Leading by example is a very strong and powerful approach to Leadership, it brings so many benefits, and I think we often underestimate the impact.
I mention this, as I was reminded of it watching an interview with Sam Mendes about the new James Bond film called Skyfall.
He was talking about how it was such a high action film, he had an army of doubles for the leading actors, for all of their major stunts.
However, Daniel Craig refused, and said he preferred to do his own stunts, he felt it was important for the quality of film for people to see Bond up close in the action sequences.
Sam said that, when they were shooting the scenes with Bond fighting on top of a moving train he tried to persuade Daniel to use a double, but Daniel insisted that they try it with the train moving slowly, 20mph, just to see how it went, and then they gradually increased the speeds until they were fighting on top of a train doing 50mph.
Sam Mendes said that this had a massive impact, it gave them a real leader on set, someone who was setting the tone for how this film was going to be made.
It sent a strong message to everyone else, that they had better do their jobs. That they shouldn’t be the ones to let the side down.
This is exactly the same effect that we, as Leaders, can have on our organisations, we set the tone, we set the example, and when we set the right example it will have a very positive and dramatic effect.
I think that this is a very simple example of the power of leading by example and i just wanted to share it.