Military Trains Its Leaders to Lead by Example – Are You Leading by Example?

There are many ways to lead and as many variations and proportional combinations of those ways as there are leaders themselves. Perhaps of all the ways to lead people and maybe the strongest way for a leader to lead is to “Lead by Example!”

In fact, this tried and true method is one that the military uses and why do you suppose that is? Because it works, and because a leader that leads by example is respected by his or her subordinates.


Let’s face it, if you are going to ask someone to do something that is indeed, not so pleasant, whether it is running into the heat of battle with swords drawn or shoveling manure, well, chances are those who would follow are much more likely to do it, if the leader gets in and gets dirty too.


Think about the times when you have had a teacher, coach, manager, or leader and how you were willing to do your job, because you knew that the leader in charge was right there with you in spirit, in person or had gone through the same circumstances the prior.


When an employee sees the CEO taking out the trash at night, recycling his trash or talking with the doorman, elevator operator, valet, mailroom attendant or security guards, it makes a world of difference to the other employees. It raises the level of camaraderie of the team, gets people talking, and brings the company together.


When a military chief is seen eyeing something to perfection, he projects a sense of urgency for quality, safety, discipline. Those ribbons, medals and rank markings he wears are to remind the soldiers, seamen, airmen and marines under him that he was once where they were and he knows a thing or two. He knows how to do things, has done them himself and demands excellence. So, please think on this.