If you are to fully deliver what you are capable as a leader, you need to gain the respect of those that you lead. While it might appear easy in theory, gaining respect from a sufficiently large pool of people in any organisation is extremely challenging. So what mistakes do leaders make that lead to them not being respected and what should they do about it?
Mistake 1: Self preservation
Leadership roles are often fragile positions, especially at a very senior level. You probably notice that in some sectors, there seems to be a never ending turnover of senior people. In view of this it is sometimes tempting for leaders to do what they think is necessary, no matter the impact on others to preserve their status. By adopting this strategy, leaders ultimately put their status and position at risk and have little respect when they are in post.
To avoid this mistake, keep a focus on getting results through the contribution of people rather than on preserving your position.
Mistake 2: Making promises you cannot deliver on
We have all probably encountered leaders who aim to trade. It might be if you follow through on making a certain change I will give you something in return. While these offers might be well intended, they are often not thought through and could not be delivered in the short to medium term.
If you want to avoid this mistake commit to only making promises that you have a high degree of confidence that you can deliver.
Mistake 3: Telling rather than involving
We all know that the final decision has to be made by the person in charge. At the same time we are probably feel less reluctant to get behind a decision if it feels like we have had no opportunity to contribute our views. If you want to avoid this mistake and gain more respect, make sure that you listen effectively to the range of views and ideas and make it clear to others how and why a decision was reached.
Mistake 4: Being inauthentic
People respond to leaders that they like and trust. They want to see the real person, not someone who is playing the part expected of them because of their status or level. Make a commitment to being authentic and your natural self if you want to avoid this mistake.
Mistake 5: Being overpowering
There will be times when it is absolutely essential to give strong and perhaps uncomfortable messages. This however should be the exception rather than the rule. No one likes a bully or someone who uses their position power to drive things through. To avoid this mistake, make a point using your position power scarcely so that others know that it is the exception rather than the norm.
By Dominic Mccarthy