While your title as a leader can give you power and prestige, it is how you choose to lead that can determine how much respect you gain from your team and others.
Here are five ways to become a respected leader that everyone looks up to.
1. Take the focus off you
I’m sure you’ve met your fair share of egotistical leaders. They tend to reek of self-importance, and they are acutely aware of their power. While they can certainly command attention, they don’t always get respect – in fact quite the opposite happens.
There’s no room for ego in great leadership. If you want the respect of your team and others, take the spotlight off yourself and put it directly on them. Focus on them, praise them for work well done, allow them input over their work and tell them you trust and value them.
2. Admit when you are wrong – it’s ok
We all make mistakes. This fact of life certainly doesn’t change when you become a leader, in fact, truth be told they say leaders will make more. When this happens take responsibility, apologise, learn the lesson and move on.
It takes a true leader to take responsibility for their actions in a project or delegation that has gone off track. Also, remember that most mistakes happen when we step out of our comfort zone and are prepared to change or risk more. Mistakes are how you learn; they are not necessarily equated with failure.
3. Serve others
When you look at most influential and respected leaders throughout time, one of the most common characteristics they share is the desire to serve. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi are classic examples of this and were very open around saying this.
Jack Welch famously quotes – before you are a leader success is all about growing yourself, when you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
Respected leaders give time freely, are interested in others as people not just workers and jump in and help when needed.
4. Be available
One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to become unavailable to their team – to busy to stop and talk. Let your team know they can always talk to you about anything.
But don’t just stop there. Mentor your team. Pass on your knowledge, talk about the challenges and mistakes you have overcome and what you have learnt over your career. Many leaders forget that by helping others get what they want, they as leaders get what they want – increased productivity, performance, loyalty and respect.
5. Lead By Example
There will be times when you will need to work alongside your team and not just manage them. This is often a make or break moment in leadership with many leaders failing to get their hands dirty and make the sacrifice needed to pull their team through.
While it can be tempting to step back, point fingers and delegate out, what you really need to do to win respect is to lead by example and be the team member you want your team to be.
What steps have you taken to be that respected leader?