Friday, 27 June 2014

Listen to Aretha!

Every successful leader - those who are able to  maximize productivity amongst their team members - share one critical characteristic.  Aretha Franklin sang about it in her hit tune... R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Find out what it means to me.

Respect comes about by one of two means.  You either command (deserve and receive) respect or you demand respect.  How you achieve it defines whether or not your leadership is authentic or fraudulent and therefore whether you are able to maximize results or to simply get by.

If one demands respect it implies an underlying sense of insecurity.  The person knows that they are not as competent as they should be and they use this form of bullying to enforce their position. Rather than learn and practice the right way in which to influence - and thereby lead- others, this person insists that others respect them.

While it is true that some measure of performance will result from this style, the fact of the matter is this 'leader' will always be resented, distrusted and vulnerable.  Their leadership lacks authenticity.

In contrast, the individual who has understood that the principal roll of the leader is to serve others will command the respect of their staff because it is respect which has been earned. Typically this style of leadership results in greater engagement on the part of staff members which, in turn, leads to greater productivity. Coincidentally, this leadership style produces other positive benefits such as a healthier workplace environment and a superior corporate image. 

In today's ultra competitive marketplace, you cannot overstate the importance of  authentic leadership.  You must find and invest in those who command respect.  For those who only demand it, they need to learn the fundamentals of leadership because the train has left the station on their antiquated style.


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