YKK Stories

2018-07-30 Issue 61 Fundamental Behavior 6 Lead By Example

February 19, 2019
Author: YKK
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Fundamental Behavior #6 is “Lead by example.” This behavior is not just for YKK’s supervisors, managers and senior leaders; it is for all of us. Regardless of our positions or titles, it is important to recognize that whether we feel we are one or not, each of us is a leader. This is equally true at work, home with our families, or in our neighborhoods and communities. Our words and actions matter and have tremendous power and ability to influence others both positively and negatively.

At the heart of “Lead by example” are many of our other Fundamental Behaviors; “Take ownership,” “Be proactive,” “Honor commitments,” “Seek improvement in everything,” and “Practice blameless problem solving” are just a few. Leading by example should mean that our actions influence others to behave and respond in ways that bring benefit. I hope you will ask yourself, “What can I do to improve this situation?” “How can I make decisions based upon the highest good for my department, co-workers, customers or friends and family?”

I used to have a customer on whose office walls hung several motivational posters. One said “Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing.” I do not know who said this and it may be a little exaggerated, but our actions do speak louder than words. Our actions define our character and values and have great ability to impact others.

The last time “Lead by example” was our Behavior of the week, Jim Reed talked about how Alex Gregory has touched so many by the positive examples he has not only set, but lives daily. I know each of you also have people in your lives who have impacted you by the way they led or behaved. It may have been a parent or grandparent, a teacher or a co-worker, but something they did made a lasting impression on you that has permanently impacted and changed how you live or think in a positive way.

As you have your discussions this week, I hope that through your shared stories and examples, everyone will have a greater realization of how important and powerful this Fundamental Behavior can be, not just at work, but in our families and social lives as well.

Like “Do the right thing always,” to “Lead by example” is not always easy or comfortable, but it can be rewarding and influence others in positive ways that have lasting impacts that you may never know.



John Smith
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.