How Exceptional Leaders Set an Example

Peter PsichogiosEmployee Engagement, Leadership

If you’re a leader you probably face many obstacles and challenges daily when it comes to enabling and engaging your employees.  Not only do you have to balance your own workload, but you must be accountable for supervising, guiding and directing a whole lot of people.  Great internal service cooperation is paramount for having an exceptional organization that provides fast, friendly and hassle-free service for your employees, and externally for your customers.  Here are some ways that you can becoming an exceptional leader and set an example for your employees.


The best leaders disseminate information to all stakeholders freely and openly. When they communicate honestly and openly and are transparent about what they need to do to be successful, this not only sets expectations for employees, but it also provides them with the information they need to be successful.  What is being felt on the inside of an organization can be felt on the outside by their customers, so if communication is lacking, customers will likely feel that something is being hidden from them.



As important as it is for a leader to communicate openly with their employees, great leaders spend just as much time listening as they do talking to their talent, customers and partners.  They realize that their employees and front-line workers have the most beneficial and accurate knowledge when it comes to knowing what their customers want.  When you spend time listening to what it is your employees and customer want, you are able to remove the obstacles that get in the way of them providing excellent service.  Find out more about what it takes to become a Chief Obstacle Remover in this quick video.


Coaching and Direction

Great leaders inspire their partners and talent by providing them with one on one coaching, feedback and direction on how they can improve their service.  The best employees (the ones that you want to keep around for decades) will truly appreciate coaching and direction, because they want to learn and grow within your organization and find ways to improve and make themselves more marketable and valuable for the company.  Not only does this typically translate into more money for them (in the form of salary, promotions, bonuses, etc.) but it will translate into more profits for your organization because of the improved productivity and service.  The best leaders invest in their talent from day one, believe in, and foster their potential. Read more about why employees want a learning program and what it will take to convince you to implement one.


Be Available

There’s nothing worse than having a boss who is not available to communicate with or guide an employee.  It is so important that leaders aren’t so busy that they do not have time to work with their employees.  This means responding to their emails in a prompt manner, setting up regular check-ins (daily, weekly, monthly, depending on your type of business).  When you make yourself available to your employees you will be able to address pressing concerns in a timely manner, effectively improving productivity and service in a more fast, friendly and hassle-free way (which again, translates directly to your customers).


Leave EGO Out of It

Some of the best leaders in the world admit that they only hire employees who are smarter than them, and that is because they are confident in themselves and their role as a leader/coach to inspire their talent.  They leave their ego out of the equation and aren’t afraid to admit when they are wrong.  After all, if you leave ego out of it, you are setting a great example for your employees when something goes wrong to be willing to own up to it, ask for help, create a plan to improve it and move on.  If you’re workforce doesn’t go through some moments of failure, you’re probably not learning and growing.  It is how you overcome and improve upon that failure that will determine your long-term success.  If you want to know more about leaving ego out of leadership, read A Guide to Being a Servant Leader here.


Experience Their Experience

Great leaders know that it’s so important to experience their experience.  They do this by shopping their own organization, division, department and work group from their customer’s point of view. This means stepping outside of your silo and spending some of their time in the trenches. When you focus on understanding your own experience and where there are obstacles, it will help to improve your focus on continuous experience improvement.  The best leaders ask what they can do on a regular basis to make it easier for customers to do business with their organization.


Set Expectations and Goals

If you want your employees to provide exceptional service with their colleagues and customers, you must be sure to set up your expectations for performance and provide them with ongoing feedback at every touch point.  Setting expectations goes beyond just giving your employees feedback at their annual review. If you surprise your employees with negative feedback at an annual review, you have already missed out on many opportunities to improve your service experience.  When you work together regularly to set goals and create an action plan on how to achieve them it will be much easier for your employees to retain and retrieve what they need to provide high quality service. Read more about why Action Planning is the Key for Successful Learning.


Recognize and Reward their Employees

Leaders have a powerful tool at their disposal that the majority are not leveragingThis tool is recognition and feedback, as employees will remember personal feedback from a senior leader. If you invest a small amount of time providing recognition and rewards, it can produce a significant and lasting positive impact on an employee’s performance. If you don’t recognize your employees, you’re missing the opportunity to tap into their discretionary energy and have higher potential for employee turnover.  Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are more than twice as likely to quit within the next year. Read more about What You Need to Know for Building the Best Total Recognition Program here.


Develop and Mentor Employees for the Future of the Workforce

Lastly, it is critical as a leader that you have a focus on developing and mentoring your employees for the future of the workforce. With ever increasing technology and automation, some workers might find themselves in a precarious condition when it comes to job security.  However, most employees would rather be great than just ordinary.  They want to learn and grow within your organization and contribute their best work.  Therefore, as a leader, it’s important to develop your talent for the future of the workforce.  Read more about how to develop your workforce and Focus on Re-skilling Your Workforce for the Robot Revolution here.


I hope these tips were helpful for you to set an example as an exceptional leader.  If you would like to learn more about creating an effective employee recognition program or custom learning and develop in your organization, get in touch at [email protected] or visit our website for more information at