Great leaders know respect is earned--not demanded.


"Great leaders know respect is earned--not demanded." - by Dr. David P. Robinson

You can demand obedience from those on your team but only from those who are fearful or lack confidence.  However, the timid or those lacking confidence usually let you down at critical times when you need them most.

Those who respect you and your leadership are not always the easiest to lead, but you can count on them when the chips are down and tough decisions have to be made.  How do you earn that respect and loyalty?

1.  Get to know your team members by constantly building relational equity, addressing issues important to them.  You can never have too many deposits in their emotional bank accounts.  I don't know anyone who ever overdosed on encouragement.

Great leaders first gain the hearts of their followers before maximizing their production.  Poor leaders do just the opposite and then complain about the lack of engagement.

2.  Gaining respect involves being confident and competent in what your leadership position demands and keeping your word, regardless of the cost to you personally.

Great leaders take personal responsibility for their under-performers before they start assigning blame.  Poor leaders are always looking out the window but seldom take a long, hard look in the mirror.

3.  Great leaders create a zone of separation where their followers cannot come.  In that zone, they create things for their team they cannot provide for themselves.

Poor leaders seldom establish that zone as a leadership lifestyle, then wonder why familiarity sets in and respect fades.

Great leaders "go away" on purpose and are not always available.  Poor leaders "run away" out of frustration and are hard to find when their leadership is most needed.

4.  Respect for your leadership begins and develops on the front lines where your team members live, not watching power points and listening to pep talks in meetings you control.

Great leaders know when to be on the field inspiring the team, standing on the sidelines cheering the action, or in the coach's office drawing up the next play.  Poor leaders can't read the "handwriting on the wall," have no sense of timing and the clock is running out.

5.  Future leaders learn respect by watching "adults" provide mature emotional leadership, not people in positions of power or authority displaying childish behavior and then whining about the lack of respect from team members they either poorly chose or fail to release.

"A man who controls his emotions is mightier than a warrior who destroys his enemies."  Proverbs 16:32

Without respect, you may be their boss telling them what to do, but you will never be their leader, inspiring them to achieve more than they ever could without you.

Respect and compliance are both given.  One comes willingly from an inspired heart.  The other comes begrudgingly from a mind dominated by inferior leadership.

Which does your leadership deserve--compliance or respect?  If you are disappointed in what you currently receive, the answer is most often found in the mirror, not looking out the window.