Skip to Navigation

Lead with Integrity: Leading by Example? How’s Your Work Ethic? (Nov/Dec 2015)

Bookmark and Share

Ethics Matters

November/December 2015

A common and effective leadership strategy is to lead by example. Some leaders embrace this concept more than others. However, what every leader should realize is that we are all leading by example. Followers always seek inspiration and aim to develop their leadership skills from their leader. For this reason, I suggest that every leader should have a superior work ethic.

Many years ago, one of my college football coaches taught me to work at getting better every day. His selling point was, if you take a day off, one of your opponents next year will be somewhere working and developing an edge over you. From that point on, I established my work ethic by adopting the attitude… someone may beat me off talent, but they will not outwork me. This strategy also works for ethical business leaders.

Early in my career, I worked for a large food manufacturing company. Most of the people I lead there were older than my parents. To gain their respect, I had to show them that I was willing to work as hard as anyone else on the team. Within a few weeks, we gained mutual respect, they followed my example, and we set records in the company for performance.

Today, several leadership positions and many years later, I can still say this strategy works. Ethical leaders create an environment for success when their followers know the leader is willing to put in work.

Do the people you lead believe you are willing to do any job you ask them to do? Do they respect your work ethic? Do you want to lead by example? Show them superior work ethic and lead with integrity!

— As Always, Lead With Integrity!

Alfonzo Alexander
President, CPT

> Read Full November/December 2015 Ethics Matters