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How Leaders Earn Their Followers’ Respect
By Alan Olsen
How Leaders Earn Their Followers’ Respect?
What does it mean to respect
someone or to have some else’s respect?
If you are respected
it means people trust you and your judgment. It means others are likely to
follow your lead and stick with you even through the hard times. However, respect
is not usually a free gift; it’s something that has to be earned. So how does a
good leader earn the respect
of his or her followers, or employees, for example? It usually takes time and
it takes effort, but mostly leaders earn respect
from others by their day-to-day actions and interactions with their followers.
You Have to Really Care
I have discussed respect
and leadership with many of the world’s most successful
Recently I chatted about this topic with Wally Hawley,
one of the co-founders of InterWest
Partners (1979), which is one of the larger venture capital firms in the
U.S. I asked Wally how leaders gain respect
from their employees? “Well, they demonstrate whether they really care about
the person or not and many leaders
spend time mentoring people.” He also said that the good leaders
will take the time with younger people and newer people to help them, “whereas
some of the other kinds of leaders
that are more about themselves are just interested in getting publicity or
getting other kudos and not caring about what’s happening” in their own
High Praise for Good Leaders
Wally also said that an important part of the success
of any organization occurs when people know whether or not you really care
about them. He said: “Those are the popular leaders
and it comes across when people talk about a leader. They
talk about how good he is, about how they like him, how they respect
him and that’s what really good leadership
is in my opinion.”
What About Respect in Business?
I also asked Wally
about the role that respect
plays in a business.
“You do have respect if you have someone you can trust and has the integrity. The other part of respect
is that you honor and are awed by what these people can do, and their
capabilities and their missions.” Wally
explained that a lot of respect
comes from what your mission is and what their mission is. In other words, if
your mission fits with their mission, or vise versa then you will likely have
You don’t have to have the exact same ideas or vision, but he said, “as long as
they’re in tune or you can agree with their mission or they can agree with your
mission that’s when respect
Strong Relationships Require Respect
is an important part of any relationship, especially in the business world.
If someone doesn’t respect
you then they aren’t very likely to follow you or even work with you. Likewise,
any relationships that don’t include true respect
are most likely not going to get stronger and most cases they won’t last at