“If you have respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.”

John W. Gardener

Respect is a top priority for graceful leadership. Employees want to be treated with dignity and respect. They want to be recognized for their individual contributions to the organization. Turnover of personnel in the workplace is tied directly to the lack of support and respect from management and organizational leadership. When workers feel disrespected, they feel as if their work is not important or noticed. The usefulness of an employee greatly depends upon the extent to which respect is practiced by the leadership and organization.

As leaders, we reveal our true character through our communications and actions. Leaders are called leaders because they are to be first; they are intended to set the standard.

A true leader’s character includes honesty, respect, gratitude, compassion, and a powerful vision for the future. These effective qualities of a leader will inspire the team and stimulate productivity in the workplace. You cannot be an effective leader if you do not have respect for those you lead. Remember: in order to get respect, you must first give respect.

“When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly.”

Blaine Lee

There are many leadership skills needed in order to gain respect. Listening to others is one of these necessary skills. When a leader listens to an employee, the employee feels more empowered and valued within the organization. The best leaders know how to keep personal problems confidential.

A good leader will not allow their employees to be disrespectful to each other. Disrespectful employees should be removed from the team.

However, a good leader who is full of respect for his employees will inspire that same level of respect amongst the workers.

Leadership is about people. The true task of a leader is to encourage people and have them follow your lead on their own volition. Respectful leadership is an action that develops self-determination within the employee. The employee and the leader can identify the group’s vision together with respect. The organization can achieve greater improvement in performance through respectful and graceful interaction. Respectful leadership includes respect for the employee’s work and for the employee as a person.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”

Ronald Reagan

Being the leader does not always mean that you have earned the job. Many leaders take for granted their position or title and sometimes think that they are owed respect because of their spot in the organizational chart. Sitting in the ivory tower or corner office does not display a leader’s level of competency. A respectful leader is not afraid of getting his hands dirty through “hands-on” work. The greatest leaders are not afraid to take risks, set the standard, and give credit to the team.

A better knowledge of grace, respect, gratitude, and compassion could enable any leader to have a major break-through and affect a major change in their team and company.

Leadership is about teaching and leading people, not machines or things. When leaders treat their team with great respect and care, the performance of the company gets better. When the employees feel disrespected by the leaders they will never fully invest themselves in the mission or goals of the organization. Highly respected employees will go the extra mile and give 110% of themselves to achieve the leader’s objective.

“Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.”

Mark A. Clement

In order to grow your organization, you must have leadership that has the ability to inspire, motivate, and engage people into creative, considerate, and desired actions. In today’s competitive marketing environment, we need people to step up and be aggressive. We need people to be good thinkers and strong leaders who can drive our companies forward. And, one cannot forget about the human side. We need gracious leaders NOW! What actions are you taking to make things happen?