The Psychology of Leadership and Leading By Example

Aaron Vick - The Psychology of Leadership and Leading By Example

The best leaders lead by example and there is psychology to this. Leading by example will help you influence people’s lives for the better. You should learn how you can be your best self before you can set an example for someone else. Keep reading to learn about the psychology of leadership and leading by example.

Close your eyes and think of the leaders whom you’ve looked up to the most throughout your life. Maybe the best leader you ever knew was your middle school basketball coach or one of your college professors.

Maybe it’s someone you didn’t learn from directly, but rather a well-known leader in your industry.

Either way, there is one thing all great leaders have in common: they know how to lead by example. Leading by example shows you’re not someone who gives orders and lets everyone else do the work.

It shows you’re committed to success and that you’re willing to put in the same work as everyone else.

You’re more likely to be effective when you work with the people around you than when you expect them to just follow commands. To help you understand the psychology of leadership, use the guide below.

What Is Good Leadership?

There are many ways to define leadership. Some people think being the boss automatically makes them a leader, or that leadership is something you need a title to express. In reality, it can be shown in all levels of business, and the higher you go, the more necessary it becomes to lead by example.

Leading by example encourages a genuine buy-in from your followers. Instead of making people feel like they have to do something, you make them want to do it. you show them how to take leadership into their own hands, creating trust and unity from the top down.

Such leadership is essential to creating success as a business. If you understand the concept of leading by example but aren’t sure how to do it, check out the following five tips.

How to Lead By Example

Leading by example shouldn’t completely transform how you do things – unless you’re a bad leader, that is. Instead, it should enhance the things you already do and make you more aware of the habits you could do more of.

This is a little easier to accomplish than you might think. Just use these tips!

1. Hold Yourself Accountable

Accountability is an essential skill for all leaders to master, and it goes hand in hand with leading by example. When you hold yourself accountable, you follow through on what you said you were going to do. This goes beyond dedication or commitment, it’s all about honoring your word.

You have to hold yourself accountable to major tasks as well as minor duties. It’s not a deadline to meet, though, it’s something to practice every day. Think of accountability as discipline and honesty in one – you have to be honest with yourself about how well you’ve performed as a leader and discipline yourself to be even better than before.

All of this shows others that they can depend on you. Followers feel more comfortable going to someone who sticks to their word than someone who makes up excuses.

2. Welcome Feedback from Others

Speaking of followers and the people around you, make an effort to include them in the conversation you have with yourself. Use employee feedback to find more opportunities to improve your leadership style that you can hold yourself accountable to.

Such feedback can be anonymous or personal. It’s something you can formally ask for or leave the door open for others to give you as things come up. No matter how you choose to gather feedback, though, it’s a tool you absolutely need.

Feedback gives you guidance when trying to lead by example. It shows you what you’re doing right and where your areas of improvement are.

Who knows, you may have a blind spot in your leadership that you weren’t aware of, or you may be doing much better than you give yourself credit for. The only way to find out is to talk to your team.

3. Be Transparent

As you’re having conversations with your team about where you can improve, don’t hold back. Be honest and transparent with them, and yes, there is a difference.

Honesty comes into play when you’re being asked something and have to give an answer; transparency is when you’re upfront about information that needs to be shared.

For example, say you didn’t hold yourself accountable to something or that, for whatever reason, you fell short of a goal. Be transparent about a situation like this.

Go to someone on your team and tell them how you missed the mark – they can help you analyze the situation and come up with ways to better approach it.

4. Admit When You’re Wrong

Sometimes, you just have to admit when you’re wrong. If you don’t do this, how can you expect your followers to do so? Admitting a mistake or a bad move helps others do the same.

It gets rid of this sense of fear that followers tend to have when talking to their leaders about their shortcomings. Instead of making them feel guilty by trying to come off as perfect, relate to them by being honest. Tell the people around you when you’ve made a mistake and find ways to fix it together.

5. Encourage Your Team

Last but not least, encourage your team. Motivate them and inspire them to be better versions of themselves, and to be leaders, too. This is a part of the psychology of leadership that many people overlook.

True leadership shows others how to be good leaders. It paves the way for followers to find their voice and learn how to use it for the good of the group.

When you lead by example, you’re not just guiding everyone to a common goal or a successful year, you’re showing them how to take the building blocks you’ve provided and do something amazing with them.

Using the Psychology of Leadership to Build a Business

Building a successful business takes time, and it starts with a unified, hardworking team. A team like this needs to have a strong leader at the front who knows how to lead by example and how to build others up. This is someone who understands the psychology of leadership and uses it for the benefit of all, not just themselves.

Start applying the leadership rules above and watch how your work culture transforms. For other startup tips and tricks from leading to budgeting, marketing, and much more, check out my startup page!