“Why did I work so hard to get promoted just to be told I have to set an example for my people? Aren’t I supposed to be able to take it a little easier, come in a little later, leave a little earlier now that I’ve got some power – status – rank?”
Two words: not necessarily.
You may have gotten some status, rank, power and more income with your promotion, but you were not relieved of the responsibility to set a good example for the people who work for you. In fact: quite the contrary. Now that you have status you are more exposed. You are viewed continuously. Your people work with one eye on you. They know you set many if not all of the rules they live by during their work day. They certainly know who approves or signs their paycheck. You are the big dog who can steal their bone.
You have an effect on your employees' behavior. If you come in late they will want to do the same. If you prevent them from coming in late, they will resent the fact that you come in late and they have to come in early. Either way your behavior has an effect on their behavior.
Whether you treat people well or poorly you impact your folks.
Why am I belaboring this? Because I have seen too many managers and company owners who have somehow convinced themselves that the things they do should have no effect on how their people work. They assume that their people should go along doing excellent job while ignoring the boss. This is pretty ridiculous.
Know this. Your people are smart. They observe you. They know who you are. However, they may not – and probably will not – speak to you or act toward you in a way that will let you know that they know. "Know what?!" you ask? Know that you're coming in late, leaving early, not working as hard as they do and that you're taking advantage of your status to do less and get away with it.
For example, even if your employee thinks you're disrespectful to your employees he will still say, "Good morning" to you as you pass each other in the hall. He knows he needs to be pleasant to you to maintain a good reputation with you and continue to get paid. But when your employee’s friend asks if he should apply to your company for a position, what is the likelihood your employee will encourage him to to so?
Your behavior has an impact. Setting a good example is a key managerial responsibility.