Lord Krishna conveys to us through Bhagawad Gita Sloka 4.18 that people who show 'lack of commitment' in their duties will be pulled down by the fear of their dereliction though they are in ‘inactive’ state. Similarly, people who perform their duties passionately with commitment will perform their jobs effortlessly as a habit.
Let us explore a series of slokas in Bhagawad Gita where Lord Krishna explains 'Leading by Example'.
"King Janak and other kings attained perfection only by performing their duties (sincerely). You should also perform your duties to set an example for the good of the world. Whatever actions great persons perform, common people follow. Whatever standards they set, all the world pursues."
We can interpret as Leaders make meaning to their role only by performing their duties by setting example. Leaders have to be the role models for others. Others follow whatever actions leaders perform and whatever standards they set.
It is intriguing to note why Lord Krishna gives the example of King Janak here in preference to great rishis who renounced their life for the service to God. Human race cannot survive if everyone decides to renounce their life and take the route of sanyasam. We need leaders like Janak for the betterment of human race. Thus, Lord Krishna starts a big lecture to Arjuna about the importance of 'Leading by Example'.
Leading by example is a leadership style where you model the behaviour you want to see in your team members. When you lead by example, you don’t just push the team members towards excellence—rather, you actively demonstrate that excellence. Leading by example is the difference between saying, "You can do this" and "We can do this together". Though the support and encouragement in the former is great, the latter builds connection, camaraderie, and trust (courtesy - https://asana.com).
The people you manage pay a lot of attention to what you say—and what you do. If what you’re doing and saying are inconsistent, that inconsistency can lead to frustration and lack of trust. But if you can model the right example to your team, they’ll be inspired to go along, too.
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