In this essay the author describes leading by example and how they are directly related to moral courage and integrity. The author then goes on to use examples from his experience in the military to make the reader feel like they are actually there. The author uses quotations from Aristotle to support his statements and to bring it all together.
Leading by Example
Leadership is getting people to do things that they would not normally do on their own. There are several types of leadership styles and different styles work for different people. When most people think of leadership, they think of that coach yelling at his team before the big game, or a general talking to his soldiers before battle. In day to day life, in most circumstances, people are not getting ready to into the big game or run off into battle, so how do you lead them? The best leaders understand the difference between these circumstances are those who lead by example, the ones who have not forgotten who they are and maintain moral courage, and integrity. Moral Courage:
People hear the word courage and they think of men running into battle throwing spears to save their friends from the enemy. Moral Courage is the fiber that makes good men great: it is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Understanding your people by doing what they do leaves little to the imagination; think to yourself, would you follow a man that is a hypocrite? Leading by example is not just going out there and doing the work your subordinates do to show them how it is done, it is about doing what is right because you remember what it is like to be in their position. Leading by example is all about doing what is right all of the time so your subordinates can count on you to do the right thing in the cause’s best interest. Doing what is right as a leader is important to that of your subordinates, they can look up to you, or down on you depending on how much you are willing to put into being courageous.
Integrity by definition is a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values (Merriam-Webster, 2013). Integrity in the Army one of its most important leadership traits, and one that many people live their lives by it. Soldiers pride themselves on living to a code, holding themselves true to that of their Country, the Corps, and to that of their brothers in arms. It is crucial to have impeccable integrity to effectively lead by example. “The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think (Aristotle, 384 BC – 322 BC).” Con:
In every man’s life, he will be put in a situation where he needs to lead someone to something. Weather it is leading Marines in combat or working late to make a deadline at work people will follow you if you set the example. If you decided you want to set the bar, and make everything comparable to what you do, it would be quite worth it for them to follow you in your endeavors. Always remember, “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny (Aristotle, 384 BC – 322 BC).”
Merriam-Webster. (2013). Dictionary. Integrity. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/integrity . Aristotle. (384 BC – 322 BC)