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Why CEOs Need To Lead By Example

Without proper leadership, it would be impossible for an organisation to build and nurture its reputation.
Why CEOs Need To Lead By Example
Image credit: Bigstock
Entrepreneur Staff
4 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

When measuring organisations’ reputations, leadership and corporate governance play a fundamental part in how the organisation is being perceived. Strong leadership with a powerhouse team by their side, are two of the most important contributors impacting an organisation’s reputation.

Reputation Matters, a proudly African research company specialising in reputation measurement, has a unique tool, the Repudometer®. This unique research tool not only quantifies companies’ stakeholder health but also provide an overall reputation score for organisations.

Managing Director, Regine le Roux mentions that leaders could increase their own reputation score by implementing the following five tips:

1. Values matter

Values refer to a set of non-negotiable standards that everyone in the organisation needs to abide by. It needs to form part of the organisation’s strategic intent. It is particularly important that the leader sets the example.

Related: Top Leadership Lessons From Silicon Valley to South Africa

“The values that you share in the business world need to resonate with the values in your private capacity. It is important that everyone within the organisation shares the same set of values. Values help to attract like-minded people to work for the organisation as well as companies you want to do business with.

For example, when our company has a difficult situation to deal with, we use our values to guide us. The outcomes from these discussions may often lead us to walk away from a certain project or business lead; however, we prioritise our values above profit to make sure that we lead by example and choose organisations that resonate with us,” shares Le Roux.

2. Listening matters

There is a lot of literature on the topic of listening. It is true that instead of really listening, people are often thinking about how to respond to what the other person is saying.

“We’ve picked up during focus group sessions that many employees yearn for a listening ear. We get a wealth of information from the focus group sessions that we host because we listen attentively.

Our clients who do take their reputations seriously and want to take it to the next level are not scared to share their Repudometer® results with all their stakeholders. Sharing these results illustrate the fact that the organisation not only heard its stakeholders, but they are truly listening.

Related: Lessons in Leadership From Tata Africa Holdings' Turnaround

By doing so they take accountability to act on recommendations and also show that they really value the inputs received by all the participants,” says Le Roux.

3. Recognition matters

Leadership is a team sport. To build respect as a leader, you need to appreciate and respect your team. It is important to give credit where credit is due. When the team does well, everyone does well.  

4. Fun matters

It’s important not to lose your sense of humour; having fun as a team is vital.  “Try and connect with your team by doing something outside of work every month or so. It does wonders for team morale and productivity,” mentions Le Roux.

5. Creating more leaders matter

“Leaders need to cultivate more leaders and at the same time continuously improve and develop themselves,” says le Roux. Leaders should provide teams with opportunities to grow and develop while also stretching them to their full potential.

“By growing your team and cultivating the necessary skills that you as a leader need, will have a direct impact on your organisation’s reputation. Leaders need to take a stand and be the voice of not only their workforce but also their community by addressing pressing social issues,” concludes Le Roux.

Related: The Leadership Lessons That Have Helped Bevan Ducasse Build a R100-Million Business

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