Respect & Leadership

A rather hilarious (in a very sad kind of way) scenario presented itself today that has me going.  Those who know me know that I am mostly an even-keeled person with an occasional “blip” on the radar.  However, in conversation I tend to be very animated and excitable especially when recanting a story.  Another time I get all riled up is when I hear something that I don’t agree with, think is stupid or unnecessary, or is just down right wrong.  Today was one of those SMH moments.  For those who don’t know text/FB/Twitter speak, SMH = “shaking my head.”

I won’t take the time–in THIS blog–to explain my working environment, but just know that me and my colleagues cannot wait to go back to the main office.  So, there is a certain individual who is the manager over another area.  In short, he does not have the respect of most of his employees, and quite frankly he doesn’t deserve it.  However, there are two employees who adore him and do quite a job at brown nosing <– I decided to say it nicely 🙂  So, I’m in my office minding my own business when one of “them” is rushing down the hallway on her cell phone.  Obviously this conversation had started before she got to our area, so I didn’t hear it all but I heard enough.  She said, “…because [the manager] needs his chicken and eggs!…Yes…two chicken, three eggs….”  And she had this look of desperation on her face like it was an emergency or something.  Everyone in my department heard it and we were all just looking like WHAT?!  I said, “What the heck??”  I have to admit I almost said something else!  Now, you KNOW I couldn’t let that one go!  I went to my director’s office to heckle him a little.  I said, “Are you ok, [director’s name]?  Can I get you anything?  Chicken?  Eggs maybe??”  LOL.  Now, of course, if my director needed me to something I would gladly drop everything and take care of it.  That is simply because we have a respectful relationship.  I respect him and he respects me, and I know he wouldn’t ask me to do something just for the sake of asking or shear laziness.  Besides, he works hard, and he treats us very well.  Why wouldn’t I want to take care of my leader?  However, if he treated people like dirt, played favorites, threatened my job all the time, and demanded that I respect him…you know how the end of that sentence would go!  That is exactly what goes on in that other department, and these girls are blind.  Well, actually they’re not because they act the same way.

Have you ever heard that saying that says something to the effect of if you’re a leader you can look behind you and see people following you, but if you’re not then you’re just taking a long walk?  How about the one that says if you have to tell someone that you are then leader then you’re not?  Leaders have certain qualities that preceed them.  They don’t have to announce themselves or convince people that they are in charge.  That reminds me of boss’ day this year.  We really appreciate our director and love working for him, so we went all out for boss’ day.  The other fella, on the other hand, so how we honored our boss and got upset that no one did anything for him.  He actually had a meeting with his team afterwards and let them know just how upset he was and that they needed to do something because he deserved it.  WHAT?!  Let me calm down…as I was saying before…a leader does not have to do anything, and his/her reputation will reward him/her unwarranted.

In closing, if you manage people, lead a team/project, or some other type of leadership position, just remember this:  respect cannot be demanded.  It has to be earned.  If you demand it, the people may cooperate and you may feel respected, but it’s not genuine.  Your people will feel underappreciated, slighted, frustrated, etc., and when you need them the most you will not be able to manipulate them into helping you.  A leader is humble and gives respect before (s)he knows (s)he deserves it.  It all goes back to the golden rule:  treat people how you want to be treated.  Don’t treat people any ol’ kind of way an expect them to treat you like royalty.  Give respect and get respect.  That’s all there is to it.

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One thought on “Respect & Leadership

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