How can anyone possibly expect to be an effective and/or meaningful leader, until and unless, they impactfully gain and earn the respect of others, in a genuine way? Those who want to lead, rather than merely serve in some position of leadership, must proceed in a forward-leaning, genuine, focused manner, that clearly and transparently indicates their dedication to absolute integrity.
Far too often, many seem to feel that they are owed or due respect, admiration, and/or allegiance, merely because of their position. The reality is that while others might respect the position, that is far different than actually gaining real admiration, and motivating others to listen to their central message, feel for their vision, get further involved, and feel more strongly about the organization!
True leaders automatically proceed with an understanding that they must continue to earn respect every day! Here are 7 actions/ways for a real leader to do so:
1. Do your homework
Don’t merely proceed with the same-old, same-old, way! You must know more, and understand things better and more fully, than those you serve.
How will you be able to communicate effectively, and articulate in a positive, motivating way, until and unless you thoroughly gather relevant information, on a continuous way? This means listening and analyzing information, and making decisions based on the group’s best interests, etc., rather than prejudgments, or how it’s always been done.
2. Listen effectively
Nothing offends others more than believing you aren’t paying attention! Avoid the tendency to prematurely interrupt, and don’t merely hear what’s being said, but listen effectively, and ask whatever questions might help you better understand other’s perspectives.
3. Ask relevant questions
Don’t just go through the motions, and just ask something, but be certain that what you ask is relevant and pertinent!
4. Empathize (concerns-centric)
How willing are you to see things through the eyes of those you serve/represent? Empathy is far different (and much more important) than sympathy! While one might express sympathy because of some event, etc., it does not create a one-to-one connection! Empathy means you are willing to focus on the needs, concerns and priorities of others, and make their satisfaction, one of your highest priorities!
5. Feel their pain, and address it
President Bill Clinton is often considered one of the most effective communicator of the modern politicians. He was famous for appearing sympathetic, empathetic and truly caring, by his facial expression, and biting his lip, but, if you wish to earn respect, you must transform that appearance, to the creation and implementation of an action plan, to truly address the needs/concern.
6. Develop and implement the best action plan
Begin, continue and review! Don’t merely plan, but take relevant, sustainable action!
7. Articulate and motivate
Realize that you need to get others to listen, believe and care, and the only way to do so, is to clearly and transparent articulate how you will address their concerns, and then do something about it! Nothing motivates others as much as observing quality actions, on a continuous and content-rich course!
While Aretha Franklin famously sang about RESPECT, a leader must prove, by his actions and integrity, that he truly earns it! When leaders are respected, they maximize their potential for greatness and sustainability!
Photo Cred: NewGlobalCitizen.com