Fraser Scott

Leading By Example

The way people create and use things continually change, and that’s the exciting challenge that myself and the team at Langley Foxall look forward to tackling every day.

Understanding the in's and out's of our customer's industry and their unique selling points helps us gain the knowledge and perception to give helpful advice. We can then create and deliver a system or solution that will enhance what our customers have been doing for the years they have been in operation.

It's not our goal to reinvent the wheel our aim is to help realign it.

If you were to ask any leader to describe his or her style, you would likely hear a common phrase at some point in the response: “leading by example.”

Sometimes tough love is needed. Especially when the ever-growing task list starts to look like a mountain to climb and everyone around you is holding their heads in their hand. It's down to you then, to take control and "lead by example". One of my favourite quotes from the film Full Metal Jacket:

"You little scumbag! I've got your name! I've got your ass! You will not laugh. You will not cry. You will learn by the numbers. I will teach you".

It's that last line we all standby at LF, "we will teach you," we all know we can count on each other when we need a helping hand and this is displayed from the top down. We are not Senior Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman but, we like to think we run a military operation when it comes to our work as we like to be as precise as an army.

Which brings me on to the topic of discussion. Not to say this matter hasn't been written about before because of course, it has... it's a well-known topic and not to say it isn't fairly obvious because admirable behaviour should be a leadership imperative... but (as I've noted before) just because something is common sense doesn't mean it's common knowledge among the people around you.

In short, just because leaders should be leading by example doesn't mean they are always doing it.

So why should leaders be outstanding role models who lead by example? It's simple it empowers the people around you, it gives them a sense of belief and trust. It makes people want to follow. It sets a fine example for those in the lower rungs of an organisation, who are always carefully watching how their leaders behave.

If employees don’t know what’s expected of them, they won’t be able to deliver it. Leading with a clear goal in mind and setting the standard is fundamental. The example should be supported by the resources employees need to achieve them — and the positive reinforcement that shows their efforts are recognised. Leaders should strive to promise timely, positive outcomes and then deliver what’s expected.

Providing the foundations where leaders lead by setting the example in my book is a win-win scenario. It requires aligning your actions with your vision on a daily basis.