To many leaders, their belief in leadership is a matter of enunciating precepts. Like the old adage says,
“example is better than precept”. Fact is a good leader spends a great deal of time teaching and coaching their followers to make their team look good. That is the sacrifice that comes with exemplary leadership.
To lead by doing is stepping into the dirty water and showing the team members how to make it clean. Leaders must show leadership by rolling up the sleeves of their shirts, using their hands and allowing it get dirty, while showing an example of how things should be done. It is not a matter of debate of what leadership jobs are – whether it is mental labor in terms of strategy crafting or it is manual labour in the field of execution.
It is certainly not. The purpose of the discipline of an exemplary leader which highly influences team members is leading by doing. It is aimed at modelling behaviours, instigating and impacting shared vision and a camaraderie spirit to inspire team members to act in a value yielding process that can deliver the planned result.
In most times when team members look intently at leaders, while they postulate and theorize, what goes on in their minds which they may not be able to express publicly could be “leader, show us an example or show us where this has worked before”.
When the leader seizes this initiative and leads by doing, the impact and influence is usually inspiring, challenging and positive.