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

Rules and regulations demand compliance, only relationships earn you true respect. The first indicates that you are a boss, while the second reveals that you are a leader.

You can demand obedience from those on your team, but only from those who are fearful, lack confidence, or simply want to keep their job. However, they 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?

First, find ways to encourage and affirm. No one I know ever overdosed on encouragement. Don’t make withdrawals on a relationship without first making deposits in their emotional bank account.

Second, gaining respect involves being competent in what your leadership position demands, keeping your word even when it personally hurts and setting the model you want reflected in your team.

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

Fourth, 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. When was the last time you visited the frontlines where your team wins or loses everyday?

Fifth, future leaders learn respect by watching adults, not people in positions of power or authority displaying childish behavior. Titles and positions may make you the boss, but they will never make you a leader.

Without respect you may be their boss and continue to have your mandatory compliance. You may control the performance of their hands and feet but you will never be their leader until they follow you willingly.

Great leaders know that if you win their hearts and minds, the performance of their hands and feet will never be an issue. Respect and compliance are both given, which does your leadership deserve?