leading by example

May 14, 2013
post startup

Leadership is a tricky thing and over the years I have tried different styles and was exposed to different styles. I have observed many every successful people and people in high positions that lead big companies.

I found that most leaders fall into two categories. Leader by example and leader by position. What I mean with that is people that live and breath what they demand from their team, people that are respected for what they know and people that don’t have to hide behind a title to be accepted. Those leaders were generally accepted in the team they worked and were normally not questioned or challenged by their peers.

Leading by position is a style often found in larger companies where politics is enough to get a position and actual execution is more in the way than a contributing factor. If the goal is lots of money then this leading style can be highly efficient. If the goal is a functioning team and a good work environment then this leading style is toxic. It does not create a level of trust and you often end up with the typical management style where resources get allocated to tasks and leaders spend most of their time in meetings discussing important things that the team then has to execute on.

If you want to lead by example you are part of and not on top of a team. Leading by example means that you surround yourself with peers not with underlings that do your work. I have seen many very successful people that did exactly that, being part of a team and leading from within not from the top.