Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa Explains the Value of Leading by Example
Children and young people, as well as adults, can easily be reached when they are led by example. Rather than telling them how to behave, showing them the way through your own actions is far more effective. Leading by example means that you will need to be seen live by your principles. Showing people that you are serious about your convictions means that they will be more likely to follow in your footsteps.
Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, a leading businessman and philanthropist in Africa, explains how his passion for leading by example and teaching has enhanced many lives.
The Process of Leading by Example
Leaders in all types of organizations live by the principles of leading by example, While this idea is often associated with a leader fearlessly moving forward to the next challenge, deciding to stay back from immediate action can be just as influential. Leaders who withdraw from their teams and avoid engagement with others set a negative example for their employees or students.
The consequences of subpar leadership can easily be measured. Organizations with poor leadership suffer from performing three times worse than organizations with strong leadership. These results point to more than bad management examples.
When leaders choose to set a bad example by behaving unethically or guiding their decisions by self-interest, they can have a major negative impact on their organization. Companies that tolerate subpar leadership pay the price in terms of lower profits or high rates of turnover.
This applies to teach students and young people as well. When teachers do not live the example that they are trying to set for their students, the students will catch on to their hypocrisy. This will make students cynical about the educational process and make it less likely that they will be enthusiastic learners.
Visibility in Leadership
A leader’s actions are always visible to their students or employees. Their attitudes and behaviors are observed and emulated by their employees. Leaders must understand that their actions are a reflection of the ideology and values of the organization. They must also understand that their organization needs to follow the rules it sets out for itself. If leaders act like the rules don’t apply to them, students and employees will learn to ignore them when it comes to making their own decisions.
When someone leads by example, they must establish an atmosphere of trust. Without having trust in each other, a leader or teacher will find it difficult to expect commitments from their employees or students. This makes it more difficult to meet the goals of the organization.
Building trust begins with credibility. Leaders who want to lead by example need to show that they have valuable skills and that they do not manipulate or withhold information to serve themselves. In today’s atmosphere of collaboration, sharing information is essential. Leaders who cannot be honest and open with their team members will sabotage their own efforts.
Leaders do not necessarily have to tell their employees or students everything, but when they share important details, they foster a spirit of unity.
Leaders also need to be reliable to build trust with their employees. Following through on their commitments is key. They must also be consistent in their interactions with others. When leaders show respect for their own obligations, they can reinforce the concept that everyone in the organization is responsible for their own behavior and their own actions. When an employee or student understands that their leader is trustworthy, they are more likely to take responsibility for the tasks they are assigned.
Treating Employees as Individuals
People who want to lead by example also needs to treat their students or employees like individuals. Having that personal touch in their leadership style means that they will be able to build a personal rapport. This makes teams feel validated and makes them feel heard by leadership. Promoting these values in school or in the workplace helps teams to work together effectively.
Leaders also need the ability to manage conflict. There is no school or workplace that does not sometimes have conflicts. Leaders then have the opportunity to show how these differences of opinion can be overcome in a productive fashion.
Setting a good example is more than motivating employees or students. It also inspires them in ways that last for years. When leadership is encouraging and passionate about their work, they help employees integrate their personal values with those of the organization. Inspired team members are more likely to carry these values well into the future and to give their employment a sense of purpose.
Employees and students are always watching for their leaders’ example. They can quickly pick up on situations where the leader is not living up to their stated goals and values. This can cause cynicism in the workplace and cause productivity to go down.
Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa states that “you educate your kids, your family, every one by example.” This simple principle can be the backbone of an effective leadership strategy. Whether you are a classroom teacher or the CEO of a multinational corporation, you will find that these leadership lessons will help your organization grow and flourish.