaders do, or not do. As I mentioned in the introductory post of this series, as young professionals and millennials, you don’t have an abundance of examples to follow in the world today. If you don’t take the initiative and find the right examples for yourself, you will fall into the same path that so many have before you. The great thing is that setting the example does not require experience, or special skills.
Setting the example starts with your character.
Morals & Values - Become fully aware of what your morals and values are. Your morals and values are reflected in the decisions you make and the actions you take. Whether you are among peers, those you are leading, and also those you report to, your decisions and actions are examples to follow.
Integrity - All leaders who set a good example have integrity. This is an essential trait if you wish to have and grow your influence. Integrity is the basis for trust and rapport. Look at so many of the politicians today. There aren’t many people who would actually say they trust even one politician, because so many of them have demonstrated that their integrity is for sale, and when it’s sold it is nearly impossible to regain. Every moment is a building block to our integrity, and it only requires a moment to tear it all down.
Intuition - I once had a well decorated Marine sniper in my platoon. He had a saying “The hairs on the back of your neck never lie, never.” How true that statement is! You may be too early in your careers to have learned this lesson the hard way, as so many more seasoned professionals have already. I too have made that mistake. I have had a gut feeling about something and decided against going with my gut because I thought I did not have enough experience to overrule that gut feeling, and nearly 100% of the time my gut was right. My intuition was right. It is with your intuition where you will break free of the pattern of leadership we face today. It will be with your intuition where you fill the gap of achieving leadership potential vs. the leadership we have settled for today that trades that potential for what so many of them think is more money. The reality is that it is an illusion. More money resides with those who grow to their maximum potential as leaders. (look at the leadership ROI studies below this post).
Setting the example is the allowing those around you to see your character. No one can ever maximize their potential as a leader without their character intact. It’s as simple as thinking of a leader trying to lead you who you know allowed their integrity to lapse at some point. They may have a title of authority, but lack any trust that might gain them true influence.
Be an example for the future to follow.
Leadership Coach, Author, Trainer, Speaker
Agoge Leadership Development
Share Your Thoughts!
I encourage and look forward to your thoughts and feedback on my blog posts. Please feel free to take the time to share your comments on the posts that interest you.
The copyright in this website and the material on this website (including without limitation the text, computer code, artwork, photographs, images, music, audio material, video material and audio-visual material on this website) is owned by Christopher Waters and Agoge Leadership Development LLC and its licencors.