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Becoming a leader that people respect is something which many people aspire. Be it in athletics, the military, business or professional life, most of us hope to rise to the top of our respective fields, and recognise that it is virtually impossible for us to attain success alone.
In one way or another, we will need to leverage the efforts of others – our team – to reach our goals and desired rewards. In order to make sure, you become a leader that others can respect, make sure to follow these suggestions:
Walk the walk. Hypocrites are not respected as leaders.In fact, they’re hardly respected at all. If you want the respect of your team and others in your community, make sure you practice what you preach. Avoid telling people do one thing, while holding yourself to another standard. Instead, preach one standard and be sure to meet it yourself. If you feel this is impossible, you may need to change your mission so you can focus on goals and standards that are attainable. You may also need to consider whether you are the right person to be leading under the circumstances.
Aim for self-sufficiency. People have a hard time putting faith in a leader who relies on others. After all, are you really leading if you’re unable to stand on your own two feet? It may be excessive to say that lack of self-reliance is a sign of weakness, but it can create conflicts of interest in another person. No one likes to bite the hand that feeds them. So, if you’re reliant on other people, then be sure to hold onto them. If you want to establish yourself as a respectable leader, attaining a high degree of self-sufficiency will go a long way to reinforce your personal brand image as someone strong and able. If you can’t separate yourself from reliance on certain people or organizations, at least try to establish your independence from them.
Don’t ask of others anything you wouldn’t do yourself. Separate yourself from avoiding double standards in suggestion #1, it’s important that people believe you would do anything that you ask others to do. Leaders aren’t respected if they’re seen to be putting off unappealing or degrading tasks on those underneath them in a hierarchy. The most respected leaders are those who regularly show a willingness to get in the trenches with their troops and help advance the cause of their common mission.
This doesn’t mean that you should try and do everything yourself, or that you should resort to micromanaging the efforts of others. Most people understand delegation and recognize that it may be required simply because no one person – no matter how strong a leader – can be everywhere at once, or do everything by themselves.
Major successes do not result from the efforts of any single individual, but as the result of coordinated team effort. This is generally stood by most people, leaders and followers alike. The most respected leaders know how to use this fact to their advantage, to help build their persona as a person worth listening to or following. However, forcing tasks on people just because you think you can, will only breed resentment, rather than respect for you as a leader.
Reward those who help you. The first part of this step means learning to understand what motivates different people. People have reasons for doing things. They may want monetary or other tangible compensation, physical comforts, or they may be driven by the inclusive feeling that comes from being part of a team. They may believe in your mission on a deeper level, so by helping you they are also advancing their own beliefs.
Whatever is motivating the people around you, it’s important that you learn to get a feel for what is driving them. When you work together to accomplish things, don’t withhold rewards for people who help you succeed. Similarly, don’t hog the glory for yourself. It can be tempting to claim credit for yourself to boost your credentials, but you’ll put yourself in a much better position to succeed as a leader if, wherever possible, you give credit to those who help you.
Whatever your chosen field, developing not just into a leader, but into someone whom others respect is a common and admirable goal.
As you advance in your career, developing your skills, knowledge, and expertise in your vocation, be sure to apply these tips. Doing so will help you to develop not only into a skilled operator, but also into a respected leader who can leverage the efforts of others for greater success.
Una Lawlor is Content Marketing Manager at Advance Systems, a company that provides world-class enterprise HR software. Una has over 10 years of sales and marketing experience in retail, media, finance and technology. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a degree in English and French, Una has extensive content writing experience and specialises in the field of people operations and HR management. You can find Una on Twitter (@lawloru) and Linkedin.
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