Setting an Example

advice encouragement great leaders modeling Jun 20, 2023

Setting an example for the people that work for you does not have to involve any form of punishment. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, rewarding positive behavior is more action-motivating than punishing negative behavior. People naturally want to feel valued and appreciated. You might think, “Why should I thank someone for doing the job right that I hired them to do?” It’s simple: you want to inspire them to keep doing the job well. This does not mean you need to give them a gold star every time they do something right, but a word of appreciation every now and then can go a long way.


As a leader, you want to demonstrate your expectations and lead by example. Reinforce positive behavior and address negative behavior when necessary through constructive feedback. We are all human, we are all doing a job, and most people are not intentionally messing up. There might be an underlying reason, such as lack of training, lack of resources, problems at home, or whatever else it may be. It is important to be mindful of your people and not be quick to react. Respond with intention, have a conversation, and figure out a way to move forward together. We can always learn from one another.


Setting an example is an opportunity to foster an environment of growth, achievement, and success. Use it to your advantage by lifting your people up, not dragging them down.


-Meghan Slaughter

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