How to Effectively Lead by Example

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If you want to encourage, inspire, motivate and fuel your team, leadership by example is one of the best ways to get buy-in and build trust. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, explains further in this short tutorial video.

Here’s a screenshot of the whiteboard for your reference.

ways to lead by example

In Review – How to Effectively Lead by Example

Leadership is a topic that people can never get enough of. Jennifer noted that she’s touched on the subject more times, and from more angles, than she can remember.

But for today’s project management training, she wanted to move away from the more abstract discussions of leadership. She talked instead about practical things people can do that will encourage, inspire, motivate and fuel their teams to complete more project tasks. Jennifer said she also wanted to talk about things to avoid because they could derail progress.

People Who Have Led by Example

Jennifer began by thinking about her personal history and whom she remembers as impressing her by their leadership examples. All those transformational leaders shared common actions, which she listed.

  1. Fought for a humanitarian cause
  2. Declared an unthinkable goal
  3. Maintained integrity
  4. Walked the talk
  5. Went to bat for people

Related: The 25 Most Inspiring Leadership Quotes

How to Lead by Example

If you want to end up like one of the leaders that Jennifer admires, then she recommended this to-do list. It’s far from complete, but it’s a good start to help people on the path to leading by example.

  1. Support the vision/mission of your company.
  2. Support your team, such as offering training if needed.
  3. Get the facts straight before doing anything.
  4. Be early, not just on time, to meetings, etc.
  5. Pay attention to details.
  6. Always follow-up and follow-through on what you say.

What Not to Do

Before signing off, Jennifer wanted to point out some things not to do if you’re looking to become an effective leader. These are examples that can stymie progress and undermine your leadership.

  1. Don’t brag about your achievements; it’s in bad taste and those accomplishments are never yours alone.
  2. Don’t talk about others; it will come back to them and erode loyalty.
  3. Don’t take credit then issue blame; the credit is the team’s, but the blame is likely yours. In other words, beware of self-serving bias.

Pro-Tip: When leading by example, it’s important that it’s authentic leadership. That means you can’t just put it on like a fashion, but must feel passionate.

Take it Further: Servant leaders always lead by example. Learn how to become one.

Thanks for watching!


Today, we’re talking about how to effectively lead by example. Well, this is a classic leadership topic. As a matter of fact, we’ve done several whiteboard sessions on leadership.

We’ve talked about leadership skills, leadership behaviors, leadership attributes. But in today’s whiteboard session, I want to focus on things to do that can encourage, inspire, motivate, and fuel your team.

I also want to talk about a few examples of things not to do that could derail progress.

When I think about effective leading by example, I think of a few people in my lifetime who have inspired me. And I’ve thought about, “What was it that they did that impressed me the most, that I felt like they led by example?”

Here are a few things.

Number one, fought for a humanitarian cause.

They declared an unthinkable goal and actually achieved it.

They maintained integrity in their words and their action.

They walked the talk.

And they also went to bat for their people.

So when we think about that, we can start thinking about the ways that we can effectively lead by example. What are some of the things that we have to ask others on our team to do that we really need to be the ones to set and lead by example?

So let’s look at the to-do list. This is not everything on the list. These are just a few things to think about, and you can take and personalize your own list. Here are some things to think about.

Support the vision and the mission of your company.

Support your team. Be able to recognize, “Do they need skills? Do they need training? Do they need mentorship or coaching?”

Also, get the facts straight before you go to your team or your stakeholders. Really have good information and data.

Also, when you attend meetings, be early, not just on time.

And also, have a high attention to detail. We, in most things that we do, require that of our team, and to be able to set that for an example helps them to see how and why that’s important.

Also, not just to follow up on things, but to also follow through to ensure they get resolved.

Here are some things not to do.

Number one, don’t brag about your achievements as a leader and make your team feel less than or incompetent.

Don’t talk about others, whether it’s others on your team, others in your company, other stakeholders, or even other competitors.

Don’t take credit and then issue the blame. We’ve all been in those certain scenarios where we felt like that’s happened, and it doesn’t feel really good.

So these are some things to do, some things not to do when you think about leading effectively by example. So if you need additional resources, then sign up for our software now at

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