Leading by Example

By: Sergio A. Lagunas

There are numerous methodologies and models in leadership theory, but the one that has worked most over the years is simply leading by example. I have participated in many leadership positions in the last seven years. In this generation, most leaders are concerned with entitlement. So, for your reference I will list some of the executive positions I have held in the past: Senator, Vice-President, President, Education Chair, Academic Chair, Chairperson, and Treasurer. The majority of these positions happened during my studies at the community college and at the university. Holding leadership positions in non-profit organizations is admirable because people get to learn about real leadership. I say real leadership in the eyes of unpaid experience and raw motivation to get your constituents or club members to put in work for a common goal within the organization with out the benefit of monetary gain.

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Leading by example requires leaders to lead from their own doing. One must be the ideal member of the organization, and the rest will follow. The ideal member is someone that does not wait for anyone to tell them to take action. One must be innovative in the way they take action, and most importantly one must take initiative. Initiative is doing it first. If I know that we have to read 100 applications for an outreach program by the end of the day, then I must start reading. Then, I will ask the others to follow the same path.

Being the example to follow is not as easy as it sounds. One must commit 100 percent to the cause. A strong minded leader must be or become the ideal member by showing up to every event ready to put in work. The ideal member must socialize with other members to create a stronger bond and a better community within the organization. A leader that leads by example creates ideal members. One great way of looking at this idea is by agreeing that as a leader there is no such thing as off the record. Everything you do is recorded in your members’ minds. And, in the experience of seeing one’s leader fail to conduct themselves in a professional manner in a business setting, may result in loss of respect and admiration. Of course, we all have our business partnerships with others, in the meanwhile we have personal relationships where we may be our goofy selves; however, one should always act with respect to others. Respect is difficult to earn, but as a leader one must always preserve that within the organization.

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