The 4 Ways a Great Leader Leads by Example

“The world is changed by example, not your opinion,” said author Paulo Coehlo.

The leadership bar has been raised…

Voicing your opinions is not enough anymore…

Today, you must lead through your actions.

Legendary UCLA coach, John Wooden said it best, “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.”

During my first season in Boston, we had a special leader in Kevin Garnett.

There is one KG story that stands out to me above the rest…

After a few minutes of scrimmaging on our very first training camp practice, Coach Doc Rivers sent in a few substitutions… one being for KG.

Most of the guys who had been subbed out walked towards the water coolers, but not KG… He walked towards the opposite empty court.

As play began up again…KG, who was all by himself on the far court, began to mimic the movements of the player who had just subbed in for him… KG was shadowing his every move.

This would become routine with KG…

As long as play continued, KG would sprint up and down the sidelines performing the exact movements of the player who had just subbed in for him… to the point where Coach had to cancel practices because KG refused to rest.

KG created a winning culture by setting the tone and leading by example.

Let’s take a look at few areas that can help us lead by example!

4 Ways to Lead by Example: 

  1. Walk the Talk: The Law of the Picture, one of John Maxwell’s Laws of Leadership says that people do what people see. Leaders that lead by example understand the power of their influence and consistently do as they say. They build their following by living lives of integrity and backing up their words with action.
  2. Get your Hands Dirty: The best leaders lead through their own sweat equity. They consistently roll up their sleeves and get to work. “KG had this belief that if you were the leader you couldn’t miss one snap of practice,” said Coach Rivers. KG earned respect by refusing to let anyone outwork him.
  3. Be Incredibly Supportive: A leader that leads by example puts the needs of others above their own. They understand the importance of loving and caring for the people around them. As Theodore Rooselvet said, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
  4. Share the Lead: Great leaders are interested in the growth and development of their people. They acknowledge talent, delegate responsibility, and share the successes of the team. A leader that leads by example knows the only way to win is to believe in and cherish his/her people.

As the leaders of tomorrow, you have the power to inspire a generation. All you must do is Lead the Way! 

Until next week, thanks for reading!


Keep Chipping Away at your Greatness

JP Clark