Walk Your Talk

Lead By Example

As the final installment in our four part series, this blog post is a natural ending to a great story. If you have been intentional, created significance and found meaning, then it is only fitting that you would have been walking your talk.

As leaders, whether it is within your organization, your team or your community, it starts with us. We can’t expect others to do what we are not willing to do. If you want an engaged workforce, you have to be engaged yourself. It sounds simple, and it really is that simple, but it isn’t necessarily easy.

Throughout this series, we have been discussing what creates engagement and the focus has been on what creates employee engagement. Now is the time for the spotlight to shift from employees to you, as the business owner or leader. It is time to ask yourself, what is your intention? What creates significance for you? What meaning and purpose is present for you every day? When you can answer those questions, when you feel the jig in your step and the energy for your work propelling you out of bed every morning, then you have found engagement for yourself. And once you are engaged, your team will follow.

Sometimes, we just don’t feel it. We want our teams to “do as I say, not as I do” and this isn’t to say that you can never feel that way. But this is to say that more often than not, you need to be engaged, focused, and passionate about what you are doing so that others can follow suit, so that you are role modeling what it means to be engaged, and then when others are looking for an example of what an engaged employee looks like, they are looking right at you.

Here are some tips for building your own engagement as a leader:

  1. Know your why. Often times, as busy people, we lose sight of why we took “this job” in the first place. Know what you are working towards and why it is important to you, ground yourself in this as often as possible.
  2. Have a mantra. Is there a saying that you like that puts you back into a feeling of engagement and purpose? Have that on your wall, on your computer or somewhere visible that will remind you of your mantra exactly when you need it.
  3. Take a break. Are you feeling overwhelmed and unable to get back into the groove? Take a break. Whether it be a 10 minute walk around the block or a 2 week vacation where you completely disconnect. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself so that you are ready and able to take care of others.

Your Engaged Assignment: Take a look at the previous blog posts in this series and at what it takes to Walk Your Talk and be honest with yourself. Are you asking others to do what you, yourself, are not willing to? If so, then it may be time to take stock, consider your why and decide what you need to do to get back into the game and to raise the bar for everyone on what it looks like to be an engaged employee. Have fun with it, don’t be too hard on yourself, and let me know how it goes!