2 Reasons Respect is the Key for Sustained Success
One of the best lessons I learned from my dad was to lead with respect.
He taught me just because someone has the power and authority to boss people around, it doesn’t mean they should use it to push people, to crush them or to be rude.
My dad was that way in his work and personal life. No matter what trouble I got into—even the time I accidentally set off a box of fireworks in my bedroom—he always treated me respectfully and made me feel heard.
As I grew into leadership roles in my landscaping company and Ole Miss, I recognized the following two things about leading with respect that stood out to me as the reasons respect is a key leadership trait for achieving sustained business success.
1. Respectful leadership builds strong teams
When you lead your team with respect, they will respond to you and work harder together. That’s because people respond better to how you treat them than to what your title is. If they’re only listening to you because you’re their boss and you control their paycheck, they’ll only stay until they find a more respectful boss or a bigger paycheck.
If your team listens to you because they feel like you listen to and respect them in return, they’ll work harder, work together and not be out looking for new jobs.
When leaders and team members all work together with mutual respect, the result is better work and stronger teams. We feel we are doing this together.
2. Respectful leadership builds stronger relationships with your customers
The way we treat our team also makes an impression on our customers. If we stand in front of our team yelling or complaining about them doing things wrong, our customers will believe our team doesn’t have the necessary skills to perform top-quality work. No one wins in this situation.
When we encourage, respect and work alongside our team as necessary to lift them up and demonstrate our collective dedication to getting the job done, our customers become more confident in our companies and our work and are more likely to recommend us to their friends and family.
How are you showing respect to your team members?
Everybody on our team has value, and everyone’s role in your company is important. We as leaders need to make sure everyone knows this, inside and outside of our companies. Whether today is their first day or they’ve been with you for 20 years, if they’re on your team, they’re important. When they and your customers know how important your team members are, it strengthens your relationships with your customers and your team.
Treating people with respect isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s good for business, too.