Sometimes you will get it right, other times you will get it wrong.
In both cases, people will probably be watching, especially if you’re leading the team.
Your example that you are trying to lead by will sometimes fall flat on your face, such is life, you try to do the best for your team, for your project and it doesn’t work out.
When these situations crop up, it’s easy to say – “well that was dumb, I’m going to go back to telling people what to do, because when I try to show them, I mess it up.”
I hear this from people who have been out of the game for awhile. In my case, they have coded in awhile and then they get back into it and it’s harder then they thought, or it doesn’t go as smoothly as they remember.
In these scenarios, you’re not leading by example and no one is calculating your coding ability, what they are looking for is your effort.
How much effort are you putting into supporting your team?
To helping carry the load?
To trying your best to contribute to the team’s goals and not your own?
Leading by effort is a great way to get the ball rolling for anyone.
But it only works if you are leading to help the team and not yourself.