Leadership by Example

A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not”

– John Quincy



‘In war men are nothing; it is the man who is everything. The general is the head, the whole of an army. It was not the Roman army that conquered Gaul, but Caesar; it was not the Carthaginian army that made Rome tremble in her gates, but Hannibal; it was not the French army that carried the war to the Weser and the Inn, but Turenne; it was not the Prussian army which, for seven years, defended Prussia against the three greatest Powers of Europe, but Frederick the Great.’ So spoke Napoleon, reiterating a truth confirmed by the experience of successive ages, that a wise direction is of more avail than overwhelming numbers, sound strategy than the most perfect armament; a powerful will, invigorating all who come within its sphere, than the spasmodic efforts of ill-regulated valor.


“The power and impact of the leader

may not be seen, but it is surely felt.”


Even a professional army of long standing and old traditions are what its commander makes it; its character sooner or later becomes the reflex of his own from him the officers take their tone; his energy or his inactivity, his firmness or vacillation, are rapidly communicated even to the lower ranks; and so far-reaching is the influence of the leader that those who record his campaigns concern themselves but little as a rule with the men who followed him. The history of famous armies is the history of great generals, for no army has ever achieved great things unless it has been well led. If the general be second-rate the army also will be second-rate. Mutual confidence is the basis of success in war, and unless the troops have implicit trust in the resolution and resources of their chief, hesitation and half-heartedness are sure to mark their actions. They may fight with their accustomed courage; but the eagerness for the conflict, the alacrity to support, the determination to conquer, will not be there. The indefinable quality which is expressed by the word moral will to some degree be affected.


“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way,and shows the way”  

– John C Maxwell

“Leadership is leaders inducing followers to act for certain goals that represent the values and motivations, the wants and needs, and aspirations and expectations, of both leaders and followers.


And the genius of leadership lies in the manner in which leaders see and act on their own and their followers of values and motivations.


The architecture of leadership, all the theories and guidelines, fall apart without honesty and integrity. Divorced from ethics, leadership is reduced to management and politics to mere technique.


The fact is that leaders that tell their subordinates the truth, even when the news is bad, gain greater respect and support for ideas than their less virtuous counterparts.


In relationships trust is everything and leadership is no different. The men must trust the leader and the leader must trust the men.


Invariably an organization takes on the personality of its top leader, providing that individual is in touch with the members of the organization. If the leader is petty the subordinates will be petty. But if the leader is encouraging, optimistic, and courteous, then the vast of majority of people in the organization will be as well.

“All Leadership is influence”

– John C. Maxwell


From the moment we entered this world we have all been touched by the invisible impact of leadership by example. For those of us that came up in families the oldest learned quickly that whatever they did their younger brother or sister was sure to copy sometimes getting them in trouble. What started in the home also carries outside the home younger kids watching older neighborhood or school kids often copy their behavior for better or worse and this continues on throughout our lives.


This is why the company you keep is so important. If you spend enough time with the wrong crowd they will eventually bring you down. The leader must understand the power in influence he has over his followers and constantly set an example. For the leader class is never over his every decision and behavior is forging future leaders and as a result he will have an invisible impact on future events.


“Example is not the main thing in  

influencing others, it is the only thing.”

Throughout history leadership by example has played an invisible role with immeasurable impact but often seen to those who live it. Bold Commanders aggressive and not afraid to take calculated risks instill these same qualities into their subordinates which claimed many future victories winning many battles. Unfortunately the same is true for the cautious non aggressive commander which leaves a legacy of lost opportunity.


Leaders hold a great unseen power called invisible impact. This is the living legacy they leave behind for those who follow.

“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on”

– Winston Churchill



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