Today, you hear everyone talking about respect. Some people demand it as if it’s owed to them, some people try to force it from others to bolster their ego and some people try to buy it.
The goal of course is to be like the few leaders who are respected by many. Even in business we see the overused statement Respect: Give it, Get it as if it’s the end all be all of respect in itself.
A say this from experience.
“A lot of people confuse respect with courteousness and politeness. They say, “to get it you have to give it,” but fail to realize that there is a difference between being respectful and being respected. The prior is about behavior; The latter? Strength of character and strength of leadership.”
Being respectful has to do with your behavior and the behavior of others. It’s reciprocation. Being respected is a whole different matter. It has to do with your strength of character and strength of leadership.
The Law of Respect, Leadership and You
At first look, my dad isn’t what some people would say is a leader. In fact he’s pretty nondescript. He stands around 6 feet tall with an average build and wears average clothes, and like most people, he works hard.
What sets him apart though is that people love him. I don’t think there is a day when he and I hang out together where someone doesn’t call out to him, or walk up to him and hug him and introduce their friends and family.
I’ve also been witness to people coming to the house to look for him, people asking advice from him, and have noticed the respect that they show him both in action, and how they speak to him.
How does he command respect?
Think of the people who you model after and are your mentors. Why do you follow them and how did they get your respect?
Most times, especially in business, we model after people and learn from them because they command respect. It’s very different than how we treat others and how they treat us. It’s as if people are just drawn to them.
How do you become that type of leader and gain that type of respect?
The first thing you have to realize is that people are drawn to them by influence. When you think of success coaches, business strategists, industry leaders and more, it’s not because of their position or title. It’s because they have influence and leadership is influence.
But the thing we notice too is that they command respect. When they speak, people listen.
But how did they get that respect?
But what are the qualities you should look for in a person that commands respect, and is it something you can model after in your life and your business?
In short, the answer is yes, there are qualities that you can model after and implement in your life and business.
First, you have to be a leader of steel.
When you think of people you respect as a leader is that you notice they have a focus that follows through into their actions, and when they commit to something, no matter how hard it gets, they do it, and they don’t let those they lead quit either.
They hold people to a higher standard and they follow through with their commitments.
They create success that speaks for them
Remember that one of the best ways to gain influence is to create success. That success will be a major part of why people will seek you out and ask for your advice or want to model after you.
Your successes will also create opportunities for you to build your influence to more and more people through reputation.
Their leadership is tested
This one will continue to happen over and over again. You can create successes and as your take advantage of opportunities to grow your influence and build respect, and be a leader made of steel, you will find that your leadership will be tested.
Circumstances will arise, people will hate, others will try to sabotage you and get in your way. Some will definitely try and stack the deck against you.
As you continue to be strong however, you’ll notice something happening behind the scenes – you’ll notice that as you stand your ground, stay committed, keep your word and keep creating successes, your character will begin to develop, and your leadership will grow.
And as it develops people will naturally begin to follow you for one simple reason: People naturally follow leaders stronger then themselves.
That is the law of leadership.
People don’t just follow people by accident or by whim. They follow strength greater than theirs – they follow people who’s leadership they respect.
You can usually tell who the leaders are in any group. When they meet for the first time, they’re the ones that will usually go their own way and do their own thing.
Some people will follow each of them, and eventually everyone will follow the strongest person there.
Leaders give value that lasts beyond their station
This is one of those things that I noticed first in myself. While I was involved with different businesses and there were “leaders” in that business, the people I listened to shared information that continued to help me long after I was out of those businesses and on to other projects.
I also found myself following them wherever they went.
Those are the four things that I notice about leaders and the things that I model after in my own life and business.
1. I steel myself and follow through on commitments no matter what.
2. I create results that others can see.
3. I allow my leadership to be tested.
4. I give value that anyone can use, regardless of where they are.
The more I do those things, the more people flock to me. It started with just one or two people, and as I stayed consistent and started creating results, more and more people started finding me.
To date I have a reach of a few thousand people from different businesses and projects, followers and friends — and growing every day.
They’re attracted by the results that I create and as I continue to develop my character, I earn their respect and they begin to follow me.
I’m not sure how eloquently I was able to explain the concepts, but I hope that you have a place to start if you want to build respect.
Remember, there is a difference between being respectful and being respected.
I hope that makes sense.