I could have chosen the quote: “A leader always gives the good example” for the first page of our website, because to me that is one of the essentials of good leadership.
During the opportunities I’ve had to lead organisations or take a peek behind the scenes at my colleagues’ firms, it became clear that getting an organisation in motion largely depends on the leader’s actions. He or she will have to show in every action that the chosen strategy and approach are serious. He or she must also give a good example in everything they do. Employees will soon notice if you do not practice what you preach, and they will quickly give their own spin on the situation. Jeroen Smit gave some excellent examples, or rather some extremely bad examples, in his books 'De Prooi' and 'Het Drama AHOLD'.
A very positive standard work is ‘Talent Solution’ by Alex Gubman, which expresses the importance of consistent operations - from strategy to implementation - and of giving a good example.
Many leaders have a problem organising their own feedback. Even if the leader is open for feedback, the people around him or her are usually hesitant to give it. My clients therefore greatly appreciate my personal need to say what I really think, without mincing words. They want an opinion, an idea, a well-supported advice... and then they decide for themselves what they want to do with it. After all, that’s what leaders are for.