Top 10: Ways to Motivate, Leading by Example

by Anita Dahlstrom


Great leaders must lead by example.

Through their actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become a person others want to follow. When leaders say one thing but do another, they erode trust, a critical element of productive leadership.

What does the word MOtivaTION include??

It's all about MOTION! And forward motion at that!

Acting in ways that include others AND set the example of living with your organization's core values while delivering upon it's mission. People are motivated by leaders who build relationships of trust and support.

In "The SPEED of Trust - The One Thing that Changes Everything" Stephen M. R. Covey tells us that trust is about integrity of character and credibility of the leader.

I believe that trust comes down to 4 simple questions:

  1. Do I say what I'll do? 
  2. Do I do what I say?
  3. Am I trusted?
  4. Am I worth it?

Trust is the highest form of MOtivaTION. And as leaders in our organizations and communities, our words and actions are always front and center. 

Here are 10 ideas for leading by example and building trust:

1. Take responsibility. Blame costs you your credibility, keeps team members on the defensive and ultimately sabotages real growth. When a mistake is made, say "I own it."

2. Be truthful. Inaccurate or incomplete statements affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy. Stand in integrity with the truth.

3. Be courageous. Walk through fire (a crisis) first. Take calculated risks that show your commitment to a larger purpose, even if it means short term sacrifice (you must give up to go up!)

4. Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your team to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary. Fail forward! Live, Learn, Lead!

5. Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any barriers to success to show that obstacles don’t define your company or team.

6. Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer possible solutions and then ask your team for more. Gather as many possibilities as possible!

7. Listen. Really listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. Be comfortable with silence after a question. You’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages open dialogue. Don't just communicate, CONNECT!

8. Delegate liberally. Live by the 80% rule: If someone can do the task 80% as well as you, empower them to do it, and build their skills along the way! Now, you focus on what only you can do - vision and direction! 

9. Take care of yourself. Exercise, don’t overwork, take a break. A balanced team, mentally and physically, is a successful team. Model it, encourage it, support it!

10. Roll up your sleeves. Like Alexander the Great leading his men into battle, you’ll inspire greatness in your company.


Have a wonderful October!! 

I'll be sharing an exciting new toy later this month! Stay tuned!