Respect is a critical factor in leadership. And it is not something you should expect from your subordinates. It’s something you must earn. No, you are not born a leader. But you can aspire to be one. And for that goal to come to fruition, there are requirements you need to check. Here are some of them.
You do not need an MBA from an Ivy League school to become a leader. But that will definitely give you the upper hand. Even if you failed to complete formal education, you could still envision leadership as part of your career goal.
You can have your skills and knowledge certified via recognition of prior learning or RPL assessment. This process looks into your relevant experiences and gauges your readiness to take on a specific career. It’s a viable option to boost your professional credentials, crucial to getting a leadership role in the future.
You will not be trusted with a leadership role if you lack the relevant knowledge essential to your chosen profession or vocation. And if ever you got lucky and are assigned to be at the helm of a team, you cannot function at your best without knowing the ins and outs of the work you’re expected to do.
Here continuous learning is vital. Leaders do not rest on their laurels. They recognize that there’s always room for improvement, and they use that to their advantage.
Be a good communicator
All the knowledge you have gathered should not be kept for yourself. What you know you need to pass onto your subordinates. And that process necessitates unrivaled skills in communication.
Know how to tailor-fit the way you communicate. Keep in mind that not all of your staff function at the same level of knowledge and expertise. Some subordinates might require you to be more hands-on. Others might perform excellently even with minor supervision. Either way, you have to be present and ready to provide whatever insight that could be of help to them in as clear a manner as possible.
Lead by example
A leadership role allows you to take part in the drafting of policies. Your subordinates must follow those policies. You are not exempt from those policies either.
To encourage your entire team to respect rules and regulations, they must see you doing the same. You cannot be an effective leader if your actions negate the things that you preach. Anyone can see through such a double standard. And that won’t inspire your team’s admiration.
Treat everyone with respect
Respect is a two-way street. Just because you’re the leader does not mean you’re the only one entitled to it. The more respectful you are to your subordinates, the more respectful they’ll be to you, in and out of your presence. You do not wish to be that kind of leader that’s treated respectfully only when they are around, trash-talked when absent.
So greet your staff whenever you pass by them in the hallway. Receive calls politely. Remember people’s names. These are simple ways you show that you are not a tyrant.
This does not mean you need to wear a coat and a tie at all times. That outfit works in the boardroom and official business functions. But if you are out on a company outing, you need to be able to pull off a pair of shorts and a Hawaiian shirt with panache. Yes, neat is enough.
Consider Steve Job’s famous get-up. It’s as simple as they come. Still, he evokes respect. It’s all about how he carries himself.
Learn from the best
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” Those words are from Lao Tzu. There are many other leaders you could learn from. So do not limit yourself with what you already know. Look for other leadership stories that will encourage you to be the best leader you can be.
Leadership is more than just a badge of honor. It is a mark of accountability and responsibility. You need to take ownership of the performance of your entire team. That covers both their successes and failures. If you lead with the utmost competency, you have the power to avoid the latter. You will know how to steer your flock toward accomplishments they could be proud of. And you know you’ve done an excellent job once you see your people live up to their fullest potential. That will earn you everyone’s respect.