3 Situations When Actions Speak Louder Than Words 3 Situations When Actions Speak Louder Than Words A great leader is defined by more than a commanding presence and the ability to get people to do what they need to do. Anybody with a loud and convincing voice can do that, but to truly be a great leader, one that people are proud to follow and work hard for takes so much more. Leading by example is one of the most powerful and influential forms of leadership. More often than not, what the boss does says a whole lot more than what their actual words do. Here are three situations where the people in charge pull away from being the conventional boss and create a real team-oriented atmosphere. Employee Expectations Usually, the boss gets to where they are by working hard to earn their position, but today, more and more entrepreneurs are simply stepping into the leadership role when they start their companies. Surely somewhere down the line is the goal of becoming a big enough venture to warrant employees. There will be many things to figure out as soon as you’re ready to hire some help for your budding business, but one of the most important things you can do is set up clearly defined expectations for your workers – and make sure you don’t ask them to do something you would be unwilling to do. I have heard so many friends and coworkers gripe and complain about having to work over time when the boss heads out of the office early at least a couple times a week. What kind of message is that “leader” sending to their people? They might not even be aware of their effect on morale, but when they leave early their actions are telling their employees that they don’t care enough about the company or the workers to stick around. It is hard to do work, let alone high quality work when the boss doesn’t seem to think the job matters. “One of the most important things you can do is to set up clearly defined expectations for your workers – and make sure you don’t ask them to do something you would be unwilling to do.” The Moral High Ground Business ethics have had a roller coaster of a past, but they seem to be getting more TLC in recent decades. The cause of the positive shift is likely due, in part, to our desire to be nicer to the environment and cultivate partnerships throughout the business world. Sneaky transactions and cut throat tactics are still alive and kicking, but the whistleblowers and protectors of the little guy are getting stronger and more efficient in keeping business dealings fair. The actions of leaders in these situations are often a more powerful example than the actual words they use. For example, a new product is about to be put in production and there is one last meeting about the process before it is approved. First of all, having a mandatory meeting to make sure everything is in order is a great start. The meeting shows the company that whoever is in charge wants to check and re-check before spending company money and time on a new venture. Secondly, it gives department leaders a chance to chime in and feel like their concerns have been heard. The meeting progresses and it becomes apparent that this particular product needs a special piece of equipment to ensure it is assembled correctly. The company doesn’t have the machinery, but production managers think their workers can handle it. The boss has a couple of options here; they could approve the process and hope the workers can do the job or they could hold off, get the right equipment, and feel confident they made the right decision. The boss decides to wait until the equipment is installed, and even though they risk losing a large client, they have shown their workers that a job done right the first time is important to them and they will not accept short cuts just to make more money. Compassion and Understanding Go a Long Way A leader without compassion might as well be speaking to a wall. If a boss doesn’t seem concerned about the well-being and safety of their workers and does not seem understanding when circumstances in life change, they will not have the respect of their people. Being flexible is a great quality for any leader to have. Life happens and showing that you understand that will go a long way with your workers. It is not so much the words they use when dealing with employee situations, but the fact that they will actually take the time to do so. Being a good boss doesn’t have to only include hard decisions and employee backlash. In fact, the majority of it should be a great experience. If you are the head of your own company, or hope to be someday, practice leading by example. When you use your actions instead of a loud voice and an iron fist, everybody wins. Iman Oubou Aside from being the founder and Editor-In-Chief of SWAAY Media, Iman is also Miss New York US, a philanthropist, a champion of Women Entrepreneurs, a Scientist and a Fashionista. She is the host of the popular podcast Entrepreneurs En Vogue, powered by SWAAY.