It shouldn’t come as any surprise that one of the pillars of effective leadership is earned respect. A leader that has earned respect has also in turn earned the trust of their followers. To many leaders, this is the first great hurdle that must be cleared.
God’s good word says we should love our enemy. True respect, that which is earned, is given first even if unto an enemy.
“Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you”
And if there is one concept I want my boys to grasp, this is it. I certainly don’t expect them to understand much about this when they haven’t reached a year old yet, but believe me when I say they will be taught as soon as possible. In my professional life, I fully expect to be surrounded by an environment ingrained with values focused on respect and I expect the same of my peers.
There is no greater way for a leader to go through life than to have grasped this concept completely. I am fully convinced that respect is the hard earned foundation for success, trust, and greatness.
Unsustainable when shown towards a position
Getting respect doesn’t start with a title or a promotion. It must be earned. Sure, if you hold a supervisory position you can expect that most will show respect towards you right away. This is the kind that comes out of necessity rather than admiration. In other words, it is the position that is respected and not the person. Respect for a position is never sustainable, and if a leader were to rely solely on that alone they would not survive.
“There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
To have true and authentic respect means to earn it and to work for it. A leader shall not expect to deserve it and it cannot be demanded. Some amount of work has to be put in first.
Like trust, respect must be earned. It doesn’t come with personality or position, but rather with behavior. You should fully expect to give just as much as you receive. That’s just how it works. You have to work for it. The actions a leader takes are either tokens in or tokens out of the respect bank. An equal or greater value must be handed out first before expecting the same thing in return.
Hand in hand with trust
Like trust, it is just as easily lost, and just as hard to earn back. Disrespect given is the highest form of offense towards another person and nobody wants to work for, with, or follow a disrespectful leader.
1. Are great listeners
2. Enable others to act
3. Don’t jump to conclusions
4. Give the person/people a chance before making assumptions
5. Are outward focused
What actions are you taking today to earn the respect of your team?
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