You will likely agree when I say a leader always leads (or at least should always lead) by example.
Leaders provide leadership in their business, families, and communities (or at least they’re supposed to).
Every once in a while, though, I hear a story about people I’d expect to demonstrate leadership but don’t. That’s when I shake my head and silently ask, “What’s wrong with you? Can’t you see your actions are improper on many levels?”
Let me cite an incident that happened at an under-12 youth football game where a parent-coach threw punches at another parent. It doesn’t matter the reason; there is no reason to get into a physical altercation at a youth sporting event, particularly when kids are present. Yet it happens. (Read the story here.) This is not the kind of example you want youths to follow. No self-control. No self-awareness. No emotional intelligence.
Remember, leaders lead by example whether they intend to or not. Your actions and inactions are always on display, so leave a favorable impression.
Being a leader requires being mindful of your emotional intelligence. That means turn up your self-awareness on everything you do, everything you don’t do, everything you say, everything you don’t say.
Here are five ways to intentionally make people feel good about your leadership while demonstrating emotional intelligence:
- Show up early and roll up your sleeves to help out.
- Be available and approachable to listen with an open mind.
- Look for the “good” despite what is going on around you.
- Show gratitude; acknowledge and recognize a job well done.
- Deliver inspiration, excitement, and hope—not disappointment, anger, and fear.
Remind yourself why you’re there and deliver the best you that you can.