The interviewer wants to know that you are aware of the need to always lead by example.
'All the time!' As a leader, your actions, decisions, and demeanor are always under some form of scrutiny. The most stressful workplace situations often surround change so it's a great idea to talk about a time when your organization went through a major change. Change can be very challenging for some people. Discuss how you accept change with a positive attitude.
Perhaps a new software system was being implemented. Maybe your company was being acquired. Perhaps a change occurred in your senior leadership. Talk about how easily your team could have leaned towards negativity by becoming unmotivated, or acting fearful of the change. Highlight that you have genuine excitement surrounding the possibilities that come with change and that this excitement rubs off on your team.
"I lead by example every moment of every day! My sales team keeps a close eye on my actions and, in our industry, it is very easy to over-dramatize situations. Last year our company merged with a competitor and there was talk of pending lay-offs. Rather than show my stress, I encouraged my team to try harder than ever. I suggested that we show our corporate office exactly what we can do! We ended up being the number one sales team in our region which resulted in zero layoffs for our team."
"I was a plant manager for Company XYZ when they announced they were closing their doors. By not allowing myself to be led by my frustration, I was able to retain 89% of my staff during the transition. I feel that my positive attitude really helped others to feel hopeful."
"I often lead by example when it comes to mandatory overtime. I work in an order-driven environment and sometimes we have to work late to get the job done. I don't let my peers see me get upset at last minute announcements."
Sales answer example
"I think you are always leading by example of either what to do or not to do when you walk into the office. You are either on time (ideally early), dressed for the part (or better), and prepared, or you're not.
One really important moment I think is exemplified in meetings. These days, everyone comes with their phones and is either scrolling or at the minimum, they're out on the table. I prefer to put my phone away and have a notebook and pen out instead. This way, it's clear that I'm on task. No one knows what you're doing on your phone- it could be 100% work related, but it looks like you're texting. Stay engaged both mentally and by appearances."
Marketing answer example
"I think you're always showing who you are and either demonstrating your leadership qualities or lack thereof. That's why I believe it's so important to always act as though someone is watching. As a parent, that's something that is literally always a possibility, and in the workplace it's just as important to be on your best behavior always- you never know who is watching or listening and you can either make or break your career with your actions."