Learning & Development, Talent

It’s OK to Point Out Your Own Success When Leading by Example

From an early age, most people learn to be humble. Those who brag about themselves and openly boast about their accomplishments are frequently looked down upon and considered arrogant. But as a manager, you’re likely to encounter situations when it’s actually beneficial and advisable to toot one’s own horn.

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Setting an Example

For instance, consider an office that has made improving customer interactions a priority. As part of that initiative, customers are asked to rate their interactions with company staff with a quick post-interaction rating based on a score of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most positive.

One manager frequently receives scores of 9 or 10, while the rest of the team averages around 5. The highly rated manager tries to translate his or her successful methods into bullet points and tips for staff, but the team still struggles. Should the manager avoid using examples of his or her own quality performance to demonstrate the proper way to interact with customers? Of course not!

The idea isn’t to brag or deride those who aren’t performing as well but rather to provide a concrete, relatable example of how to improve performance. It’s much easier to mimic behavior seen in action than it is to decipher vague concepts or bullet points and put them into practice.

Leveraging Teachable Moments

Of course, there are those who teach others as a means to brag about themselves, but that doesn’t mean using oneself as an example is always self-serving. Quality managers should be secure enough in their own position and abilities to see no need for such behavior.

Great leaders are typically able to lead by example, but the best ways to lead by example are not frequently discussed. It’s often assumed that great leaders simply go about their business while the rest of the team proactively observes and mimics their behaviors. In truth, some prodding is needed to drive best practices home.

Because of this, managers should recognize that it’s OK to toot their own horns when it comes to training and teaching using their own examples of success. It’s a good way to ensure those good behaviors are reinforced and replicated for the good of the entire company.