As a leader, special attention should be given to the individual needs of your employees. Too many leaders take their positions for granted and demand respect from their employees. Respect is something that has to be earned and isn't something that comes automatically with a title.
By becoming more involved in day-to-day activities, leaders earn respect and have a more positive influence over their staff. When a leader isn't afraid to roll up their sleeves and do the dirty work alongside employees, they can learn more about how they should lead others and obtain a better perception of how their employees view them. Qualities of a good leader include being attentive listeners, patient, appreciative of special attributes of certain employees, and noticeably grateful for accomplishments of the team as a whole. There are five ways that leaders can earn the respect of their staff and colleagues and make a positive influence.
1. Set the Work Ethic Standard:
Leaders must show a consistent, strong work ethic. This will help set the standard that employees are expected to uphold. By showing your employees you are reliable and trustworthy you lead by example. In essence, by constantly displaying your strong work ethic you define the level of performance that is expected not just from individual staff members, but as expected as an entire organization. The truly great leaders dislike false promises and have little tolerance for those who make false promises or disregard the impacts that their actions have.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Take Risks or Admit When You're Wrong:
Strong, influential leaders know that every once in a while you have to be willing to take risks and even admit when they have done something wrong. These are the leaders who are bold enough to challenge ideas and take leaps of faith to keep the competitive edge. They are intuitive and can sense when drastic measures need to be made to keep operations moving smoothly and aren't afraid to act on their decisions. However, sometimes the difficult decisions that are made aren't what are best for the company. Respected leaders openly admit to their staff when they have made a bad call and open the topic for discussion to find a resolution. This incorporates employees, making them feel valued.
3. Help Others Succeed:
Bad leaders only think of themselves in terms of climbing the corporate ladder. Not good, respected leaders who have influence training and management expertise. They put their staff ahead of their own needs by recognizing those employees who always give 100% and that go above and beyond the description of their job duties. Leaders "lead" and find ways to enable their employees to reach their full potential. In order to do this, a leader shares his or her knowledge and wisdom with their talented employees. Sometimes their own reputation gets put on the line for the betterment of the employee. By doing so they open doors for continued success of these valued staff members.
4. Create a Positive Executive Presence within the Workforce:
When leaders are respected by their peers, they can leave a long-lasting impression. These types of leaders make their presence known within the working environment. Executive presence is a powerful tool and can be constructively used to make those around them feel valued and appreciated. Leaders who are genuine in everything they do become powerful role models for their peers. By creating a positive executive presence within the working environment, employees are more open to critiquing and welcome the constructiveness, without seeing the hierarchy of the source that it's coming from. This type of presence creates a positive influence for the entire company and can potentially leave a long lasting impact on the company and the employees they serve.
5. Give Credit Where Credit is Due:
When leaders reward and recognize employees and colleagues they are sharing the success. Bad leaders focus on themselves and hoard positive recognition. In reality, those same leaders wouldn't be that successful if it weren't for the people working for them. When praise is properly attributed, it continues to enhance innovation and stimulates new, unique ways of thinking. True, trusted leaders make it their duty to focus on the advancement of their staff and colleagues as opposed to themselves.
As a leader you must earn respect. Without it, you aren't going to have a very successful team. Being a good leader is about going above and beyond, being passionate about what you do, and being a navigational tool for everyone around you. Stay mindful of ways to improve working conditions to make for a better workforce and to stay competitively relevant.