Most of us can name role models we’ve had who have positively influenced our lives. We think of ourselves as role models less often, however. It’s important to remember that you are always a role model at work. Whether you realize it or not, someone is always watching what you’re doing, and you have far more influence than you may realize.
In any leadership position, you are a role model whether or not you choose it. People watch what you say and what you do and recognize it as the standard. Simply put, if you want people to come in on time, work harder, be friendlier with customers or take more pride in their work, you have to model that behavior.
Employees are not likely to believe they must work harder or be more responsible than those who outrank them. If you want to inspire others to do their best, you must take your role seriously and remember that others are always watching.
Any time your business is experiencing a problem that employees contribute to, be sure to check yourself first. If customer service rankings are failing, make sure your employees see you demonstrating excellence in every customer interaction. If profits are down, be sure employees see you finding ways to cut costs and increase revenue.
Stretch your boundaries. Being willing to get out of your own comfort zone at work will inspire others to do so, as well. When you find new revenue streams, your sales people will be motivated to find their own new streams of revenue or lead generation. Be vulnerable and let employees see you are learning too and that you don’t necessarily know everything.
You may not realize how much your behavior and your attitude contribute to the behavior and attitude of your entire organization. However, it is very important to constantly be cognizant of how you behave in the workplace and in front of others. If you want to be a great leader, you must remember that everything you do has the potential to inspire, or demotivate someone else.