“Great leaders know respect is earned, not demanded.”

You can demand obedience from those on your team, but only from those who are fearful or lack confidence. However, the fearful or those lacking confidence will let you down at critical times when you need them the 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? Here are five ways to help you earn it:

1. Get to know your followers by constantly building relational equity. You can never have too many deposits in their emotional bank account.

2. Gaining respect involves being competent in what your leadership position demands and keeping your word.

3. Create a zone of separation where your followers cannot come. In that zone you create things for them they cannot provide for themselves. Without that zone, familiarity sets in and respect fades.

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.

5. Future leaders learn respect by watching “adults” walk-the-walk, not people in positions of power or authority displaying childish behavior.

Without respect, you may be their boss, but you will never be their leader. Respect and compliance are both given. Which does your leadership deserve?