Respect is a funny thing. Sometimes it’s hard to know if you have earned it, but it’s pretty obvious when you don’t have it. Merriam Webster defines respect as high or special regard, the quality or state of being esteemed.
How is it that a person who is disrespected, uneducated, has an upbringing that is disadvantageous due to economic, social, and political conditions, and is a minority who has been abused and mistreated, becomes a great leader? If you have never heard of Harriett Tubman, you might think I’m exaggerating, but it’s a true story. John Maxwell answers that question this way: “People naturally follow a leader who is stronger than themselves.”
As a result, the Law of Respect applies to all leaders, not just famous ones. You didn’t follow any leader whom you admire by accident! It was a choice. Furthermore, if you are leading at a level of six (on a scale of 1-10), you sure didn’t look for someone leading at a level four and choose to follow them.
Build Respect By:
- Teaching your team
- Pushing your team to achieve
- Making your team the winners by acknowledging their contributions and accomplishments
When you show your team loyalty and respect, defend and protect them, they will respect you.
The greatest test of respect comes when a leader introduces big change in an organization. So, this is a critical time to keep core leaders. How do you do that? The best way to increase the potential for success in maintaining key leaders through big change is simple: you must weigh your influence with your core leaders.
Leaders are difference makers. Therefore, they want to be part of the vision of their organization. Telling them the vision isn’t making them a part of the vision. If you aren’t investing a lot of time and energy into your relationship with your key leaders, then good luck when you want them to support the change you are initiating.
Respect says that I recognize you are different than me. I want to engage you, help you see what’s motivating me, capture your heart and mind with what I see in you and how I envision you making a contribution and difference in the plans I have.
Ultimately, if you aren’t pouring into your people and giving them reasons to want to be a part of what you are building, they aren’t going to trust that you have any interest, much less their best interest, at heart. This is all the more evident when you are only looking out for improving your condition instead of improving the team or the organization.
Remember, people who lead at a level of nine don’t follow those leading at a level of seven. Raise your leadership capability and make a contribution to your team and your organization.
Great quotes from this episode:
“People naturally follow a leader who is stronger than themselves.” – John C. Maxwell
“When people respect someone as a person, they admire her. When they respect her as a friend, they love her, when they respect her as a leader, they follow her.” – John C. Maxwell
“Stop trying to build your resume. Stop trying to build your reputation. Be consumed with building a legacy.” – Mark Slemons
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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